Imperial beach dogs may soon get a place to play off-leash, after city officials recently reviewed options and asked its Parks and Recreation committee to come up with a list of possible locations and potential costs.
This is the city's latest foray into making a dog park. An earlier push in 2011 petered out without identifying a location that worked.
Calls, emails, and Facebook messages to the city chamber of commerce and IB Yappy, a group that has long pushed for an off-leash dog park were not returned. The IB Yappy Facebook page appears to be somewhat active — it notified dog owners of a July city-council meeting, but none spoke on the agenda item.
At the July 20 meeting, the city council asked I.B.'s Parks and Rec Department to take another look, according to city councilman Ed Spriggs.
"The city council, at my urging and others, directed staff to work with the Park and Rec Committee to identify sites and feasibility of each location and report back in one or two meetings," Spriggs said in an email. "The council wants to keep moving toward specific, costed options."
"The city looked at it in 2006, on Navy property that's within Coronado's jurisdiction," said Ed Vea, the assistant city manager. "We are now looking at four options and started moving in that direction."
One space is near the Bayshore Bikeway, but there are downsides.
"It's a railroad property with archaeological significance," Vea said. "It has a lot going on there we'd have to work in." The second was the Bayside Elementary School, an idea quickly nixed by the school board.
They also returned to an old favorite, the Navy property on Silver Strand Avenue just south of the manned gates to enter the Navy compound from the south.
"Staff has discussed, but not seriously explored several additional locations," the staff report says, mentioning Reama Park at 2nd and Elder, a vacant lot at the T-intersection of 10th and Iris, and other vacant properties.
Reama Park already has a section for dogs, but it's small, unfenced, and dogs must be leashed. On Sunday (August 7), a woman who had brought her dog said that it is conveniently located near her apartment but not big enough to be crowded with dogs.
"It's a nice space," she said, "but it's too close to the kids' area and the picnic tables — if there were a lot of dogs, they would just get in everyone's way here."
Picking a site isn't simple. Ideally, according to the staff report, it would be large, fenced, accessible to many residents. It should have minimal impact on its neighbors. Dogs are allowed on the beach and in many Imperial Beach parks but they must remain on a leash.