Paso council approves dog park plan

The proposed Paso Robles dog park received unanimous support from the City Council Tuesday night after a long line of public commenters voiced support for the project.

The 3-0 vote was met with applause. Councilman John Hamon and Mayor Duane Picanco were absent from the meeting.

The move allows city staff to start looking into potential lease sites on city-owned land for the planned park, which proposes a roughly 1-acre of off-leash area to be constructed and maintained by volunteers through the Parks-4-Pups group.

When one or two sites are explored, staff will then present the potential locations to the council at a future date. Supporters who spoke at Tuesday's meeting ranged from residents who say they drive four to five times a week to Templeton's dog park to families on fixed incomes who said they'd love to stay in town.

The park will be established and operated at no expense to the taxpayers, according to the group's plans. Up to three dog playgrounds could be built, the plan states, with two for general play. A third could be rented to dog groups for meetings, dog obedience classes or training clinics and bring potential revenue to the city.

This isn't the Parks-4-Pups‚ first effort in Paso Robles. It's also in its third year of maintaining the Centennial Park Walking Trail, which the group helped open to dog walkers. Its volunteers pick up litter, restock the dispensers and report trail hazards.

- Tonya Strickland