PAMELA PEERY, San Clemente
The dog park is the ideal place for a homeless shelter. I own two dogs, a smaller dog and a larger dog. I have visited both San Clemente dog parks dozens of times. I am well familiar with what goes on at both.
Many dog owners ignore the size chart. There are pretty much always large dogs at the “small dog” park and vice versa. Dogs are either aggressive or they’re not. Size is largely irrelevant. Most of the city’s dog parks aren’t divided by size.
The homeless problem needs to be addressed. The court’s opinion in Martin v. City of Boise prevents law enforcement from doing anything if we don’t have a shelter to move them to. That’s the law in California right now. Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the appeal.
A shelter, therefore, must be built to get them out of North Beach, in front of our library, etc. I love and use these dog parks, but abating the homeless problem is a higher priority, and it considerably outweighs inconveniencing a handful of dog owners.
These two dog parks sit empty most of the time. They are rarely busy and, in fact, seem underutilized. We could easily give up one.
Whoever thought of converting the dog park to a homeless shelter deserves some sort of medal. It’s brilliant. It’s not close to a school or public retail establishment. We all know there’s not one location that will receive unanimous approval. Right now, the dog park seems to be the best option on the table.