On February 28, San Diego city council approved spending over $600,000 in redevelopment funds on a new leash-free dog park in downtown San Diego.
The 16,500-square-foot dog park — proposed for the block bordered by 11th Avenue, Market, Park Boulevard, and G Street — will share the space with an existing parking lot. The $600,000 will be used on new sidewalks, landscaping, and surface improvements to the parking lot.
Once those improvements are made, the parking lot operator will rent the land from the city's redevelopment agency and will be responsible for maintaining the lot and the dog park.
The dog park is another item on the long list of redevelopment projects that city officials want approved before Governor Jerry Brown dismantles the state's redevelopment agencies.
Some councilmembers believe the money could be used more wisely.
Councilmember David Alvarez commented on the dog park and responded to an earlier decision by the council to build the Bayside fire station on the corner of Pacific Highway and Cedar Street.
"We are finding so many creative things to do downtown. We are building a fire station that a report indicated...is not needed, and now we are building a dog park that will be operated by a parking operator," Alvarez said before the vote was taken. "There's already a dog park four blocks away. We are finding ways to do things downtown, but I think we need to look to make things happen in other parts of town."
Alvarez and councilmember Sherri Lightner were the only councilmembers opposed to the dog park.