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Council Committee Votes to Let Dogs Off Leash at Parks

November 10, 1987|RICHARD SIMON | Times Staff Writer

Dogs could run free during limited hours at Laurel Canyon Park and anytime in a fenced area at another, undetermined park under a recommendation approved by a Los Angeles City Council committee on Monday.

The 2-0 vote of the Recreation, Library and Cultural Affairs Committee came at the end of an emotional 2 1/2-hour City Hall hearing, the latest chapter in a long-running feud between dog owners who let their pets run free at Laurel Canyon Park in violation of the city's leash law and other users of the small park at the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains above Studio City.

Some park users have complained that unleashed dogs interfere with their enjoyment of the park and threaten the health of children.

Compromise Accepted

Chairman Joel Wachs and Gloria Molina, a committee member, approved a proposed compromise by Councilman Michael Woo that would, in a six-month trial, allow dogs to run free in the park from dawn until 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until the park closes at 10:30 p.m.

The park was in Wachs' district until last year's reapportionment put it in Woo's.

The committee also recommended setting aside an area in another park where dogs could run free anytime. Wachs said the dog run would be in Griffith Park, the Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles International Airport or in San Pedro.

The committee recommendation goes to the city's Recreation and Parks Commission and then to the full council.

During the hearing, most of the 100 people in attendance spoke in favor of allowing dogs to run free at Laurel Canyon Park.

However, Elaine Kohn, vice president of the Laurel Canyon Parents Assn., objected, saying that the four-acre park is too small for both children and dogs.

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