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Neighbors worry about changes to dog park in Ward Canyon

City has plans to renovate park, but no funding
Ward Canyon Dog Park.png
Posted at 8:52 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 11:52:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Dog owners who live in Normal Heights are worried about the future of the off-leash dog park at Ward Canyon.

Earlier this month, signs appeared saying the large-dog area would be closed through the end of March 2020. People who use the park say it's because a few neighbors complained about the noise to the local Advisory Committee.

Because the large-dog area is closed, all sizes of dogs have been sharing the small-dog area next to it.

"It's really crowded," says dog owner Christina Ardon. "When people get off work, everyone's over here. It's a little bit of a madhouse."

"It's intimidating to smaller dogs," says Jason Douglas-Hiley. "They won't come into the park because they're afraid of the large dogs harassing the smaller dogs."

Meanwhile, the City of San Diego has plans to renovate the entire park. Renderings show the area where the large-dog park currently sits would be turned into a community garden. The small-dog park would be expanded.

But, City Councilmember Chris Ward's office says there is no funding for that project, and no timetable for when it could be added to the budget.

People who use the park say they're afraid it will disappear while the project sits in limbo.

"To have to wait 2-5 years for them to construct a new park is a lifetime for a dog," says Douglas-Hiley.

Park supporters have started a petition, asking the city to safeguard the small-dog area and also fence off a different portion of Ward Canyon for large dogs to use. They're also encouraging people to go to the Adams Recreation Advisory Group meeting on October 22 to voice their concerns.

The meeting is at 6 pm, at the Adams Recreation Center (3491 Adams Avenue).