A needed to build a dog park in Mission Viejo tied Monday night, leaving the future of the park uncertain.
The dog park plan has been in the works since 2003. Opponents say the park as planned will be too expensive. Supporters say the city of 95,000 needs a place for dogs to socialize and exercise.
Three council members support the dog park as planned, while two are against it, saying it is currently too expensive. Councilwoman and park supporter recused herself from the Monday vote because she sits on the county parks commission. That left the rest of the council in a deadlock.
"I was blindsided by that," said Councilman , who voted in favor of the land swap. "I don't even know if it's right that she did it, but we're going to find out. We're going to find out if that's recommended or required."
And he promised this won't be the end of the dog park as planned.
"This is just what we call a temporary inconvenience," he said. "This will definitely be back, without a doubt. We're not going easy."
Susan Sellers, who rallies dog park supporters through the website mvdogpark.com, seemed to expect little opposition to the land swap. In a March 5 e-mail, she wrote, "I just had a good meeting with Keith Rattay, Director of Public Services. He told me that it wasn't necessary to gather a group of people for the March 19th meeting."
Opponents of the land swap say the county is getting twice as much land (about six acres) as the city. Supporters say that land will eventually be used to enhance ocean-going walking trails, and are therefore useful to residents as county land.
, 62 percent of respondents said they would use a dog park, while 36 percent said they would not.