San Diego

Neighbors Hope for Compromise for Dog Park Stirring Up Complaints

The future of the temporary Ward Canyon Neighborhood Dog Park will be up for discussion on Tuesday night

Sparring between opponents and supporters of a temporary dog park in Normal Heights continued at a Tuesday night meeting that didn't produce an outcome either side was looking for.

Neighbors who live feet away from the dog park at Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park say the dust and the noise is disrupting their lives so severely that they have considered moving.

"It’s been a problem from the beginning, the noise of sometimes 20 to 30 dogs basically in our backyard," said neighbor Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson. "They’re as early as 5 a.m. before it’s light, and as late as 10 p.m. with no enforcement."

After neighbor complaints, the south half of the park for larger dogs was closed and dog owners say they don't have many options left to exercise their pets. They also complain the new conditions force all sized dogs to fit into a small, fenced-off area.

The future of the temporary Ward Canyon Neighborhood Dog Park will be discussed at a Parks and Recreation Department Advisory Group meeting Tuesday night.

But funding may have hit a snag and delayed any building for a few years, according to supporters of the dog park’s current location.

Kensington resident Jason Douglas-Hiley is leading the fight to keep it open with a petition.

"To close half of it or all of it and make us wait 2 to 5 years while they get more funding for a new dog park, it doesn't seem right. Keep the interim dog park open until they've funded a new one," Douglas-Hiley said.

If a compromise is possible, no one who wants it more than Olivia Chin and her dog Boaz, who live feet away.

"I do want more peace and quiet. I do want the dust level decreased. I do want everybody to be happy and the neighborhood to be pleased with whatever decision we make," said Chin.

Monday night, Ansermio Jake Estrada with Councilman Chris Ward’s office, informed NBC 7 it had “secured design funding for Phase II of the completion of Ward Canyon Park, and will continue working to secure the funds necessary for construction in the upcoming budget. Furthermore, once the design for Phase ll is complete the city will have the opportunity to apply for state and federal grant funding.”

It's still unclear what that means for the location and the future of the dog park specifically. NBC 7 is waiting for a response on that.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, they plan on talking about enforcing hours at the park and building sound walls as options for a compromise.

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