CDAWGS News and Reports from Meetings and Conferences
January 23 2015 update:
After a long period of inactivity while the SPRAWLDEF lawsuit had brought the Bay Trail connection and Albany Beach improvements to a grinding halt, the planning process is moving forward again.
The next meeting of interest is Monday, January 26, at Albany City Hall. 1:00 to 3:30. This is for "stakeholders" in the Bulb plan. As always, a strong showing for active recreation, mixed use, water access, and a dog-friendly waterfront will make a difference.
More info and some links on the City's website at
Then on Thursday January 29, 7:00 PM, also at City Hall: "Albany Beach Restoration Project - Supplemental Environmental Review Meeting"
This is the East Bay Regional Park District's second try at an EIR for the Bay Trail link and some basic improvements - including more parking - at Albany Beach.
Here's the critical paragraph:
"The Draft SEIR was prepared to comply with the final ruling in SPRAWLDEF v EBRPD that found the Final EIR lacked an adequate dog use baseline and evaluation related to the environmental impacts caused by dog use at the Project site. The analysis in the Draft SEIR is limited to environmental impacts associated with increased dog use at the site. The Draft SEIR was published on December 22, 2014, which marks the start of the 45-day comment period as required under CEQA. EBRPD will receive public comments on the Draft EIR starting December 22, 2014 through February 11, 2015. Written comments should be received no later than 5 p.m. on February 11, 2015."
February 5 update:
Discussion of the SPRAWLDEF attempt to block the Bay Trail connection west of the racetrack, along with the rest of the Albany Beach Restoration Project, is taking place in at least three local venues:
The Oakland Trib article is the most detailed. Berkeleyside did not run a story on it, but did publish my Op Ed piece in their "Opinionator" section.
Here's the text as submitted to Berkeleyside:
SPRAWLDEF OPPOSES THE BAY TRAIL
One would not think that an organization dedicated to wildlife protection, sensible urban planning and limiting sprawl would come out against the Bay Trail.
But that's exactly what they have done, allying themselves with the owners of Golden Gate Fields race track along the way.
SPRAWLDEF is an acronym for Sustainability, Parks, Recycling and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund. On January 17, SPRAWLDEF filed a lawsuit against the East Bay Regional Park District, opposing a plan to acquire a small strip of property along the shoreline behind the track to complete a missing link in the Bay Trail between Berkeley and Richmond.
The Park District's plan would also add some parking to the Albany Beach area, build some wheelchair access to the water's edge, and expand and protect the dune area behind the beach.
There's something in this lawsuit to alienate just about everyone: Bicyclists and hikers who use the Bay Trail; environmentalists with an interest in dune habitat; kayakers and kiteboarders who launch from the Albany shoreline; the ADA constituency who find beach access generally impossible; and most of all, dogs and their owners who rely on Albany beach for a place to play in the water.
Read the lawsuit. It has all the earmarks of a spoiled child throwing a tantrum because they did not get their way. http://www.CDAWGS.org
The fact on the sand is that Albany Beach is far and away the East Bay's most popular dog beach. Acre for acre, it is the most popular park in the entire East Bay Regional Park District system. And SPRAWLDEF, if they have their way, would shut it down.
True, dog play in the water is not in the original plan for Eastshore State Park. But sometimes plans need to adapt as use patterns emerge.
SPRAWDEF's main complaint appears to be that the Park District has wisely opted not to take the draconian measures that would be necessary to keep dogs from running on the beach. Actually, the Park District's plan is silent on dog policy, which could be seen as a tacit endorsement of the status quo. SPRAWLDEF's lawsuit also cites eelgrass damage by kayaks and windsurfers - but there is no science suggesting that a kayak or sailboard passing over an eelgrass bed has any effect whatsoever on the viability of the eelgrass bed or its related habitat. Yes, there is some scattered eelgrass in the subtidal waters offshore from Albany Beach. You can see it from a kayak at low tide, if you look carefully. It's underwater. Kayaks and kiteboards float on top. You can touch the grass if you try, but damage to the ecosystem? Come on, we're not talking jetskis and bass boats here.
SPRAWLDEF seems to believe that the Bay is there for us to look at, but not to touch. Dogs should never play in it and people should never float on it, regardless of how ecologically benign their mode of flotation might be.
If you agree with that approach to a popular urban waterfront, support SPRAWLDEF. But if you support the Bay Trail, if you like to let dogs play on a beach, if think people in wheelchairs should have access to the water's edge, or if you like to float on the Bay using only muscle or wind power, then SPRAWLDEF is acting against your interests and against good waterfront policy. Let them know.
