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Release the Hounds: Venice Wants Off-Leash Dog Park

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Following West Hollywood's push for an off-leash dog park, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports there's tension over a proposal to transform Venice's Oakwood Recreation Center, which was at one point was the territory of the Venice Shoreline Crips gang, into an off-leash dog park,. According to the paper, dog owners have few places to go to in terms of off-leash parks (there is the Westminster Off-Leash Dog Park, but that "has been criticized as being unkempt and filled with unfriendly-looking pit bulls," according to the paper), so owners want to allow their dogs to run free at Oakwood (which is located at 767 California Street) from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Reasonable? Other neighbors say the proposal highlights the gentrification tensions seen in the neighborhood. Via the paper: "Rick Selan, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, said the dog issue hits on the gentrification problem in Venice that pits the long-time residents against the 'gentrifiers.' 'They basically want to take over the park and are starting small by wanting to take over the park from (6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.) with a dog park,' he said. 'The newer people in the community aren't really willing to sit down and listen to the side of the community as far as what that park means to those who lived in Venice their whole lives.'" Among the concerns: The dogs will cannibalize areas that the elderly use. Says one resident: "There's a big area where the seniors can't use because most of them are walking with a walker and it would be too dangerous to sit."
· Dog park issue raises concerns of gentrification [Santa Monica Daily Press]
· Roll Over [Curbed LA]