Oakland Planning Commissioners on Wednesday vetoed plans for a dog park near Lake Merritt on a grassy corner of Astro Park bordered by MacArthur Boulevard to the north and Lakeshore Avenue to the southeast. A tot lot faces the far side.
Three of the four commissioners present at Wednesday's crowded and pitched meeting voted against the proposed 20,778-square-foot fenced dog park. Jocelyn Whales abstained.
Two commissioners were absent. The decision to reject the location was the biggest blow to the dog park plans since the project was proposed 10 years ago. City Councilmember Nancy Nadel (Downtown-West Oakland) had already committed $10,000 from District 3 discretionary funds. Pat Kernighan's Grand Lake-Chinatown district borders the area; she has promised $2,000. At-large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan pledged another $2,000. The rest of the $35,000 budget would have come from the Public Works capital reserve fund.
Planning Commissioner Madaleine Zayas-Mart said Wednesday was one of the longest meetings she has experienced. Both sides had good arguments for and against a dog park, she said. But it came down to a land use conflict because of size and location, she said. The applicants can appeal to the full City Council.