Paul Kamen, Naval Architect, P.E.
It's worth reading the SPRAWLDEF filing, linked to in the previous news update below. And please participate in the online discussion. Berkeleyside is likely to be the most interesting and probably the most widely-read of the three.
Also - apologies for the short notice, but the Albany Waterfront Committee is meeting Wednesday night, Feb 6, 7:30 pm at Albany City Hall.
The agenda includes the SPRAWLDEF lawsuit and other beach, bulb and Bay Trail issues.
January 31 2013 update:
On January 17, SPRAWLDEF filed a lawsuit in opposition to the Albany Beach restoration plan and the completion of the Bay Trail link behind the racetrack. You can read it here.
SPRAWLDEF stands for "Sustainability, Parks, Recycling And Wildlife Legal Defense Fund." They are based in El Cerrito, and give a mailing address associated with our friend Norman LaForce, although his name does not appear on the filing.
More as the plot thickens. Meanwhile, it would probably be good to remind the Park District once again that we support the Beach Restoration Project, especially the enhanced water access, improved parking, and the status quo for dog exercise and water play.
November 16 2012 update:
Things are going reasonably well with respect to the Albany Beach restoration project. We know this because Norman La Force is really upset.
The next important event:
EBRPD Board meeting, Tuesday Nov. 20, 2 pm at East Bay Regional Park District headquarters (2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland).
This is the last opportunity for public comment before the final EIR for the Albany Beach project is accepted.
Please see Comments and Responses for Draft EIR (be patient, it's a big file).
See especially the comments by the Sierra Club's Norman La Force following p. 53 of the document, and responses by the Park District beginning on p. 59.
Norman is upset because the Park District does not agree with him. The EIR responses state that the project will not cause significant adverse effects due to off-leash dogs or non-motorized boating. Much to the annoyance of CESP and certain factions of our local Sierra Club, the Park District does not appear to be contemplating any additional enforcement of leash requirements as part of the project.
At the CESP meeting Wednesday night, Norman was ready to torpedo the entire Albany Beach project - including the eminent domain action to acquire a strip of racetrack property to complete a missing link of the Bay Trail - because he's not happy with the Park District's responses to his comments. The fun begins with Norman's comments on page 54 and continues with the Park District's responses.
Connecting the Bay Trail across the racetrack is something that CESP has been working hard to achieve for many years, and something that CDAWGS should support. Fortunately, Norman was unable to get consensus for his obstructionist position at the CESP meeting. But he still plans to be at the EBRPD Board meeting on Tuesday and will argue hard for strict enforcement of leash laws, and he doesn't seem to care if the Bay Trail is sacrificed in the process.
Norman La Force also tries to make the case that kayaks, windsurfers and kiteboards have a detrimental effect on subtidal habitat and endangered birds, and that launch facilities for these non-motorized hand-launched watercraft should not be included in the project without detailed analysis of these effects.
So he's not just down on off-leash dogs, but also seems to oppose anything that facilitates paddling, sailing, hiking or bicycling from or near the Albany shoreline.
EPRPD basically dismisses these concerns as unjustified, but that won't stop Norman from making a stink over imaginary impacts.
This is not a critical call to action, but if anyone has the time and inclination to attend the meeting and put in a good word for diverse activities on water, grass and sand (especially off-leash dog exercise and non-motorized boating) it might help neutralize an attack by the anti-dog and anti-recreation extremists.
Links to more documents relating to the Albany Beach project
The Final EIR (a big file, be patient)
The Final EIR Appendices including a large number of comments (another big file - my comments start on p. 106)
Notice of the Tuesday Nov. 20 meeting (2 pm at EBRPD Admin Building, 2950 Peralta Oaks Ct, Oakland)
Meanwhile we have a few new names on this distribution list. Welcome aboard, if this is the first CDAWGS communication you are receiving.
And finally, remember that dogs are always welcome on the dragon boats paddled by the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center, and on the sailboats sailed by the Cal Sailing Club. See the websites of both organizations for free drop-in opportunities and schedules.
October 26 2011 update: It's been very quiet on the dog and water access fronts for the last couple of months, thanks to the new elephant on the waterfront: The Stronach Group's proposal to turn Golden Gate Fields into the second campus of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. Lots more about this at LBNLatGGF.com.
