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Parking Lot for Dog Park

August 07, 2004

I read with dismay the article stating that a parking lot had been approved for Runyon Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills (July 31). Over the last several years, I have attended dozens of meetings where organizations representing those of us who live near and use the park have voted to oppose paving the lower portion of the park for parking. These include the Outpost Estates Homeowners Assn. (of which I am president), the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council and the Runyon Canyon Park advisory board. The problem with parking on Vista has been resolved with permit parking.

I don't understand why Councilman Tom LaBonge is not listening to his constituents who are opposed to and will fight paving the park.

Michael P. Meyer

Los Angeles

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We live in this area (Vista and Hillside Avenue) and have been assaulted by dogs and their owners; they have tried to run us over (the man was arrested). They have put dogs over our walls, trashed our cars and physically assaulted us. We have had our homes invaded (literally) by people just wandering in to get a drink -- they were thirsty! They urinate in public in our yards (there are no restrooms in the park). They decimate our gardens, pick our fruit and flowers at will.

We have people picnicking on our lawns (they feel there is too much dog defecation to want to picnic in the park!). They feel free to leave their debris and use the garden hose at will. The noise begins at 6 a.m., and there are still hikers coming down out of the park until after 11 p.m., sometimes even later. The "permitted" midnight hike allows them to be in the park late on nights of full moons. The gate says "closed at dusk" but it is not enforced. We never have a quiet moment.

The area they plan to make into a parking lot was originally a hard-packed area that nothing grew in for over 50 years. The city, in maintaining a natural urban habitat, put in sprinklers, dug up the area, planted grass and fenced it in. Parks are for the enjoyment of all -- as long as it is not to the detriment of the surrounding environment -- and our homes and lives are a very viable part of that surrounding environment. We voted to make this area a park. If we had had a clue as to what was to come, as a neighborhood we would not have permitted it -- it would have become a single-home housing tract. May this be a lesson to all future "goodwillers."

Open more off-leash dog parks and take some of the traffic off this one.

J.C. Harding

Los Angeles

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