Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chamber of Commerce letter to City Council: Oppose proposed GGNRA dog management restrictions


Pacifica City Council
Re:  GGNRA Proposal
More than 50% open space land for all to enjoy
for exercise and recreation. Aren't we people too?

The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce has followed, with concern, the GGNRA's attempt to further limit access to GGNRA dedicated land.  Poor science coupled with overzealousness combined to produce a proposal that will effectively ban dogs from these parks. This is unprecedented overreach on the GGNRA's part, counterproductive to their mandate.

Our city is made up of over fifty percent open space and the great majority of that space is GGNRA dedicated land. Much of this land was moved from private ownership to public lands with the assumption that it would be available for all to enjoy in a myriad of ways. The GGNRA is attempting to change that access drastically.

Dog advocacy groups from Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo County have sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, requesting the Interior Department to intercede on behalf of the thousands of dog walkers that use those trails regularly. These groups point out:

"The GGNRA plan severely cuts or entirely bans where people with dogs, who have been welcomed together in these areas for decades, will be able to walk in the future, without offering any evidence to prove the need for such dramatic changes. This supplemental plan, like the draft before, lists impacts and damage that “could,” “may,” or “might” happen, but offers no scientific evidence that those impacts have actually occurred in the GGNRA or are occurring now. Moreover, the GGNRA has not conducted the site-specific, peer reviewed studies required to justify and guide such broad proposed changes in managing this urban recreation area."

Pacifica is home to thousands of dog owners and their pets. Further restricting their ability to recreate with their dogs will impact our local dog parks detrimentally, creating an untenable overcrowding problem. Cutting the use of GGNRA land as proposed will bring undue hardship on dog owners and our city's infrastructure. The dog groups go on to point out:

"The GGNRA plan severely cuts or entirely bans where people with dogs, who have been welcomed together in these areas for decades, will be able to walk in the future, without offering any evidence to prove the need for such dramatic changes. This supplemental plan, like the draft before, lists impacts and damage that “could,” “may,” or “might” happen, but offers no scientific evidence that those impacts have actually occurred in the GGNRA or are occurring now. Moreover, the GGNRA has not conducted the site-specific, peer reviewed studies required to justify and guide such broad proposed changes in managing this urban recreation area."  
The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce requests our City Council send a letter to U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Congress Woman Jackie Speier, State Senator Jerry Hill, and Assemblyman Kevin Mullins expressing opposition to this plan as it stands now. We tout our open space as an attraction yet, if this goes forward, one of our leading outdoor activities, walking with your pet, will be so severely restricted as to be nonexistent.
The Chamber of Commerce believes the move in this direction will impact local businesses and impede the overall enjoyment of these dedicated open spaces. 

Jim Wagner,  Chair, Government Affairs Committee 
Pacifica Chamber of Commerce 

The letter above was submitted by Jim Wagner
Reference   National Park Service (NPS), GGNRA Dog Management Plan.  NPS Dog Management Planning updates.  For related Fix Pacific reprint articles on this site, search "GGNRA Dog Management".  Note:  the above photograph is from Save Off Leash areas in the SF Bay Area.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Let me get this right. Half our city is open space and some pin headed hairbrained braniac thinks it's a good idea to take away access for the thousands of dog owners in this town and the thousands more from out of town. When will the pain stop!

Anonymous said...

How attractive is our "attraction" for the people who don't own dogs and have to navigate through all the excrement that thoughtless dog owners
leave behind ? I would propose a meeting in the "middle" with some areas strictly prohibiting dogs and other areas set aside as being exclusively for dogs and their owners. For myself, I like to take walks and hikes without fearing that I or my children will step in some doggy-doo along the way.
While I'm sure that there are many responsible pet owners, I also believe that there are many others who feel that since they aren't bothered by their dogs actions, either is anyone else. A lot like smokers who seem oblivious to others who prefer fresh air.

Hutch said...

Great letter Jim.

Anonymous said...

So public land should be free "for all to enjoy in myriad ways." It would seem, then, that the Sharp Park (public) golf course should welcome dog-walkers. (And hikers, birders, and picnicking families). Are you saying that's it's terrible to keep people with dogs out of some areas, but fine to keep *everyone* except for fans of one particular hobby out of others?

Hutch said...

That's a ridiculous position 635. It is Sharp Park GGOLF COURSE, not Sharp Park "Park." It's a public golf course, not a public park. BTW SPGC is the only affordable public course on the Peninsula. It is the poor mans golf course, and enables lower income people to play.

Anonymous said...

The feds are gonna do what the feds are gonna do. It doesn't look good for the dogs. Time to push hard to open Sharp Park Beach as an off-leash dog area. Almost got it done back in the 90's but one former councilman quietly and legally derailed it after council voted in favor of it. The games never end! Expect the usual moaning and wailing over the birds and the parade of experts.

Anonymous said...

Well folks, the newly proposed GGNRA Dog Management Policy has finally arrived. It's a doozy:

In summary:

·Ocean Beach: 80% will now be no dogs allowed.

·Crissy Field: Dog walking recreation area being cut by 70%. Most dog recreation will now be on leash. Dogs banned from East Beach.

·Fort Funston: Dog walking recreation area being cut by 60%.

· Fort Mason: Dog walking recreation area is being cut from what it is today (difficult to determine the exact percentage). There will be a small off-leash area.

·Baker Beach: Loss of all off-leash area. Some area on leash, some no dogs.

·Fort Miley: Loss of all off-leash area. Some area on leash, some no dogs.

·Lands End: Loss of all off-leash area and several trails will become no dogs.

-San Mateo County Impacts: As expected, the proposed rule significantly erodes dog walking rights in the GGNRA, including San Mateo County areas such as Rancho Corral de Tierra and Pacifica GGNRA lands such as Sweeney Ridge, Mori Point, and Milagra Ridge. Here's a quick overview:

-San Mateo County is the only county that did not get any off-leash areas.

-There are now additional trail restrictions for anyone who has more than three dogs. Anyone walking more than three dogs in GGNRA will need a permit. Under this plan, there are NO trails in San Mateo County GGNRA that will allow a person to walk with more than three dogs.

-There are only a handful of trails in Rancho that would allow on-leash dog walking (for 1-3 dogs max per walker). While the new rule includes four additional dog walking trail segments in Rancho (including two segments in Moss Beach), the reality is that dogs would still be banned from much of Rancho.

-Current GGNRA dog walking trails in Pacifica would be cut by more than half. Access to Sweeney Ridge would be lost from the Pacifica side.

Monitoring-based management is part of the rule. It means that if people do not comply with the new rule, the Park Service can change the status of any area. For example, the few remaining off-leash areas could be changed to on-leash or no dogs, and on-leash could be changed to no dogs. This "strategy" has formerly been referred to as "The Poison Pill". We have every reason to believe it will be utilized to achieve the GGNRA's ultimate objective of banning both dogs and humans from this National Recreation Area.

Be sure to comment on the plan. The link to the comment page will be provided when it becomes available. The comment period will be open for 60 days.

More information at:

Thanks for reading and for your support.

Anonymous said...

Love it! And I expect monitoring-based management to further reduce the dog space over the next few years. Thank you, militant dog advocates!

Anonymous said...

@10:45- I look forward to the day that you require a service dog in order to survive. Make sure you tell them what a great friend you have always been.

Anonymous said...

After they rewrote my policy (I have a chow) my homeowners insurance agent told me Pacifica had more dog maulings per capita than any other City in California, and stated a woman had been killed by her own pitbull recently here.

Is that true? How come it wasn't in the Pacifica Tribune?

Anonymous said...

Thank the faux-enviro / "I Got Mines" for giving away half of Pacifica to the GGNRA in order to underwrite their selfish lifestyle.
These phony frog lovers have made a real mess of Pacifica. No place to run a dog. No affordable housing. No revenue generation capabilities. A completely broken city.
Thanks Lancelle, Vreeland, Digre, deJarnutt. They couldn't of done it without you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, nothing says nice place to live like dog crap all over every trail and public space. And, who doesn't love being menaced by dogs at the beach or while hiking the hills and trails? And, you simply haven't lived til you've been harassed by some nutty dog owner whose most successful relationship clearly is of the canine variety.

Anonymous said...

1216 It was. Wrap your mind about this doozy...husband of the deceased had his wife and unborn child buried with the dog that killed them.

Anonymous said...

One cannot walk the beaches or trails of Pacifica without being menaced by loose and apparently unattended Pit Bulls.

Two weeks ago I was walking with my three year old grandson right by my side when out of nowhere a brown and white pit bull ran up to him very fast and I was forced to put myself between the dog and my grandson.

The dog was very aggressive, snarled and growled at us as I repeatedly pushed the stroller between us before the dog suddenly ran off the direction it had came without ever seeing anyone.

It was terrifying to be charged by such a large unattended dog, and it happens frequently.

I don't know if Mr. Jim Wagner has a grandchild, but I urge him to think twice before writing once, because large dangerous unattended dogs are a problem on Pacifica trails.

Anonymous said...

2:07, is the problem the dogs or the owners that allow their dogs to run unleashed is areas that are not free run dog parks?

Anonymous said...

207 Well said. Pit bulls in Pacifica are a problem, although pittie lovers will swear otherwise. Too many dogs running loose on beaches, trails and even in the neighborhoods. I know several people who no longer feel safe walking alone because of off-leash, aggressive dogs. And several others who have "armed" themselves for their walks. Maybe Wagner's a dog lover, maybe he just wants to scold the GGNRA. They've got all that permanent open space!

Anonymous said...

329 A nice distinction, but it isn't the owner who bites or terrifies you or your child. If you can find the irresponsible coward, use every law and then sue their ass. These owners are bullies of the worst sort through their dogs.

Anonymous said...

The best dog walking space in Pacifica is the Quarry.
It would be a shame of it they were to ban loose dogs there when the hotel comes.

If a hotel comes. Remember we couldn't even get a Trader Joe's to come here a year ago.

Most loose dogs are not aggressive accept in packs. Pit bulls are different.
They are the most abandoned dog in San Mateo county (check petfinder, there are thousands available for adoption within twenty miles of Pacifica), and owners who can't stand to bring them to be euthanized by animal control simply let them go in the hills.

I frequently see loose, lone and unaccompanied pit bulls on Mori Point trail.

Keeping your pit bull within eyesight is not enough. They must be leashed as their instinct is such that they will attack any smaller animal, they grab it by the head and shake it until dead. It's not pretty.

GGnra bans dogs because there have been so many lawsuits regarding aggressive dogs.

Anonymous said...

Owners will run their dogs off-leash in areas not designated for that form of recreation when the city does not provide for such - as is the case in Pacifica. Really difficult to play a simple game of fetch with Fido on-leash.

If a dog is terrifying your child or biting everyone and everything, there are plenty of laws on the books already to protect the public. Your problem is with lack of enforcement. Don't blame the majority of good dog owners and dogs for that one.

Some of you want to punish all dogs for the bad behavior of a few owners/dogs. I suppose you feel the same way about punishing all humans for the misdeeds of a few humans? I can only say that I thank Dog that none of you are making public policy.

Anonymous said...

4:31 said, "GGnra bans dogs because there have been so many lawsuits regarding aggressive dogs."

This has never been offered as a reason by anyone, including the GGNRA. Where is your supporting evidence?

Anonymous said...

445, the reason we have speed limits is because of the misdeeds of a few humans. If no one sped, we wouldn't need them.

There is a big problem with loose dogs in Pacifica. Every time I go hiking there are dogs off leash, no owners in sight. Don't know if they're wild or owners are sleeping it off on the beach or what.

I also have a dog who I love and loves to run, but there are so many loose dogs running around on Linda Mar beach I can't even let her off lead. The last time she got ripped up, by a shar pei not a pit bull, it cost me almost twelve hundred dollars.

Anonymous said...

445 You finding a place to run your dog is neither my priority nor should it be my problem, and, yeah, the rights of humans to be safe and enjoy public space or their own neighborhood come first. As far as none of us making public policy? Think, again. GGNRA is responding to the public's refusal to be bullied and terrorized by dogs and dog owners. Have the few bad owners ruined it for the many good ones? You betcha, but then again maybe we're just not all that compatible in these spaces to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Lack of enforcement is part of the problem, but it's a lot easier to ban the moving party than tackle the system and those in charge know that.

Anonymous said...

Chalk me up as one who's sick and tired of stepping in dog crap every time I walk the beach with my kids.

It's gross, the dogs are all over the beach every day with no owners around and twice I have been walking just south of the pier in that strip of walkway behind the golf course and been made uncomfortable by some very large dogs running loose and thundering towards me. Are they friendly? Who can I ask, there's no one around and as a petite woman I have very little chance of surviving an encounter if the answer is no.

How pray tell, is the Chamber even involved in this?
Is Courtney going to try to tell us that we're a dog tourism town now?
This Chamber blows any way the wind blows, and right now it's blowing downwind of a big pile of dog doodoo. Doo.

Anonymous said...

632 It is very much your problem. Studies show that properly exercised dogs are more manageable, are healthier and live longer. That is why responsible owners require/demand off-leash space so that they can properly exercise their family dog. And unless you are advocating canine genocide, you better get used to the fact that these creatures have aligned themselves with humans and are here to stay.

You assert that, "GGNRA is responding to the public's refusal to be bullied and terrorized by dogs and dog owners." Yet, when we recently made FOIA requests to the GGNRA for any data/reports that support such a claim they responded, "We do not have any data at this time." In fact, they never were able to provide us any supporting documentation.