This is a much bigger issue than dogs and kayaks, at least for now, and it's redrawn some alliances (at least for now). For the gory details, see some of the threads on the Albany Patch. The action starts all the way back on May 10, with Albany Racetrack is Finalist for New Berkeley Lab.
Meanwhile, GGF is hosting a show-and-tell in the racetrack grandstand building every Monday afternoon, 4-7, and these will most likely continue through November.
The sessions have been surprisingly lightly attended, so there's ample opportunity to talk directly to the architects and project managers. And, they put out a nice sandwich and snack spread, which is reason enough to swing by on your way to windsurf, run the dog or paddle a dragon boat.
More Oct. 26 news, possibly more urgent: There are only a few days left to submit comments to the National Fish and Wildlife Service on their draft plan to spend the Cosco Busan oil spill habitat restoration money. It's something like $44M total. One of the preferred alternatives appears to include Albany Beach and dune "enhancement," and CDAWGS members might want to weigh in. We only have 'till the end of October, so act fast.
The full report is here and my comments are here.
The website describing the project and soliciting comments is here.
Comments need to be emailed to email@example.com of the Fish and Wildlife Service no later than October 31.
Report from the May 19 CESP meeting
There were three in attendance from CDAWGS, enough to make our presence known without taking up too much time with public comment. Although Norman LaForce is clearly annoyed by commentary on dog policy and debated briefly with Robert Cheasty (CESP President) over whether the CESP subcommittee meeting should be open to the public.
I circulated the off-leash and multi-use access petition around the table, and none of the eleven CESP board members present would sign - which says something about either a) how much this "citizens" group really represents public opinion, or b) how self-selected the members of the CESP board are, or C) the pressure in the room to conform to the CESP party line. I think everyone who has circulated the petition outside of a CESP meeting has a very different take on the percentage of people, especially non dog owners, eager to sign the document. I even had good response last month sending the petition around the Berkeley Yacht Club bar when the Sierra Club was meeting there.
Consensus on the CESP board seems to be to oppose the 2.88 acre aquisition of GGF parking lot behind the beach being used for parking. They prefer dune expansion instead. CESP also took the position that inverse condemnation of additional property for the Bay Trail connection, as planned by EBRPD, should be delayed. They assume that any change in track ownership would require that the Bay Trail be accommodated anyway, without public expenditure. They might be right, but I fear we are looking at another long delay in completing this link to the trail if we wait for the track to be sold. Most likely new owner would be LBL, if they select the site for the 3,000 ft long light accelerator and supporting labs and offices. The final selection is due to be announced in November.
The remainder of the meeting was occupied with trail and park naming, Pt. Molate, and North Richmond zoning and land acquisition issues.
There will not be another public meeting of the full CESP board until August. But the "Complete the Park" committee meeting on June 15 is open to the public, despite Mr. LaForce's objections. This is likely to be a strategy session for implementing CESP's agenda on the Albany Beach and Bulb.
Report from the May 4 Albany Waterfront Commission
Witney Dotson, who represents Richmond/Albany/Berkeley on the East Bay Regional Park District Board, was on the agenda to discuss waterfront and beach plans. But he was unable to attend, leaving the meeting as something of a non-event. The Waterfront Committee reviewed the EBRPD's Albany Beach plans without Whitney or anyone else from the Park District present.
The mood of the Committee seemed to be more-or-less favorable to the de facto preferred alternative presented by EBRPD, although there was some concern that too much of the new land acquisition would be used for parking.
There were only four members of the public in attendance: Emilie Raguso from The Patch, Caryl O'Keefe and her sidekick Peggy McQuaid, and myself. I was the only one to comment on beach issues, suggesting that the planned ADA access at or near the south end of the beach might create a hardscape demarkation feature that could separate a small dog-free area to the south from the larger portion of the off-leash beach to the north. I also repeated the sentiment for a fresh water source near the beach, even it has to be non-potable water usable only for irrigation and washdown (of sailboards, dogs and sandy feet). And I tried to support the EBRPD decision to add more parking.
The Patch has published my review of the CESP spring newsletter
Report from the April 28 Executive Committee Meeting of the EBRPD Board:
Refer to the Habitat Restoration and Public Access Feasibility Study presented by Brad Olson, EBRPD Environmental Programs Manager. The proposal outlined in this study is a hybrid of the three alternatives described in earlier documents, and contains a lot of good features. On the plus side:On the negative side:
Acquires land for more parking closer to the beach.
Acquires land for the right-of-way of the Bay Trail.
