Racho Laguna Dogs up for Debate

Nikki Honda, Staff Writer

Over the last couple of months many Moraga dog owners have been debating with the Moraga Town Council about whether the Rancho Laguna Dog Park is worth keeping the way that it is, or reconfiguring it to allow for a more distinct and formal separation of users with pets and users with children.

Some protestors are arguing that building a fence to separate the two groups is a necessary step in preserving safety.

Other Moraga citizens argue that the park could be put to better use if reconstructed into a host for sporting events with athletic fields and playgrounds.

But building projects on the land could use up valuable funds that Moraga doesn’t have to spare in times of fiscal crisis.

Dedicated dog owner and local Moraga resident Nancy Bluford claims the whole situation is a “tug of war,” which could last quite a while considering neither side is willing to give up without a fight.

Personally, I think that it would be easiest to leave the park the way it is. If it hasn’t been a problem in the past, then why is it such a concern all of a sudden?

There has been much debate on whether the dogs in the park are actually harmful to other people that happen to be nearby. It is possible that some citizens just see the dogs as a nuisance and would rather pet owners not be allowed in the park at all.

I think that Bell’s ideas are realistic. Creating a place where kids can play with their families, have picnics, and play sports would be good for the community, even if it will cost extra money. The dogs could also benefit by keeping some of the park, but building a fence around that area to prevent future conflicts with other users.

Rancho Laguna Park’s current leash-free dog times are before 9 am and after 6 pm until dark. There are currently no restrictions separating dogs from children, which concerns many parents.

If the town were to build a fence, parents would not have to worry about the safety of their children, and dogs would also have a safer place to frolic.

Restricting hours may limit conflicts for now, but arguments are bound to continue as residence on both sides of the issue use the park in close proximity to one another.

Whatever the town decides to do, they need to do it quickly, before the conflict between these groups escalates beyond nasty glares and harsh words.