Wed10012014

Mountain View on the Move

Canines to run free at city parks, thanks to pilot program


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View residents and their dogs gather at Cuesta Park last week, top. As part of a pilot program approved April 22, dogs are able to run off-leash in several Mountain View parks.

A one-year pilot program invites off-leash dogs to roam in Mountain View parks. The program limits the privilege to early-morning hours in most parks, though it allows all-day access at the Dog Training Area in Cuesta Park.

“The plan is to start the pilot program for off-leash dogs approximately mid-June,” said JP de la Montaigne, community services director. “(We’re) still finalizing plans and making signs and gearing up the promotion.”

The Mountain View City Council approved the program April 22 after rejecting a Parks and Recreation Commission proposal to build two fenced-in dog parks at a cost of approximately $70,000.

The city began soliciting feedback early this year on a program that would authorize off-leash dog areas.

Proposed by Councilman John McAlister, the program allows off-leash activity at the following sites and times.

• Cooper, Bubb, McKelvey and Eagle parks: 6-10 a.m. weekdays.

• Whisman Park: 6-10 a.m. and 5 p.m. until sunset seven days a week.

• Cuesta Park Annex: 6-10 a.m. seven days a week.

• Cuesta Park Dog Training Area: sunrise to sunset seven days a week.

The council rejected off-leash areas at Rengstorff Park and a vacant parcel at Shoreline Boulevard and Latham Street.

The off-leash provisions stem from the Mountain View Police Department’s 2013 review of the city’s animal ordinance. The department conducted a survey revealing that 750 out of 880 respondents favored establishing off-leash dog areas.

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