A proposal to expand the hours when leashed dogs are allowed in much of Mission Bay Park took a key step forward Thursday when it was unanimously approved by the City Council’s Environment Committee.
Instead of being banned seven hours a day during winter months and nine hours a day during summer months, leashed dogs would not be allowed six hours a day year-round.
The ban would be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Dogs are now not permitted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 to March 31, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 to Oct. 31.
The change was first proposed by the Pacific Beach Town Council to give young people and families more opportunities after work to exercise their dogs and enjoy the 4,000-acre park.
Marcella Bothwell, leader of the Town Council and the city’s Park and Recreation Board, said Thursday that eliminating confusion was another benefit of the proposed change.
“Worrying about the different beginning and ending hours based on summer versus winter is a source of confusion for many and seems an unreasonable burden,” Bothwell said.
The proposal now moves to the City Council for final approval. If approved there and signed by Mayor Todd Gloria, it will go into effect 30 days after Gloria signs it.
The change does not apply to several parts of Mission Bay Park, some of which already have separate dog regulations. They are Santa Clara, Fiesta Island, the Ocean Beach Flood Control Channel and shoreline parks.
The change would allow law enforcement, including the Police Department and park rangers, to enforce new times when leashed dogs are prohibited.
All signage would be changed to reflect new times. Installing signs throughout the park would cost the city an estimated $10,000 for labor and materials.
The change has been endorsed by the Mission Bay Park Committee and the Park and Rec Board.