Although you obviously have no need for dogs in your cynical, cold-hearted world, many humans rely on their canine companions for their very own survival through their dog's ability to provide them with sight, hearing, protection, companionship, law enforcement, medical monitoring, disease diagnosis, search and rescue, etc., and would probably take issue with your branding them as "terrorists".

I just so very much hope that some day you will require the services of one of these four-legged "terrorists" for your own survival. Unlike you, they would help you without judgment.

Anonymous said...

636 is right, whens the last time you saw someone getting a ticket for a loose dog on the beach? Its been years for me.

Anonymous said...

@9:32 You and your militant vegetarian pro rights nimbys can picket chain stores, macdonalds and chick filet all day long and no one will care.

Because your dog is your only friend and you don't eat beef doesn't give you a right to leave your dog feces in the middle of the path and lecture us about our property rights.

Want to walk your dog off the leash? Go to the quarry. Everybody else does.

@9:29 Courtney Conlon retired in May, then again in December, the second time for good. I have no explanation for why the chamber is involved though, they always stick their noses places they don't belong, my guess is Petco just signed up and they're going to hold some political event there. This chamber is a little bit all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Wake up 932. GGNRA is telling you that providing you with a doggie playground is not their priority. In fact, as you yourself noted, the dog space is shrinking. Why?Just guessing, but top reasons are damage to wildlife and the environment and the risk and nuisance posed to humans by often aggressive dogs. On and off leash. Common sense. Demand all you want, but while you as part of the public have access to public open space, that privilege does not extend automatically or without review to your dog. Looks like the review has been done and new policies will be rolled out. BTW, I like dogs a lot and have owned several. Fine companions, able watchdogs, good friends. They deserve better than your maudlin defense and vindictive nature.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Who are the nimbys? The people who don't want loose dogs on the beach or the people who do and leave dog doo-doo all over the place? Is it the people who don't want off leash dogs in open spaces or people who want to have their off-leash dogs in open spaces?

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of dog shite all over the place, too.

Dog owners don't realize their animals are reducing the quality of their neighbors lives.

Your eighty pound pit bull jumping up and down at me as he jerks your arms out of the sockets makes me feel unsafe.

You letting your dog run free half a mile from where you are standing is not responsible ownership, and that's what ggnra is protecting against.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 1:30, it is a "priority" for the GGNRA to provide us with "doggie playgrounds". Clearly, you have no concept of the enabling legislation that created this National Recreation Area. Back in 1972, the GGNRA was born - a product of Proposition F, passed by the voters in San Francisco, and subsequent vote by U.S. Congress. The actual legislation, grant deeds and MOUs explicitly state that the NPS must respect and preserve the historical usage of the lands that comprise the GGNRA with respect to recreational activities (this includes off-leash dog walking - as had been the case for many decades at areas such as Fort Funston, Ocean Beach and Crissy Field). This "priority", as you would put it, was codified with the 1979 GGNRA Pet Policy, which allowed off-leash dog walking in specific areas comprising less than one percent of the GGNRA. Over the years (including now, with the proposed 2016 DMP) the GGNRA has attempted to renege on this legislative mandate. To date, ALL of these illegal attempts by the GGNRA/NPS to ban dogs and off-leash in the GGNRA have been challenged and overturned in Federal Court.

Your disingenuous, phony declaration that you "like dogs" is belied by your own words and deeds. It's funny, and predictable, that dog haters like you always qualify their hateful remarks with, "I love dogs, but...". Almost as if you are hedging your bets in case dogs happen to be reading your vile comments and that someday you might require their assistance in a life-saving situation. I suppose you will next claim it was just a typo on your part and you meant to call them "terriers" instead of "terrorists"?

1:30, I can only imagine what your next round of baseless accusations might be.

Anonymous said...

The Quarry is the biggest off-leash doggy toilet in Pacifica. Use it.
Lancelle, Digre, Vreeland, deJarnutt, Curtis and Loeb killed Measure L for you.
Why are you complaining?

Anonymous said...

Quarry really is a great place for dogs to run in Pacifica.
Is there any movement in the city to preserve it when the hotel comes?

Gardener Mike's little dog was attacked by an off leash dog while properly tied to a bench earlier this year.

Dog owners that follow the rules frequently get punished by the dog owners who don't.

Anonymous said...

Do any hotels in Pacifica allow dogs?

Anonymous said...

Ggnra's attitude towards legal law abiding dog lovers is appallling and underlines why it is extremely important that we preserve open spaces for dogs in the quarry.

We need to save dog rights in the quarry and urge the entire Pacifica hotel community to accept dogs as valued guests.

Anonymous said...

Smaller dog space means smaller dogs, right? Another win for the GGNRA.

