City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance May 8 to allow off-leash dogs at South Buena Vista Park during regular park hours starting in June.
“The City Council amended a park ordinance to change restrictions in the natural areas and the trails around Buena Vista Park,” said Vista communications officer Andrea McCullough.
Before August 2017, dogs had to be leashed around the trails at Buena Vista Park.
“The Aug. 22, 2017 park ordinance changed the restrictions in those natural areas and trails surrounding Buena Vista Park to providing off-leash in those natural areas on the trails from morning hours and then afternoon,” McCullough said. The hours were 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and then 3 p.m. to dusk.
The August ordinance went into effect on Sept. 22, 2017. In the meantime, morning and late afternoon off-leash hours at South Buena Vista Park remained the same.
However, things changed at an October 2017 City Council meeting, and the dogs were back on their leashes once again.
“There were a group of (Buena Vista) park users that didn’t want any off-leash, during any hours,” McCullough said. “They didn’t want that, and the City Council then agreed to discuss revising that new park ordinance that had been in effect for just a short while on Oct. 10.”
A 5-0 vote at a City Council meeting on Oct. 24 required that dog owners leash their dogs on the trails surrounding Buena Vista Park during park hours.
Since that time, McCullough said, new discussions emerged about South Buena Vista Park and the parks commission considered extending the off-leash dog hours.
Workshops followed between November 2017 and March 2018.
The parks commission made the official recommendation of making South Buena Vista Park off leash, during all operating hours on March 26. The recommendation then appeared on the council agenda on April 24.