Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015 – 2:29 PM
By Victoria Talbot
With a promised dog park at Foothill and Alden Drive stalled in environmental reviews, Beverly Hills seems to be the most doggie un-enlightened city West Los Angeles. No other city is without a dog park. One resident has again raised the question of bringing the dogs to Roxbury Park.
The entire City can almost hear the collective groan from City Council and staff, remembering a time a few years ago when the subject alone was enough to bring on the dogs and the dog fights. “Oh no! Here we go again . . .”
But Mark Elliot, who will be addressing the Parks and Recreation Commission on Monday, seems to think that times have changed, and that Roxbury Park is the place.
Dog owners feel that one of the lawn-bowling courts can be used for the purpose. Elliot has been leaving his calling cards at places pet owners frequent in a massive effort to drive public sentiment. Apparently, he wasn’t around for the Roxbury Park wars that resulted in the way-too-tiny Community Center that doesn’t welcome the students from Beverly Hills High School across the street – but caters to the elderly. That process also rejected the dog park part.
Currently, if one steps into the park with a dog the Park Rangers practically chase them out. They are diligent and focused to make sure that no dog is off leash or misbehaving, following owners around to protect the park and the people using it. It is distinctly un-friendly to dogs.
But Elliot showed up at the last meeting and in public comment, he asked that the Commission revisit the Roxbury Park location.
Other locations have been considered and rejected. The issue is land. Land is valuable and the City hasn’t got much of it that isn’t being maxed out already.
One thing is for certain: the City needs a dog park. No more empty promises.
Also of interest on Monday’s agenda is a little item fingering the personal trainers. Many residents do not know that it is not legal for paid professionals to benefit from access to public parks. The City’s solution? Charge them for it and get a little bit of that profit for themselves.
At issue is the question of liability. Lawyers reign in these situations and the City is deep pockets. Someone gets injured and the City is sued. The Recreation and Parks Commission will be looking at the issue after it was brought to their attention at a public meeting last month. One resident was astounded and dismayed that her one-on-one with her personal trainer was any of the City’s business.
This issue, in cities such as Santa Monica, has been hotly contested. Affluent ‘hoods generate more business, and sometimes bootcamps spring up. In Santa Monica, a whole culture has arisen at the famous “stairs”, prompting the City to examine the risks and benefits. It has been recognized that it is very difficult to discern when there money being exchanged for a service vs. two people working out together.
This discussion is ongoing as the City finds its way.