By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Facility Repair and Maintenance Commission Task Force hosted a special meeting on Wednesday morning, October 6, where updates about the future of a dog park in Pacific Palisades were discussed.
“The department, a number of years ago, had prepared a couple of concepts for a new dog park in Temescal Canyon along with cost estimates for those,” RAP Superintendent of Planning, Maintenance and Construction Branch Darryl Ford explained. “In the intervening years, there’s been ongoing discussions about how best to fund that project and how to move that forward.”
Years in the making as an effort between the Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working Group and CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, the future home of the proposed dog park has been identified as a 35,000-square-foot area near the base of Temescal Canyon Road. Plans include a fenced and divided large and small dog area, as well as gating, water, benches, shade, and a donor wall.
During the meeting, Ford explained that the council office has directed the department to prepare an updated cost estimate and revise the original concepts in order to give the council office and stakeholders an idea of what the dog park would cost today, as Ford reported the original cost estimate was done in 2017.
Commissioner Joe Halper, a resident of Pacific Palisades, asked Ford for an overview of current construction and maintenance concerns associated with the dog park.
Ford explained that in all of the recent dog park projects Recreation and Parks has done, the department has moved toward the use of synthetic material for maintenance and upkeep purposes over turf, which tends to turn to dirt. He cited Glen Alla Dog Park in Marina del Rey as an example, where some parts of the park were synthetic material and others were landscaped, which turned to dirt quickly.
“Synthetic material, in the department’s opinion, is the preferred option,” Ford said. “It’ll obviously last longer and it’ll be much less maintenance for the department to do in order to keep it looking green.”
Halper then asked Ford if and when the project is approved and funded, how long he suspects construction will take, which Ford responded would be difficult to estimate at this point. Ford shared that since the park falls into the coastal zone, it will need to be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission, which he hoped would be an expedited process but is “not something that’s within our control.”
“Our hope is that we can come quickly to a decision about the option to move forward with and the identification of the funding, and those would be the first two big hurdles,” Ford said. “Then from there we can start to develop a better schedule because we do need to design the dog park.”
Ford explained that the department has concepts but that construction documents would need to be prepared.
“We will get clarity on the options that are preferred, get the funding secured and from there, we know we have the resources so that we can start to prepare those construction documents that are actually needed,” Ford concluded.
Members of the Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working group shared after the meeting with the Palisadian-Post they are looking forward to getting an updated cost estimate from RAP, so that they have an accurate fundraising target.
“We believe that the dog park can be fully funded by Measure A monies already collected,” according to the statement. “We look forward to working with CD11 to fund the total development for the Palisades dog park, but will likely still need donations from the community. Please let us know what you would be willing to contribute if fundraising becomes necessary so that we know what we can count on from the community at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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