After more than five years of discussion on the topic, Beverly Hills is finally moving forward on plans to build its first-ever dog park. The off-leash dog park at Alden Drive and Foothill Road will, of course, be Beverly-Hillsified. The Beverly Hills Courier reports that BH officials are hard at work exploring a number of features for the dog-romping area that will make it very exclusive, including a system that will make it so the park can only be used by people (and dogs) who live in Beverly Hills. (This might—might—be expanded to include hotel guests, business owners, and people who work in the city.)
The leading idea for limiting entry and access to the park is to have residents use keycards, with keycards given only to people who prove their dog is licensed and who have obtained the proper permit to use the park, city documents say. BH officials are also considering ways to make sure that no unvaccinated or unspayed/unneutered dogs are allowed in. Meanwhile they'll look into "including visitors, business owners and workers in the City in the list of allowable users," but for now it's residents only.
Even with a velvet rope, not everyone is happy about the dog park. In fact, it seems to have inspired detractors as fervent as its supporters. At the meeting this week where the city council voted to go ahead with the park, "Passions flared on both sides," according to the Courier. Heavy opposition came from those worried about dogs biting people and dog poop on the sidewalks. In response to some of these concerns, BH is also thinking about having an on-duty ranger for its dog park on the first few Saturday mornings that the park is open. (There were especially concerns from local synagogues, who were worried about dogs and congregants colliding.) BH officials will also think about "having a ranger posted when the park is open, at least for the first six months, to see if it is necessary."
The capacity for the five-acre park would be 40 dogs, and the park's hours, originally suggested to be the same as all of BH's other parks—6 am to 10 pm—might now be shortened to 8 am to 8 pm (the latter also as a response to citizen concerns). Now that the dog park's got the go-ahead, it will head into the design phase. Here are three possible designs for the space: