(ANIMAL NEWS) Los Angeles has only three existing dog beaches, and one of them is in danger of being shut down. The beach in question is located in Rancho Palos Verdes and is up for closure because it’s too “popular.” Residents are concerned about the large amount of people swarming their beach, as well as sanitation concerns in regards to the dogs. The City Council will decide the issue on Tuesday, April 3. Read on to learn why locals are having trouble accepting the beach visitors. — Global Animal
In a move sure to bring howls of protests from dog owners, city officials are recommending that a dog beach pilot program in Rancho Palos Verdes – barely a month old – be rescinded.
The recommendation will be taken up Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.
It’s simply too popular.
City officials cited an unexpected response at the beach, saying the program “appears to be beyond what is appropriate and sustainable for the site, especially given the apparent pent-up demand for this type of facility in the greater Los Angeles area.”
Only two other dog beaches exist in Los Angeles County – in Long Beach and Malibu.
“Due to widespread media attention received and the general lack of dog beaches in Los Angeles County, activity at RPV Beach has increased significantly over the last two months.
“Further, the city has continued to receive public feedback, primarily from residents concerned with large crowds parking at the site and accessing the beach, as well as safety, sanitation and environmental concerns resulting from dogs on the beach and in the tide pools.
“Several council members have also individually raised the issue of dogs on the beach with staff and requested that the item be brought back for further consideration.”
The staff report recommends canceling the 12-month program that was approved on Feb. 21, allowing dog owners to off-leash their canines at Rancho Palos Verdes Beach. The stretch of rocky shoreline lies just below the Ocean Trails Reserve and Trump National Golf Course.
The area has been used as an underground dog beach for years, without formal approvals. When the beach was transferred from private Trump ownership to the city, council members agreed to study formalizing the off-leash use.
But Rancho Palos Verdes City Manager Carolyn Lehr said some council members now have indicated they want to rescind the policy.
A report stated that staff has become “concerned that the regulations and improvements to the beach that would be needed to address all of the concerns that have been raised through the public outreach process would overtax the city’s resources and would benefit a specific user group to the detriment of the environment and the greater public use and enjoyment of the beach.”
Rangers reported up to 60 people and 35 dogs on the beach in one weekend alone. On average, some 15 people and 15 dogs visit the beach on weekdays.
Once the weather warms up, officials believe larger crowds will descend on the 5-acre area.
Among objections was a March 27 letter from Lili Amini, general manager of the Trump National Golf Club.
“Ever since the council approved a pilot program for the dog beach, we have seen a firsthand glimpse of the dangers, poor sanitation and overall negative effect to our business,” Amini wrote.
“Not only have we had more complaints of dog feces, unleashed dogs, parking issues, but we have lost business,” the letter continued. “No one will understand the issues until they are directly affected. … This has caused chaos for a lot of our people.”
Others complained of encountering off-leash dogs at the top of the cliffs before dog owners reached the dog beach below.
But one dog owner, who asked that her name not be used, said it’s unfair to judge the program so quickly.
“This is a typical response to something new,” she wrote in an email to the Daily Breeze. “It will die down, especially when people realize the amount of time and effort to get to this location. … The result should not be judged by the first two weekends out of the box. People are excited and will get over the thrill shortly.”
Meanwhile, the uncertain future of the site makes it unlikely that film permits for a new reality show – “Off Leash in America” – being pitched by Torrance musician Adrian Martinez will be granted for April 8 to kick off that show, Lehr said.
Martinez, whose plans were featured in a Daily Breeze article Friday, said he’s busy working on a backup plan for his Internet show’s opening shoot.
“Coordinating that as we speak with a pet-friendly resort,” he replied to an email inquiry.
More Contra Costa Times: http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_20299419/dog-beach-rancho-palos-verdes-may-close-too