Proposed sites for dog park in Burbank

Proposed sites for dog park in Burbank. (Steve Greenberg / Glendale News Press / May 9, 2014)

The Burbank park board on Thursday discussed the feasibility of building a dog park in Burbank, an idea that — while on the books for 17 years — has hit roadblocks in terms of finding an ideal location.

The Park, Recreation and Community Services Board narrowed down the dozen locations presented by city officials to three potentially viable options for further study.

They are the southeast portion of the Starlight Bowl parking lot, Whitnall Highway Easement South, a city-owned piece of land just south of West Verdugo Avenue, and Johnny Carson Park South, which is the Los Angeles-owned area on Riverside Drive.

City officials identified the pros and cons of having a dog park in the three locations, each of which the board is slated to tour in the coming months.

“There really is no perfect site. There’s always going to be something that’s going to stand in the way for many, many, many reasons,” said Chairperson Terre Hirsch, asking his fellow board members to be open-minded.

Hirsch asked for further study on the feasibility of building a dog park in the Starlight Bowl parking lot.

A current challenge for the site is the fact that the upper portion of the lot is over a landfill and, therefore, can’t be developed into a park site, said Judie Wilke, director of park, recreation and community services.

There is also no existing irrigation system and it could negatively impact programming at the bowl, she added.

“I think the cons on this site can be mitigated,” Hirsch said, adding that the bowl is only used a dozen times a year.

Another option, suggested for further study by board member Armond Aghakhanian, was Johnny Carson Park South, which poses challenges because patrons would have to rely on street parking, the park is adjacent to the freeway and could pose safety risks and affect nearby equestrian trails.

Additionally, Los Angeles utility officials currently use the site as a staging area, so it would not be viable in the short term, Wilke said.

The last option that will be considered further, suggested by board member Mickey DePalo, was the Whitnall Highway Easement South, which is a little more than a mile from another dog park outside the city.

Members of the public interested in providing feedback on building a dog park in Burbank can send an email to burbankdogpark@burbankca.gov.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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