Dogs in Washington Park no longer have evenings for off-leash activities.
Back in August, the City Council granted a trial period of off-leash dog hours at Washington Park from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. However, the City Council this week rejected making the extension permanent.
“I don’t want to be turning Washington Park into a dog park,” said Vice Mayor Ann Keighran. “I am always very concerned about the safety of the people in Washington Park, especially Washington Park because there are a lot of kids.”
Mayor Jerry Deal and Councilmember Cathy Baylock joined Keighran in her disapproval of extending dog off-leash hours at the park, Baylock echoing her safety concerns.
During the six-month trial period, staff on both the Parks and Recreation sides of the Parks and Recreation Department received no complaints about dogs off leash. There was one citation, one warning and two calls to police over the period of time.
However, those facts failed to negate the issues of safety and comfort with off-leash dogs.
“The safety issue is my main concern,” said Baylock. “A lot of people do not know how to deal with a dog off leash if they’re not dog people.”
This conversation raised a larger issue: the lack of a satisfactory dog park in Burlingame. Deal said he would first like to see a bona fide dog park, and Councilmember Terry Nagel suggested building one of the west side of Burlingame.Councilmembers reported complaints about the current dog park at Bayside Park, as well as recommendations from residents on how to make the park better.
“There’s a lot of things we could do to make that park worth going to,” said Baylock. “I think that would be the appropriate place to start.”