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Los Osos moves forward with plans for a dog park

Javier de la Fuente plays soccer with his kids Mia, 5, and Lucas, 9, on the central lawn area of Los Osos Community Park. A dog park is planned for the north side of the park, behind the tennis courts.
Javier de la Fuente plays soccer with his kids Mia, 5, and Lucas, 9, on the central lawn area of Los Osos Community Park. A dog park is planned for the north side of the park, behind the tennis courts. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The Los Osos Community Services District is moving forward with plans to establish a new dog park at the community park on Palisades Avenue.

The CSD’s Parks and Recreation Committee had previously discussed a number of sites for a community dog park, including the Vista De Oro Leach Field, Sunnyside School and the Los Osos Library area (adjacent to the district’s Palisades water supply well).

Community members have long been awaiting the addition of more recreational parks in the community.

“I am inspired by the positive public reaction to our first steps toward making the dog park a reality and it makes me more committed than ever to see it through,” Los Osos CSD director Jon-Erik Storm said. “As for whether this is a start to getting more parks, I think it’s a good first step and we’ll have to see how it goes.”

I am inspired by the positive public reaction to our first steps towards making the dog park a reality and it makes me more committed than ever to see it through.

Jon-Erik Storm, Los Osos CSD director

A draft of San Luis Obispo County’s Los Osos Community Plan Update calls for the county to “work with the community to develop sufficient parkland (neighborhood and community parks and recreation facilities) to accommodate the needs of existing and future populations.”

Public responses to a fall survey by a Parks and Recreation advisory committee ranked a dog park and bike/walking paths as top priorities for the Los Osos community.

The community park was the most viable choice for the dog park’s location, based on land availability, cost and existing infrastructure, according to a Los Osos CSD staff report.

Storm said the district is working to figure out detailed costs for the dog park, which is envisioned to occupy empty land between the park’s tennis courts and the neighboring St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The district will still have to complete environmental studies for the site.

Storm said about a dozen people spoke at Thursday’s meeting in favor of the dog park, which is expected to be finished in 2018. The staff report said the district will seek to add the dog park to its insurance policy and maintenance will be handled by an “Adopt a Park” organization. The CSD would lease the land at minimal or no cost from the county.

“The details of the lease are pending final approval, but there isn’t expected to be any significant expense for the district,” Storm said.

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