Dog-free zone planned for Powerhouse Park in Del Mar

By Joe Tash

A tot lot and adjacent lawn at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar will soon be off-limits to dogs, based on discussion at Monday’s (April 15) Del Mar City Council meeting.

On the agenda was a recommendation made in February by the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, which was originally suggested by Del Mar resident Rich Ehrenfeld, to create a “barefoot friendly” area in Powerhouse Park where toddlers and small children could play.

All five members of the council supported the concept of a dog-free area at the park, and directed staff to draft an ordinance and an enforcement plan.  The ordinance will come back to the council at a later date.

Currently, leashed dogs are allowed at Powerhouse Park and other parks in the city, and are also allowed on local beaches, although there are seasonal restrictions.  From Labor Day through June 14, dogs are allowed unleashed on the city’s North Beach, near the mouth of the San Dieguito River, which is nicknamed Dog Beach.

Allowing dogs and kids to mix at playgrounds creates sanitary and safety issues, Ehrenfeld said.

“It’s time for Del Mar to get kid-friendly,” said Ehrenfeld, who was the only member of the public to speak on the issue at Monday’s council meeting.

By keeping dogs out of the tot lot and adjacent lawn area, Ehrenfeld said, families will feel free to let their children play in the grass without fear of contamination from droppings.

Councilman Don Mosier, a physician, said the issue is one of public safety.

A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control lists 33 different diseases that can be transmitted to humans from dogs or cats.

“These are serious health issues,” Mosier said.

“The data from around the world says this is a problem.  I think we need to create a space that’s dog-free and this is a good place to start,” he said.

Other council members also supported the idea of a dog-free zone at Powerhouse Park.

Ehrenfeld suggested that signs marking the area be “light-hearted,” and cited a Los Angeles Park where signs prohibit dogs but state, “Bare Feet Welcome.”

Mayor Terry Sinnott agreed.  “I encourage it to be light-hearted.  I’d hate to have 20 signs (saying) ‘Keep your dog out of here,’” he said.

Related posts:

  1. Del Mar adopts off-leash hours for Del Mar Shores Park
  2. Council passes off-leash hours for Del Mar Shores Park
  3. City Council continues shared use of Del Mar Shores Park
  4. Solana Beach addresses outdated leash laws
  5. Tot lot gets new, safer surface at Powerhouse Park

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Posted by Staff on Apr 16, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Comments for “Dog-free zone planned for Powerhouse Park in Del Mar”

  1. Bob Loblaw

    The fact of the matter is that almost everywhere you go in San Diego County is a “dog-free” zone. Dog owners are over a third of the population, but as taxpayers they are getting virtually nothing in the way of recreational areas they can enjoy with their fur kids.

    Del Mar wants to consider itself as Carmel South, but they are nothing of the sort. In Carmel, I can take my dog just about anywhere. Business owners have discovered that dog owners are happy to spend their money in a place that welcomes them. Del Mar is really missing out by being so bigoted about dogs.

    I’d like to ask Don Mosier when is the last time anyone got one of these dreaded diseases from a dog in Del Mar? My guess is never. But the fear-mongering dog bigots want dogs banned everywhere. I have found the vast majority of dog owners to be very responsible about picking up after their pets. How about all the foul diseases one can get from filthy diapers? How about banning toddlers from our parks and beaches? It make about as much sense.

    • Mike Johnson

      A responsible dog owner would have a yard their dogs can run around in. If you don’t have the space don’t get a dog! Keep your dog on lease. People have a serious problem with that. It’s not just because your dog but others dogs. It’s a way of controlling them. The law says a 6 foot leash is needed.

      • Bob Loblaw

        Mike – you obviously don’t know much about dogs and their needs, to say nothing of their owners’ needs. No yard is big enough for a dog to run, and no owner can run fast enough. Dogs need to run and socialize with other dogs. A yard, no matter how large, is a prison. Here’s an idea: Why don’t you stay in your house. Then you wouldn’t have to encounter anything you might deem unpleasant. We’ll see how long that lasts before you are climbing the walls. The worst thing you can do to a dog is leave them in the back yard, bored and neglected. And whatever you do, don’t come to Carmel; you would hate it there.

  2. Susan Henson

    This is just sad. Is there a plan to keep bird droppings, squirrel droppings, rabbit droppings, fly droppings, etc. off the grass, too? What is the plan for the ocean? Is there a plan to add a filter, to eliminate all of the droppings floating around in the water left by sea life? Most responsible people pick up after their pets, schedule annual exams for their pets to make sure they don’t have parasites, etc. I have another solution, perhaps worried parents should use hand sanitizer for their children. Issue fines to irresponsible people who don’t pick up after their pets, and just let responsible people and their pups enjoy the park.

    • Jess

      Couldn’t agree more! I have seen countless times when people leave dirty diapers on benches and don’t even bother to pick them up or throw them away! What’s the difference?

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