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Pleasanton to build $300,000 new dog park

Original post made on Aug 5, 2014

Spacious and often elaborate dog parks are the rage of many American cities, and now Pleasanton is about to join in.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 7:49 AM

Comments (37)

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Posted by Robert
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

$300,000 for a dog park?? I can think of many other things this city could be spending that money on!!
That is absolutely stupid. I like dogs. I have one. I don't need some fancy dog park to walk my dog. And neither do any other Pleasanton residents.
This city is definitely 'going to the dogs'


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by NoDog
a resident of Ironwood
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

How about spending $300K to hire people to pick up the poop dog owners seem to leave behind?


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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:38 am

Spending $300,000 on a dog park? That is a waste of money! There are plenty of places to walk your dog right now! That money could be used for people, not dogs! Like more computers for the schools, more teachers for special education students, more money for Axis Health Care etc...

Wake up to the real needs of this community and spend it on people, not more dog parks!


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Posted by Al
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

How about $300,000 for a parking structure downtown? Something that is desperately needed.


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Posted by Pooch Parade
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:42 am

Just to fire you up more: Check out the Pooch Parade at the first Wednesday tomorrow. The rowds will be sparse as more of our people will go to Livermore. It is official: Downtown is dead and the town has gone to the dogs.


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Posted by Maggie
a resident of Valencia
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:45 am

As someone with a dog and no children, it is about time my tax dollars go to something I can use! Now lets see if this actually gets done - the powers that be in Pleasanton have a way of delaying projects for one reason or another.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

[Removed because it is irrelevant]


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Posted by wow
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

I think our schools need that money a lot more than the dogs do! What a waste of money!


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Posted by Deport Cholo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2014 at 9:55 am

This list just keeps growing of projects that the City Council whizzes money away on while critical infrastructure maintenance goes wanting. We have streets in the city that are in horrible shape. We need to be watering golf courses, existing sports parks, and medians with grey water, so grey water lines need to be put in (or else you may lose all your landscaping next year). Library expansion keeps getting tabled. A parking structure is needed downtown before all of downtown moves to Livermore. All of those are far more important than building a dog park.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

How can so many folks be so down on dogs...?
[Removed because it is irrelevant]


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Posted by Ptownnative
a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Aug 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

Why do they have to get some guy from Berkely? Why can't the dog owners volunteer to do it? I'm sure they would all pitch in for their beloved doggies. I would! All the surveying and analysis...and oh the 'presentation' is all over priced. We can take care of our own. We don't need to spend that much money on an outsider. That's a lot of money. Love the dogs but not the counsels descisions.


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Posted by Dog Lover
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

Our dogs do not need a fancy shmancy dog park ! There are so many beautiful parks in Pleasanton where dogs can safely play off leash. All you have to do is walk your dog in your neighborhood and look. My dog has been playing safely in a park that
No one hardly ever uses right off of Golden Rd. and Hopyard....Hansen park also has large open spaces for my dog to safely fetch her ball and interact with other dogs. All a dog needs is a good daily walk with his human.
Please spend that money on something that is more important...like a parking structure so us humans have a place to park our cars when we need a good walk downtown to spend our money there and not Livermore !




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Posted by Kris
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

This is so ridiculous that we are spending this money on a dog park! what a joke....what a sad pathetic joke


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Posted by Jade
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I think it's a wonderful development and sorely needed. Many dogs really need to be able to get in a full-out, off leash run, as well as be able to socialize off leash with other dogs...something an on-leash walk can't provide. Livermore already has some fantastic off leash parks; if we want P-town people to stay and spend leisure time money here rather than Livermore, this could help a little bit towards that end (e.g., I often go to breakfast or coffee before or after heading to the dog park with friends).


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Posted by Suzie Wong
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm

[Removed because it was irrelevant}


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm

[Removed because it was irrelevant}


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Extremely disappointed in this decision by city "leaders". How a dog park can trump the city's REAL needs and the Bernal Master Plan, which truly took into consideration PEOPLE over DOGS is an embarrassment. Web Link


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Posted by Jam
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Jam is a registered user.

What a disappointment that this city is putting the needs of dogs ahead of the needs of the school children and many other things.
What are they thinking. Why not make one of the new big developers foot the bill for a dog park. They are going to be bringing in hundreds of people to use up the city's resources the least they can do is give something back


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Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

YOU PEOPLE DONT GET IT. Dog parks ARE about people. Dogs bring a lot of joy to families and their owners (guardians, pet parents, whatever). They make us get out and go for hikes, walks, and be social with other people.


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Posted by PW62
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

PW62 is a registered user.

