Some were wagging, others barked.
The controversial dog park plan first proposed nearly 10 years ago is moving forward for bidding following a Monday night city council decision.
A location just south of Gilleran Park was approved in January 2011 for a large dog area, a small dog area, a single dog area, a gravel parking lot for 42 vehicles, fencing and turf. With Monday's vote, the location will be walked with construction companies in January to aid the bidding process.
Here's how the vote went down:In Favor Against Frank Ury Rhonda Reardon Trisha Kelley Cathy Schlicht Dave Leckness
Councilwoman Schlicht raised objections to the plan, including the possibility of rattlesnakes on the site that borders natural brush. She said she would have preferred repurposing existing city parks for dogs.
"We could have had a dog park months ago for less cost," she said.
Mayor Ury said the city used 10 criteria to choose the location for the dog park, including proximity to homes. He said other locations did not meet the criteria.
"An unbelievably long amount of time was spent looking at every park in Mission Viejo," he said. "No other sites exist that work. No other sites are going to work."
Inside City Hall dog park supporters outnumbered detractors. Several showed support by wearing blue t-shirts.
Here are some comments from the public:
- "In the future I think we'll all be very proud of that park." Walter Halagarda
- "The dog owners are asking for a facility that will cost over $2 million. It's an entitlement not in our master plan and it should not be paid for by taxpayers." Harry Lensik
- "We have 47 parks for people. It's time to have one park for people who also happen to have dogs." Dan Avery
- "I changed my mind about this dog park. In 2008 I had reservations, but today, no more." Sharon Cody
- "Instead of sitting around blathering on your cell phones you could be walking (on a city trail). Everything this city has built has been double the cost, sometimes close to triple." Dale Sandore
- "I'm kind of embarassed our residents are going to other cities for a dog park. That cost increase, there's a reason for it. It's not because we want gold-seated toilets or something." Anna T. Boyce
Now that bidding has been approved, here is a timeline for the dog park:
- Dec. 14: Advertise for bids
- Jan. 10, 10 a.m.: Mandatory pre-bid walkthrough at the site for potential builders
- Jan. 22: Bids due
- Feb. 18: Contract awarded
- March 4: Construction begins (120 working days)