There really is not much to Glenhurst Park – a swath of lawn, a few trees and benches and a playground squeezed into a small rectangle between homes in the southern edge Atwater Village. But it’s the only park in this part of the neighborhood and has served as a popular spot for parents and their kids as well as pet owners and their dogs. Now, a group of Atwater moms and residents concerned about safety say that Glenhurst Park is not big enough for kids and dogs, and they want dogs banned from the park.
Some parents have complained about some dog owners who allow their animals to roam unleashed and don’t clean up after their pets. Some moms said dogs have nipped at their kids and have made them feel unsafe. “It feels dangerous to me, ” said one mother during a recent meeting of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council, which had been asked to send a letter to the city asking to make Glenhurt Park dog-free. “Now there are very few moms to go to the park,” said another woman. “It’s sad.”
Dog owners and many other residents, however, countered by saying that there is no problem and that they and their pets have a right to use the the approximately 12,000-square-foot park at Glenhurst and Garden avenues. “I really don’t see a problem,” said one dog owner. “It’s a park for all of us to use.”
While some council members were sympathetic to the parents, others were skeptical about the problem and about how the dog ban would be enforced. Dogs are currently required to be leashed at the park but apparently that rule goes unenforced. In the end, the council decided to send the issue back to a committee for further review, with some recommending that a proposed dog ban at Glenhurst Park be linked to a proposal to create a dog park on a nearby site. It was proposal that seemed to get backing from pet owners as well as some parents.
“If you want to ban dogs from this one park, then you should have open access to dogs in another park,” said one dog owner.