YUCCA VALLEY — Town Council members on Tuesday, Sept. 18, set rules for a new dog park on Warren Vista Avenue.
Town staff said they researched ordinances for other cities and concluded that no child younger than 12 should be allowed inside fenced areas where dogs play unleashed.
“We researched rules, we met with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Commission, we got expert input from our animal control staff … and came up with a set of rules we feel will be a very good start … so that animals and people can have an enjoyable time up there,” Jim Schooler, community services director for the town, said.
Under the ordinance, children under 12 will be able to attend the park and escort a dog, as long as it is leashed, but they cannot enter fenced dog play areas, even if accompanied by an adult.
Mayor Pro Tem Merl Abel said he thought keeping young children out of the dog play areas was a good precautionary measure.
“If you’ve gone over to the park, there are plenty of viewing areas there, so a 12-year-old could still participate in coming to the park with their dog and so forth, and they could participate in playing in the playground and being outside the fenced areas,” Abel said. “You never know who is going to be there with their dog and if something should happen, it would be too late to rescue your child from that situation.”
The new park will also set a limit on the number of dogs a person can bring.
Abel and Mayor Dawn Rowe suggested amending the ordinance to allow a handler to bring up to four dogs to the park at one time, rather than two dogs, which the original language suggested.
Town Manager Mark Nuaimi said allowing a person to bring more than two dogs could create a hazard if an owner loses track of a dog in a large park.
Rowe said dog owners bring three and four dogs at a time to Machris Park without any problems.
The new park is set to open next month.