Adds a bathroom structure ("vault" type, same as at Pt. Isabel, no service hookups needed).
Adds a setup area for kayaks, windsurfers and kiteboards.
Includes hard surface ADA-compliant beach access points for wheelchairs and hand-launched boats.
Eucalyptus grove is retained.
The project costs $4 million.
There will be no water supply, potable or unpotable.
Dune and habitat enhancement might require draconian enforcement of dog rules.
Most of the speakers offering public comment had good things to say about the plan in general. It does respond, at least in part, to the almost universal desire to have a real bathroom. Brad Olson estimates the cost of a bathroom with sewer and water hookups at $3M. The cost of a water line only would be $1M. The cost of the "vault" bathroom is $400K. He cites the costs of pumping sewage and metering water as ongoing maintenance burdens associated with utilities hookups (but of course sewage from the low-cost vault alternative also has to pumped and transported, at far greater expense per gallon).
CDAWGS made a reasonably good showing, with perhaps a half-dozen pro-off-leash, pro-water access and skeptical-of-native-planting speakers. In the plan's defense, it is noted that some of the possible funding streams can only be used for habitat remediation (e.g. Cosco Busan oil spill money) and the plan wisely diverts most of this to stabilization/remediation of the south shoreline of the Neck. The small wetland habitat near the Eucalyptus grove is justified as a natural filter for parking lot run-off, and not as a habitat project at such a small scale. Dune expansion may still be problematic as a "boutique" habitat protection exercise (expensive, small scale, high maintenance and high profile) but this might be the only allowable destination for some of the available funds.
Also present were the Caryl O'keefe and Peggy McQuaid duo, describing the access-denying effects of off-leash dogs, complete with an anecdote about traumatized children who could never return to the beach. A woman in a wheelchair claimed that dogs render the beach unusable for her. These sentiments were in the minority, but it was a disproportionately large minority, and still seems to gain some traction. It would be good to point out that a lot of people in wheelchairs have dogs, and access to an off-leash beach (presumably via a paved path) is at least as important to them as access to a dog-free beach is to those without dogs.
EBRPD is taking an interesting tack with respect to dog policy: It's not even mentioned in the document. At the outset, it was stated that the proposal had nothing to do with dog policy and that no change in dog policy was considered as part of the project. This, of course, ignores the elephant in the room, but the optimistic interpretation is that EBRPD understands that there is no money for enforcement, and that de facto dog policy in the future will be just like de facto dog policy today. That is, no enforcement.
The pessimistic interpretation is that State Park no-dog rules will be enforced to protect habitat zones, with steep fines and draconian tactics.
Actually, some new information suggests a workable partition of the beach. The hard surface ADA access route to the water (presumably just to the high water mark, but possibly further) near the south end of the beach might be a natural demarcation between off-leash and dog-free areas. Certainly wheelchairs might want to access either one. Windsurfers and kiteboarders, needing beach space to lay out sails and kite strings, would probably prefer some dog-free space too. My estimate is that 1/4 dog-free and 3/4 off-leash, with the paved path as the physical barrier between, would be about right. Of course the anti-dog faction will claim the ratio is backwards, but we'll all know the answer soon enough after the experiment begins. It's not as clean a solution as making the South Albany Beach (near Fleming Point, south of the old piers) the dog-free beach, but it still might work.
April 25 - a tactical win on the GGNRA front: Supervisors growl at GGNRA dog proposal
"And for the record, the three supervisors running for citywide office -- mayoral aspirants John Avalos and David Chiu, and sheriff hopeful Ross Mirkarimi -- landed strongly with the pro-dog vote. There are an estimated 110,000 households in San Francisco with a canine occupant, numbers alone that signal a powerful constituency."
Report from the April 20 CESP meeting:
There was a mix-up about the CESP meeting, partly my fault.
CESP's new meeting schedule is to rotate among a) private executive board meetings, b) committee meetings, and c) public board meetings. So the public only gets to address the board once every three months.
April 20 was a committee meeting, which Patricia Jones (CESP Exec. Director) says are public, except that this one was not public because it was "organizational." I was graciously invited to sit in, presumably in my role as liaison from the Berkeley Waterfront Commission, but could not make the public comment on the Albany Beach that I had planned. Two more people not on the CESP board, presumably there to offer public comment, were not allowed in the room.
Norman LaForce was in good form. He stated very clearly that he refused to be in a meeting with dog people, would not discuss dogs, and left in a huff. This after only about a minute of polite questioning as to why the public was not allowed in if it was in fact a public meeting. So perhaps our presence was not totally without value - it chased Norman out of a meeting and made him look silly.
