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Dog Park Supporters "Blindsided" by Stalled Land Swap Deal

With no majority to support a needed land swap, the future is uncertain for a public dog park in Mission Viejo.

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.

Dan Avery March 27, 2012 at 03:17 PM
mommeee the city publishes quite a comprehensive budget every year and it's freely available. We may not like what it reflects, but that's another matter. I, for one, thing we'd be okay with about 16% of the budget in reserves rather than 53%. Most feel that 53% is hoarding. The argument, or debate if you will, would be about what percentage is actually reasonable. Let's remember that the purpose of government is not to save money. It is to provide services which will enhance the life of the citizens. (And nowhere in that statement is implied reckless spending.)
Susan Sellers March 27, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Please continue to visit www.mvdogpark.com for updates on our dog park. Also, please continue sending your emails to city council and staff. Emails listed above in another comment. Thank you! Susan www.mvdogpark.com
Zippy Dog March 28, 2012 at 02:28 PM
We have plenty parks in MV. The problem is we have one too many Dans.
M. Dunham March 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Barbadanes, Melinda and whatever other park you bring up isn't going to work. The research has been done over and over again regarding all of these parks. It's the same reason why eventually Oso Viejo didn't work. Suggesting these parks is yet another stalling technique to delay the park and have it cost more.
Susan Sellers March 31, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Please attend the city council meeting this Monday, April 2nd at 6 p.m. We will be speaking during public comments voicing our displeasure that Reardon and Schlicht have delayed our dog park, once again. Public comments are near the beginning of the meeting. If you don't want to speak, your presence is still important. City council chambers are across the parking lot from the Mission Viejo library.

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