Great news! Pleasanton only has one dog park and by comparison, Livermore has 5.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is great news. Why not a "pay to play" fee for those who use the park? It could either reimburse the coffers or help pay for upkeep.


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Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Aug 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

Citizen Paine is a registered user.

Okay, so $300K seems like a lot of money -- does anyone have the budget breakdown, so we can see what's being included in that figure? Without that, all we have is a geewhiz number.

About 40% of Pleasanton households have at least one dog. How many park uses can there be that potentially appeal to that percentage of residents? Baseball fields? Tennis courts? Seems quite doubtful that many park uses can draw from such a substantial number. The DP serves People, with dogs.

And as others have mentioned, the DP serves non-dog-owners, as well, as it inevitably means fewer lawn ornaments, off-leashers where they're Not welcome, and less nuisance barking from tired, happy hounds.

Now, if there are amenities that gild this lily, I can assure you that they are for the people -- the dogs couldn't care less about high-end features.

So let's just be clear -- the money is for the people, and let's spend it wisely. But let's not confuse the budget with the concept -- it's an excellent addition to Pleasanton's parks.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:52 am

Commentor is a registered user.

This dog park would definitely be for people - the selfish, frivolous FEW. Did you know that more than 35% of PUSD high school kids are not college/career ready? And that our schools are so strapped they can't afford enough money to pay custodians to do the work of keeping our schools well maintained - that's 14,000 students that can really use this money to help reduce class sizes. How about gym space for team sports - did you know there was a shortage of that in Pleasanton? What happened to the community arts center, Native American meditation center, beautification that was included in the Bernal Master Plan that our City Council conveniently trumped for a DOG PARK. Mental health services aren't even close to being able to service everyone who needs them and therefore many of our youth either already use, or are at risk for drug/alcohol addiction. Ask any high schooler if they've been offered drugs at school - you'd be surprised at how rampant a problems this is. Walk down the Marilyn Kane trail - many people and dogs ALREADY enjoy the NATURAL beauty of this area. Do we really want to see some chain link fence/dog park there?. The view to the ridge would be obstructed by - a dog park??!! The citizens of Pleasanton do not a need a dog park just so a few dog owners can UNLEASH their dogs and the dogs/owners can "socialize" . Dogs are pack animals and many are territorial - for humans to project that it's good for their to socialize, unleashed with other strange dogs in public is a dangerous experiment they can do, but please don't use my hard earned money, as a taxpayer for this. I'll bet it will lead to more dogfights than "socialization". If there is an attorney out there willing to help us fight this, I am certain many would chip in to stop this gross misappropriation of funds and hold those who made it happen responsible. Many of us in the neighborhood voiced our concerns but apparently the City of Pleasanton did not listen - why they even waste more time and money asking if it's not taken into consideration? Get the corruption out of our city government.


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Posted by The Dogfather
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

The Dogfather is a registered user.

Everybody always has a 'pet' cause that's more important than any specific project. For the Pleasanton Anything to plead poverty is laughable. It just ain't so. This is also the first time I've heard 40% of our friends and neighbors called The FEW.

Commentor, your ignorance of dog park behavior is clearly stated. Dogs are territorial, but the point is that this is not their territory -- fights, or even displays, are very rare -- indeed much fewer among canines than among their people, whose behaviors is typically much more sketchy I've broken-up many more skirmishes betw homosaps than canis familiarii at the DP.

There are many situations in this world that are worthy of y/our righteous outrage. Please go find one.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 8, 2014 at 11:35 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I admit I haven't followed this closely enough to know the amounts, but it seems to me pet owners have paid licensing fees (albeit small) for many years. Maybe it's only enough to pay for staff, maybe less, maybe more, but it isn't like residents with pets aren't paying taxes as well as the fees.

Also, the city and the district are two separate entities. You cannot use that $300,000 for the schools.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Dogfather - 40% of Pleasanton residents own a pet? or 40% of Pleasanton residents want to spend $300,000 on a dog park before OTHER needs? Clarify, better yet, cite your evidence. Big difference. For you to say that there aren't bigger problems than a dog park in Pleasanton is, quite simply ignorant.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Kathleen, I highly doubt there is anything in the law or IRS tax code to stop them donating to a non-profit with like minded goals. They just have to get their priorities straight. Is Pleasanton Parks and Rec really in a position where they HAVE to spend the money on SOMETHING and cannot give to our schools, or senior services, or health agencies, other human services? Someone show me, please. This is the type of thing that makes the public distrust any "government" if this passes, expect donations to PPIE, PUSD, other support for public measures and other similar causes to go down. Distrust breeds problems far larger than the need for another dog park.


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Posted by The Dogfather
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

The Dogfather is a registered user.