Meanwhile the CESP subcommittee was not discussing organizational issues at all, but had moved on to strategies for facilitating downzoning of Richmond shoreline tracts to make them cheaper for park agencies to buy. There was some talk about identifying Richmond residents to speak up for public land acquisition on the North Richmond waterfront. Ironically, one of the people turned away from the meeting is a Richmond resident who may will agree with CESP on these North Richmond land use issues.
It's interesting that right after the February CESP meeting, at which several public comments were made in favor of off-leash policies, CESP decided not to listen to any more public comment 'till May. At that February meeting there were two, maybe three CESP board members who seemed to be very sympathetic, and I have to wonder if CESP officers see the same possibility that I do - of a major policy rift within the board if off-leash sentiment gains more traction.
I'm still holding on to some hope that CESP may eventually turn into an ally in convincing State Parks to modify the ESSP General Plan to allow continued off-leash access to Albany Beach. Note that there are at least five other beach parks in the State Park system that allow dogs:
California State Beaches that allow dogs:
Leo Carrillo State Park, northwest of Santa Barbara, allows dogs in the North Beach area.
Point Mugu State Park, south of Oxnard, allows dogs at Thornhill Broom Beach.
Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, allows dogs on leash.
Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, allows dogs in the campground area.
San Buenaventura State Beach, Ventura, allows dogs in the picnic area and on the bike path.
Report from the April 6 Albany Waterfront Committee meeting:
A very good showing of numbers, although we're not yet filling up all the seats in the council chambers.
The meeting began with a bit of a thrash over the appropriateness of pubic comments. Comments at the beginning of the meeting are supposed to be limited to issues not on the agenda. Comments relating to issues on the agenda are supposed to be held 'till the agenda item comes up. Dog management policy came up last, naturally, so to play by the rules many of us had to wait for a couple of hours. Meanwhile we came up with things to say about other issues, namely the status of the Bulb, Bay Trail, Water Trail, Racetrack, etc., but anything about dog policy was out.
The good news is that Cosco Busan wildlife remediation money will be delayed while they sort out the damage in the Gulf, so enforcement of dog restrictions around an expanded dune habitat is not an immediate threat.
There was a lengthy discussion on the implications of Lawrence Berkeley Labs building their "second campus" on the racetrack property - the Request for Qualifications was passed around. If the track is selected this would appear to end racing at GGF, as the proposal calls for three million square feet of labs and offices, and one building 3,000 ft long. (For scale, the track oval is about 2,000 ft from north to south.) No other details were made available, and LBL can still use the Richmond Field Station for their new facility as a fallback.
The dog management policy debate, when it finally arrived, yielded little new information except that the Committee still seems uncertain whether it is discussing the Bulb only (owned by Albany) or the entire shoreline, including the Plateau and the beaches. They do not acknowledge that the Eastshore State Park General Plan of 2002 may be in need of amendment with respect to dog policy, so we still have a lot of work to do.
Next week there are two meettings in Berkeley and one in Albany: Cesar Chavez Park subcommittee meeting on Tuesday April 12, 7:30 pm, Berkeley Waterfront Commission on April 13, 7 pm, and Albany Park and Rec Commission, Thursday April 14, 7 pm. We should all try to attend at least one of them. Check the schedule here, or the links to the City agencies, for accurate locations and last minute changes.
The Tuesday meeting might be particularly interesting. It's a very small group, very informal, and the long-term goal is a revision of the Cesar Chavez Park Plan. I'd like to see a reconfiguration of the off-leash dog area to allow: a) direct car-to-off-leash without having to leash up first; and b) a way to get to the water off-leash, possibly involving some shoreline "softening" to create a gravelly beach on the east side of the park. More ideas on how to accomplish these and related goals will be welcome at the meeting.
The 2011 Berkeley Bay Festival is Saturday, April 16.
This is a revival of the event after many years on hold due to budget constraints. It's a less ambitious incarnation, centered around the Shorebird Nature Center.
The day starts with a shoreline cleanup at 9, then moves to the dedication of the Berkeley Meadow Restoration Project at 11:30. (Note that the dedication is not at the offical Meadow entrance, but on the west side across the street from the hotel.) Before and after the dedication there will very likely be opportunities for some personal interactions with EBRPD directors, State Park officials, City Councilpeople, CESP members, and other muckety-mucks of various stripes who have been involved with this project. Compare to the project summary and decide for yourself if it was six million dollars well spent.
