SF to Debate Dog Leash Ban Monday

Sunday, Apr 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:16 PM PDT
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SF to Debate Dog Leash Ban Monday

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Dogs off a lease in some of San Francisco's most popular areas could be more restricted soon.

A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee is holding a hearing Monday on the possible effects on the city of a federal proposal to restrict the areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area where dogs can go without a leash.

       The hearing at the board's Land Use and Economic Development Committee was called for by Supervisor Scott Wiener in response to the proposal by the National Park Service.
      
The park service issued the proposal in January, saying in a report that "increased expectations for use of the park for dog recreation have resulted in controversy, litigation, and compromised visitor and employee safety, affecting visitor experience and resulting in resource degradation."
      
The proposal would reduce the size of off-leash areas for dogs at 21 different spots in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including
Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Crissy Field and Fort Mason. The recreation area
also includes parts of Marin and San Mateo counties.

Wiener said the reduction of off-leash space in the national park would lead to a corresponding increase in use at neighborhood parks, and said San Francisco should be part of the conversation about the proposal.
      
The park service has held several public meetings on the proposal - one of which drew a large protest last month at Fort Mason - and has extended the public comment period from April 14 to May 30.
      
Monday's hearing will feature representatives from the city's Department of Animal Care and Control, Recreation and Park Department, the San Francisco SPCA, and the National Park Service, according to Wiener.
     
At last Tuesday's board meeting, Wiener also introduced a resolution to put the board on record as opposing the park service's proposal.

That resolution will also be considered at Monday's hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Room 263 at City Hall.
 

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