SCNA Listening Session on Sierra 2 Dog Park, July 26

Timeline of Events

SCNA Board involvement in our mission to represent all Curtis Park residents and to serve as a facilitator to arrive at a fair resolution of the dog park issue.

  • Feb. 2022, SCNA receives first complaints regarding overlapping use of off-leash dogs
    and other park activities at Sierra 2 Park.
  • March 2022 NCC (SCNA’s Neighborhood Concerns Committee) representatives meet
    with a City Parks Commissioner and soccer club representative at the Sierra 2 to discuss
    soccer team concerns about unleashed dogs in soccer area.
  • From June through Sept. 2022 NCC and Sierra 2 along with soccer league and Dogxilliary
    representatives meet with YPCE (City’s Youth, Parks and Cultural Enrichment Dept.) at
    Sierra 2 Park to further discuss these concerns.
  • At Sept. 2022 meeting with the above, YPCE informs those present that the Sierra 2 Park
    does not qualify as a dog park alongside children’s playground and soccer field due to
    small size of the park; insufficient room for required separate entrances and section for
    small and large dogs; would entail loss of a dedicated soccer field already in short
    supply; existing damage from dogs to grass costly to repair; proximity to two children’s
    playground (public playground at one end and Great Beginnings playground at the
  • YPSE also relays concerns that Sierra 2 Park being publicized as a citywide dog park. NCC
    noted that YPCE website includes a hot link to an outsider user page that referred to
    “the best dog park in the city at Sierra 2.” YPCE said they were unaware of this and
    would speak to their legal department. They added they would be taking it down and
    they, in fact, did so.
  • At both meetings with YPCE, NCC asks about alternative sites for a dog park including
    the possibility of the water retention basin in Crocker Village. YPCE responded that CV
    retention basin would be well-worth looking into. The YPCE reps noted that there was
    no children’s playground present there so it could be a single-use dog park.
  • At the Sept. 2022 meeting, NCC representatives ask for these concerns in writing for a
    full understanding of the YPCE position to be explained to soccer team reps and parents
    from the children’s playground who had already been making inquiries to NCC. YPCE
    stated they would keep NCC informed and would work with all groups going forward.
    August 10, 2023
  • NCC followed up the request in an email on Oct. 5 listing the concerns expressed by the
    City and, again, asked for a written summary to ensure NCC knew the exact YPCE
  • As NCC received no City responses to both stated and written questions, SCNA President
    Bill Hoover initiated direct contact with YPCE, seeking the answers to the same
    questions NCC had been asking for two months. From Oct. – Nov. 2022 neither SNA
    President nor NCC receive any substantive information from the City.
  • Around Nov. 2022, NCC/SCNA learns of a new dog group called Dogx.
  • City representatives appeared at the Nov. 2022 SCNA board stating they do not plan to
    continue Sierra 2 Park as a dog park, citing safety concerns (reported in Dec. 2022
  • Viewpoint since Nov. 2022 includes articles, Board Notes (synopsis of board meeting
    minutes), and neighbor points of view on the Sierra 2 Park dog park issue.
  • SCNA President’s column in Feb. 2023 Viewpoint notes that what had started as an issue
    involving Curtis Park residents now included residents from throughout the City and for
    that reason SCNA should take a much closer look at its level of involvement.
  • March 2023 Viewpoint covered the City led zoom meeting announcing dog park survey
    results. Viewpoint noted that the majority of respondents favored an off-leash dog park
    at Sierra 2 Park over Curtis Park, but that residents remain divided.
  • In that same March 2023 issue, President Hoover highlighted months of unsuccessful
    inquiries by NCC to City staff and noted SCNA had yet to hear from the City regarding his
    Feb. letter asking the City to clarify their process for siting a dog park.
  • At the March 2023 SCNA board meeting, members discuss how SCNA had not been
    included in critical meetings with the City despite repeated attempts to contact them,
    that communication between the City and SCNA had been a problem, and the
    importance of all stakeholders being notified of future meetings.
  • At the same March meeting, it is also noted that not all residents were able to respond
    to the earlier City survey or they felt the survey did not accurately reflect their concerns.
    An additional survey was recommended to inform residents of what a dog park would
    August 10, 2023
    involve before soliciting opinions. Concern was expressed that the City had not yet
    explained their process for siting a dog park.
  • Board Notes from March Viewpoint relay that Councilmember Jennings’ staff planned to
    brief SCNA’s Executive Committee soon in response to SCNA President’s letter requesting
    clarification about City process for siting a neighborhood dog park. (That briefing did not
  • An April 2023 Viewpoint article announced that the City had begun work on an “action
    plan” shortly after the Feb. 9 release of the survey results. (Soon thereafter City installs
    temporary dog park fencing).
  • Another April 2023 Viewpoint article by an ad hoc committee set up by the SCNA board
    sought to identify and document both sides of the issue, pros and cons as well as risks
    and benefits, of converting the Sierra 2 Park into an official city-wide dog park.
  • At the June 2023 board meeting a letter of support for the City action plan (dated
    3/27/2023) is approved; the action plan provides a City process to include development
    of multiple and alternative site plans for consideration as well as future “open house
    meetings” in June and Oct. or Nov., during which neighbors will have an opportunity to
    be heard.
  • In letter of support for the action plan, the SCNA board offers to partner with
    Councilmember Jennings who had affirmed that the City would consider all options,
    provide for transparency, and hold forums to get public input on the issue.
  • The June 2023 Viewpoint again offers two opposing opinion pieces from neighbors on
    the dog park issue.
  • The SCNA board sends a letter to all interested parties urging civil and respectful
    behavior after reports of intimidating action toward those involved in the dog park issue.
  • On July 26 the SCNA board holds a “Listening Session” where all dog park pro and con
    advocacy group leaders briefly state their goals and concerns about the dog park
    without debate or negotiation. A short Q and A session followed. Dennis Rogers
    (Councilmember Jennings’s Chief of Staff) and Shannon Brown (Assistant Youth, Parks &
    Community Enrichment Director) attend. Link to the video is here.
    August 10, 2023
  • SCNA board members, at their Aug. 2, 2023 board meeting, holds a debriefing on the
    City Open House of July 19 and the SCNA Listening Session of July 26. The board
    subsequently votes to oppose Option A (committing most of the remaining acreage of
    Sierra 2 Park to a full-time dog park) (no other motion) and to authorize a letter to be
    prepared in conjunction with each of the advocacy groups to address concerns about
    the process the City is following and its failure to provide critical information about the
    legal rules and restrictions on siting a full-time dog park not only at Sierra 2 Green, but
    at any of the other alternative sites proposed at the City Open House.
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