From 12-4 the dog-friendly Cal Sailing Club and Berkeley Racing Canoe Center will be giving free sailboat rides and dragon boat paddling. They will probably be too busy to accommodate dogs on the sailboats and dragon boats, but check them out for future possibilities.
There's much more on the Bay Festival website, including expert guided tours of the Meadow, the Shorebird Beach tidepools and the Straw Bale Building.
If you are a CDAWGS member, wind up the day at Berkeley Yacht Club as my guest. email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite. (No dogs inside BYC, but there's a deck in back which is much nicer than waiting in a car.)
March 27 2011
The debate continues on the Albany Patch
This just in: Caryl O'keefe has posted another comment on the Albany Waterfront Thread:
"Clarifying the beach regulation - no dogs on the Beach, even if on leash. This State rule is because it's a State-owned 'bathing' beach. Albany cannot change that rule. It hasn't been enforced, due to limited resources and quick loss of signage, so many are surprised to learn that dogs are prohibited. State park rules were developed in public processes to reflect the needs of many park users and stakeholders, and are very unlikely to change."
This might be a good time to send an avalanche of responses back to the patch, emphasizing as appropriate:
1) The public process was disproportionately influenced by a small self-selected group of advocates who had no interest in compromise with recreational uses. (And say "I was there" if you were there.)
2) The process is a decade old, and the resulting policies do not take into account the last ten years of intense, popular and valuable use by off-leash dogs in conflict with those policies.
3) Realistically, there never will be enough resources to enforce the no-dog rules as they now read.
4) The State had to be involved in Eastshore State Park, as the only agency in a position to finance the acquisition of the land. There was never a consensus that the State Park default rules, which are more appropriate for wilderness parks, should be applied to the urban shoreline that is Albany Beach.
Report from the Coastal Conservancy meeting, March 17:
I attended the Coastal Conservancy Board meeting at the Lake Temescal Beach House, and was allowed two ops for public comment. It was a big win for the Water Trail - they allocated $1M to implement trailheads, emphasizing kayak-access to overnight camping locations. That was agenda item #8, and came up just before lunch.
I also put in a speaker's card to comment on dog rules in the Eastshore State Park. Since that was off their agenda I got to go first, even before the consent calendar.
Basically I asked for the Coastal Conservancy's support and cooperation in our attempt to modify the Eastshore State Park General Plan with respect to dog policy, pointing to years of established use and the popularity of the beach for off-leash dog exercise, as well as the practical difficulties of effective enforcement. I also explained that the urgency was being driven by Cosco Busan oil spill remediation money, which would result in severely reduced access if done as now planned.
No real feedback from the Commission, although I got a good audience response when I identified myself as representing CDAWGS and gave the words in the acronym.
Coastal Conservancy only meets every other month, and in different parts of the state just like Cal. Park & Recreation Commission. I'll see if I can dig up individual email contacts of the board so we can follow up with notes from each of our various advocacy orgs.
Coastal Conservancy signed off on the ESP General Plan, but I think they feel much less invested in it and are much more likely to side with us in calling for a revision.
Report from the Albany meetings of March 2 (Waterfront) and March 3 (Parks and Rec)
Good turnout and a lot of good things said. About 12 pro-off-leash speakers at the Waterfront Committee (and one or two opposed) followed the next night at the Parks and Rec Commission meeting by about six speakers, all pro-off-leash.
The Waterfront Committee was only dealing with Bulb and Neck policy, and was reluctant to discuss the beach. But they seem to be moving towards off-leash for at least most of the Bulb and one of the two access trails. Our presence helps.
Report from a telephone converstion with Chris Barton, EBRPD Senior Planner
Report from the CESP meeting (Citizens for East Shore Parks)
A very good CDAWGS turnout, and it was gratifying to see a much wider range of debate among the CESP Board members. When there is a more diverse range of waterfront users present in the room, it makes a difference.
CESP Board meetings are open to the public: Every second Wednesday, 7:30 pm, 520 El Cerrito Plaza, upstairs over Trader Joe's. Take the elevator in the alcove between Trader Joe's and GNC, go to the second floor, and walk all the way to the west end of the hallway opposite the elevator.
The CESP summary of the Voices to Vision project is worth a quick read: No mention of dogs anywhere.
But we do have some friends on the CESP Board, and if CDAWGS presence continues, CESP is likely to become a much more reasonable voice in the ongoing debate over appropriate waterfront land use policies.