Here ya go, Mr. Scrooge: The number is not 'pets' -- it's 'dogs,' based on the American Veterinary Medical Assn formula. Web Link See also: Web Link 40% may be low hereabouts because of the higher popularity of dogs in this region and high economic stratum (with everybody but YOU).

By contrast, only 9% of people in the US play tennis. Web Link 10% play softball. Web Link Aaaannndddd 3% play soccer. Web Link

Those are relevant, apples-to-apples comparisons. So, Pleasanton, tear up all those courts and playing fields, and don't even THINK about a swimming pool. You huffy tea partiers seem to think you can choose where your taxes go by referendum -- that's not how our system works. Go take a walk in the park -- but don't kick anybody's dog, okay?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Commentor, I have seen cooperation to build and use facilities (Harvest Park gym). I have seen a district pay $4M to buy fair share for use of a road improvements (vineyard). I have seen the city offer a loan to the district ( don't recall if it happened). I have seen shared landscaping crews, fields, resource officers, and theater use. But I have not seen an outright gift of funds. I believe it is prohibited, but I'll have to do the research unless someone else knows. There are examples where cities run the schools, like Chicago. I'll let you draw your own conclusions there.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Kathleen, cooperation is good, whether it's an outright or not-so-outright gift of funds, there are other ways to put the money towards more pressing needs. I fail to see the point in comparing Pleasanton to Chicago. Please clarify.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Calm down, Dogfather. This bickering is going nowhere. Don't be surprised if, if put on the ballot where EVERYONE gets a vote, this dog park doesn't fly. If the majority of people want to spend $300,000 on another dog park then I'll agree to disagree. That's not what I think happened here though. You get a few myopic dog-lovers in key positions and this is what happens. Not really how democracy is supposed to work, is it? BTW you still didn't answer my question, but I'm not going to hold my breath for the truth from you. Good bye -


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Just noting that too much city in the schools and vice versa (no examples?) makes the separate priorities of each entity fuzzy and possibly both entities. Chicago is a hot mess.


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Posted by The Dogfather
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:56 pm

The Dogfather is a registered user.

Me calm down? After You called for a lawyer's crusade against this grave injustice? One of us waxed apoplectic, and it was not me.

When you ask a question knowing full well there's no answer, do not expect one. There has been no poll done of Pleasantonians -- if there was, you'd complain about the cost of it. That's why, as here, we work through our elected officials.

Now, allow me a question: do You Know for a fact that it's just 'a few myopic dog lovers in key positions?' If so, cite Your sources, and Name those myopes, preferably including their vision test results. Let me guess that you have no such evidence. Otherwise, bring it on.

People who care -- they get involved and work toward a goal. People who don't get involved -- they sit back on message boards and complain bitterly.


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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Dogfather, Measure P was approved by voters and did not include a dog park.

Web Link

Waayyy at the bottom is something that says amendments required voter approval at a City election. That did not happen. I do believe there is grounds for legal action against the City of Pleasanton here, don't you?



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Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Aug 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Commentor is a registered user.

Source: Web Link

Potentially permitted uses within the Phase II Plan Area are listed below.

(Note there is no mention of a dog park)

Potential Land Uses

Agricultural club
Agriculture
Child care
Community vegetable garden
Cultural arts facilities
a. Art classrooms
b. Art gallery
c. Rehearsal space
d. Theater (800-seat indoor facility for the performing arts)
Educational facilities
Environmental education center
Fire station
Native American history reflective area
Open space
Park and recreation uses (including lighted sports fields and amphitheater)
Park-and-ride commuter parking lot
Public utilities and improvements
Trails
Youth/community center



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Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

OMG. That's right Plesantonians, if you, the noisy minority don't like it, referendum it. Complain, whine, and protest about everything. Our town has become negative and unwelcoming. Our sister city should be Berkeley and not some likeable town in Latin America or whereabouts.
The level of affluence in Pleasanton is high and surely we are educated enough to have balanced perspectives and achieve everything we want.
The dog park is just one component of the Bernal Park as pointed out earlier which makes 300 acres useable to a wide range of interests and age-groups. I am sure the City Council reports explain the cost breakdowns so if you think it is too expensive, then propose some cost cutting measures, but don't take it away just because you don't think it is important enough. THANK YOU CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS FOR THE DOG PARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

I forgot to mention. The City Council has nothing to do with Pleasanton Unified School District funding and expeditures. The School District is entirely a separate agency. There are questions and concerns I have with the District's spending, programs, and falling test scores especially if they plan to propose yet another parcel tax to pay for the short-fall. However, if these are also your concerns, questioning the City Council on funding a dog park as part of another phase of the Bernal Park for the community's use is completely unrelated.


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