Alhambra came closer to getting a dog park at a special City Council meeting Monday night at the Alhambra Civic Center Library.
City staff proposed four potential locations: Burke Heritage Park (behind the Alhambra Historical Museum), Alhambra Park, a New Avenue area shared by San Gabriel, and the Edison easement on Raymond Ave. Of these, Burke Heritage was identified as an ideal location since it is not actively used. A wash area near Chapel and Commonwealth was also identiied as a potential location for a dog park.
An Alhambra Source reader poll found that just over half of respondents favored a dog park in an existing park, and 21% encouraged a dedicated dog-park in a new space.
Requirements for the park included clean-up stations, fencing, water and shade stations. Challenges outlined that staff and residents would face, include noise, smells, and maintenance of the park.
Only one resident, Lola Armendariz, gave public comment. She proposed the City Hall lawn as another workable solution.
The cost of creating a dog park is not clear, since it's dependant upon the chosen location. City Manager Julio Fuentes said current park funds are prioritized for replacing playground equipment at Almansor Park and a new roof at the Almansor Court facility.
While there is no extra money for a dog park, the city could take a line of credit if necessary. Councilman Steven Placido said that while a park would be a great asset to the city, he wouldn’t “want to go to debt over a dog park.” Placido proposed an incremental approach where the city could plan on setting aside money over the next few years.
Mayor Luis Ayala said that parks should prioritize people over animals. He recounted negative exchanges with dog owners at local parks and how the size of some dogs could intimidate children. Councilman Stephen Sham expressed concerns that the park could attract residents from neighboring cities.
The Council asked the staff to pursue the Burke Heritage Park and Commonwealth wash locations. No time frame was provided.