Anonymous said...

I think the city needs to re evaluate its relationship with the Chamber of Commerce if this is what they spend our resources on.

This is just wrong.

Kathy Meeh said...

658, what Chamber of Commerce (a private corporation) resources are being spend that you claim are "just wrong"?
And why should the City reevaluate its relationship with the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center that promotes this City, and assists business owners?

Anonymous said...

I am seeing more and more dogs in Safeway. I guess I will bring my pitbull in safeway shopping. Tired of these little dog people getting away with everything. Down with little dog people! I want my Pitbull to be treated the same way. Pitbull Lives Matter!!!

Chris Porter said...

The Chamber of Commerce receives ZERO "resources" from the City of Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

@Chris Porter, that's not accurate. Every single City Council agenda has the monthly checks paid to the chamber.

City collects $365 per hotel room annually and diverts it to the Chamber.

Kathy Meeh said...

1213, the Chamber provides a service to the City, as explained again by Chris Porter on the City Council meeting 2/8/16 article, her comment 2/8/16, 10:46 am, in response to 9:10 am.

"9:10 AM Chamber of Commerce has not received (or asked for) money from the City for the last two budgets. The monies paid to the Chamber are the BID monies collected by the hotels on a self assessment of $1 a night. The City is the middle man for payment of these funds. These monies are not to be confused with the TOT (transient occupancy tax) that is paid directly to the City and I believe goes into the general fund." (Chris Porter)

BID is the acronym for Business Improvement District, in reference to Hotel Business Improvement District. City of Pacifica Resolution of intent to continue the BID, 6/22/15
These BID monies are spent on Hotel advertising and tourism. See Pacifica Tribune/Jean Bartlett, 5/12/11, "A revenue call to action...'destination' Pacifica.."

Anonymous said...

I hate it when people pick one thing out of the budget or the monthly reports and complain about it without any understanding of what the expense was for or how it fits in a larger picture. Yes, the checks from the city to the chamber are a pass through of the hotel self assessments. These are not city funds going to the chamber. It's the same problem for attorney fees and other things in financial reports.

Anonymous said...

142, it's not a self assessment. It's a tax the city collects from hotel owners and the City gives it all (about $5,000 - $7500 a month) to the Chamber of Commerce.

Sec. 3-17.02. - Assessments.


The assessment shall be levied annually on all hotels, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels and inns, existing or in the future, in the City of Pacifica. The assessment shall be based on a flat rate of One and no/100ths ($1.00) Dollar per room, per day of occupancy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the City of Pacifica paid the Chamber of Commerce $73,445.00 in 2015 with the March agenda showing the largest check of $12,113.

The rest of Chamber Director's salary is paid through membership dues.

Anonymous said...

So the city collects the money and gives it to the Chamber.
Hmmm. Ponzi of some sort? Money laundering? Legal?

Kathy Meeh said...

154 again, you do mean the City paid the Chamber of Commerce for managing the Business Improvement District (BID), which is accounted for City promotional and tourism) expenses.
Such cooperative and beneficial arrangements also exist in other cities.

Kathy Meeh said...

249, managing the Business Improvement District (BID) is compatible with professional Chamber of Commerce expertise-- and again, the work, accounting and ongoing project outcomes are reviewed by the City-- all completely legal, beneficial to the City, beneficial to private businesses.

However, your 249 comments, hiding under Anonymous, are ill-considered, extreme, way over-the-top, and stupid.
But then, most local Nimbies don't really care about the business viability of this City, except for a few basic stores, and cheap eats for the trail, right?

Chris Porter said...

I am not wrong. The BID money is funneled thru the City. You are again confusing the TOT with the BID. I was president of the Chamber two times and I can again state the Chamber receives no money from the City of Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Chamber gets a lot of money from the City of Pacifica.

The TOT is the 12% hotel tax.
The BID is the $1 per room per day hotel tax.

Chamber gets the BID, which was about $72,709 in 2015.

$11,009.00 March 12, 2015
$4,960.00 April 2, 2015
$12,113.00 May 28, 2015
$5,675.00 June 30, 2015
$5,774.00 August 6, 2015
$7,578.00 September 2, 2015
$6,254.00 October 2, 2015
$6,160.00 October 30, 3015
$7,352.00 December 11, 2015
$5,834.00 December 30, 2015

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought we were talking about dogs and the GGNRA?

Anonymous said...

1008 No need. Plenty of proof in these posts that you can't teach old dogs new tricks.

Anonymous said...

1008 More proof that when you've got nothing to say whatsoever, go to a cliché.

Anonymous said...

827 Cliché? Yes, and a particularly apt one.