March 2012 home page

Leashing Shores Park
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


One of our liveliest controversies has been the shared use of Shores Park between the Little League, which includes numerous families and children, and the dog communities. The City Council passed an ordinance on January 23rd establishing a formula for allocating the Park between both groups. In so doing previous proposals for putting up a fence and dividing the Park among contending parties was abandoned, as was a proposal requiring dog owners to buy “off-leash” dog tags.
After extensive discussion, the following ordinance was adopted:

“….allow the Little League or other licensed sporting groups to use the park on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:30 p.m. until dusk. Dogs will be allowed off-leash every day from 6 to 8:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until dusk on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays...All other daylight hours not included in the ordinance or used by the Winston School will be reserved for general park use, with dogs on leashes and no organized sports.”

Tom Sohn, of Del Mar, expressed concern that the adopted ordinance would require a “terrible amount of enforcement: when “virtually nothing in Del Mar gets enforced.” His concern was echoed by several members of the City Council who asked that some objective criteria be developed by staff by which the Council might determine, after a trial period of six months, whether or not the ordinance was working.

Suggested criteria, which might be applied to determine the success of the ordinance, include: general satisfaction with hours and other regulations by both groups, extent of park use, cleanliness of the park, residents’ sense of public safety, etc. A listing of final criteria and determination of how they will be enforced remain to be discussed at a future public Council meeting.


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