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Mission Bay looks at changing hours for walking dogs

Dogs at Mission Bay
Posted at 2:10 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 09:41:06-04

MISSION BAY, Calif. (KGTV) — The hours for when dogs are allowed to be walked around Mission Bay's boardwalk could change.

Currently, San Diego laws state the following:

"Dogs are allowed on beaches after 6 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31 or after 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31. Licensed dogs are allowed on the beach, and on sidewalks and park areas near the beach, during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m., but they must be leashed."

On Wednesday, The Pacific Beach Planning Group has a meeting scheduled to discuss changing those hours as an agenda item, and two Mission Bay residents plan to give their oral arguments either in favor or against the change.

Jeff Purchin is in favor of changing the hours and wants to be allowed to walk his dogs anytime in Mission Bay.

Purchin lives on the boardwalk and says it's his backyard. His condominium does not include an area for pets.

no dogs sign mission bay
A sign outlining when dogs can't be walked around the Mission Bay boardwalk area.

Purchin is retired, so from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., he cannot legally take his dogs out for a walk during the day on the boardwalk, even though there are grass areas and doggie bag stations all around. He believes dog-owners should have the freedom to walk their dogs anytime along the boardwalk, as long as they're on a leash.

Since last summer, Purchin has been actively gathering signatures. To date, he has over 5,000 signatures on his petitionto get the City of San Diego's attention in finally extending the dog-walking hours.

"Why can't we walk our dogs anytime with a leash?" Purchin said. "It's also unstable on the sidewalk and the streets, and my wife’s fallen three times walking these dogs behind the condos. We pay a lot of money in taxes. There's no reason why we can’t walk our dogs with a leash anytime we want to."

Another Mission Bay resident, Linda Love, also supports changing the hours because she works from home.

"Tinker needs to be taken out multiple times," Love said. "I always have her on a leash, so I would really like to see the hours expanded. It’s very difficult to have a dog in this neighborhood and work from home, and not be able to take her for a quick walk."

Speaking against Purchin's proposal of dogs having 24/7 access on the boardwalk is another Mission Bay resident, Nicole Sours Larson.

Larson has been a long-time resident and works from home as well.

Larson said she doesn't have a problem with dogs, but she is in favor of keeping restricted dog-walking hours on the boardwalk to make it more equitable for those who don't have the same affinity for dogs, like Purchin.

Larson said she's advocating for those who love being on the boardwalk, but are not comfortable around dogs.

"As a child, I was knocked down by a dog," Larson said. "Having dogs on the beach all the time essentially is eliminating the possibility of people [avoiding] getting knocked over by a dog. People who are afraid of dogs, who are allergic to dogs, who are fragile and might be severely injured, like an elderly person with a walker, or a person in a wheelchair, or a toddler who is running around. I feel strongly that we need to preserve this sharing of the space and that not everybody likes dogs."

Larson said she's reasonable and would be in favor of a compromise. Instead of 24/7, she's comfortable with shortening the hours for dogs not being allowed on the boardwalk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of the status quo 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Pacific Beach Planning Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the PB Taylor Library.

Through a vote, it will decide if they are in favor of revising the hours to walk dogs along the Mission Bay Boardwalk.

Purchin said that he's confirmed with a council member that if the planning group votes in favor of the hours changing, that council member promises to present the proposal before the rest of City Council for further action.