Pros and Cons of Off Leash at South Buena Vista Park Discussed


Forty to sixty concerned citizens showed up at the Buena Vista Park onsite meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission this Saturday, February 17, 2018. An equal number of local residents spoke passionately, Pro and Con, about the potential to make the park off leash. Mayor Judy Ritter and Councilmember John Franklin attended.

Many residents talked about incidents of dog attacks at the park while many talked about how well behaved most dogs are. No action was taken, and the next discussion will be at the Commission meeting on March 26, 2018 at 6 PM in the Vista City Council Chamber.

Some topics discussed included:
1-We already have off leash at South Buena Vista Park(SBVP) only a few minutes away.
2-What kind of enforcement is in place?
3-Have there been officially reported attacks at the park?
4-We should make SBV off leash all day (it is now 7-10 AM and 3PM till dusk), and keep BVP as on leash.
5-How many people would be driven away from using the park if it became off leash (now 100% of all users can walk the trails, as long as the rules are followed)?
6-What impact would off leash have on Rancho Buena HS physical education programs, cross country track team, bicycle club, Vista Chamber Beer Run, senior citizens walking club, and others?
7-Why not have random obedience testing before allowing dogs off leash?
8-Why not create a playground at BVP, like SBVP has?
9- Would a compliance patrol pay for itself with fines?
10-Will the city take on liability if they authorize off leash?
11-Would BVP see the same deteriorating conditions as SBVP has seen?
12-What about the wildlife, vegetation, creek quality? Have the conservation groups weighed in?
13-There is a big problem with owners not picking up after their dogs. Would off leash make that worse?
14-Would off leash rules put dogs in danger from snakes and coyotes?
15-Will the Vista Climate Action Plan be impacted (to be discussed at the Planning Commission Tuesday night)?

The crowd was courteous and listened intently. Many met their neighbors for the first time.


  1. This was the on-site meeting of the Parks & Rec Commission, with one more left in March. Good notes on the speakers’ points – and many questions that will need to be considered when making the recommendation for off-leash or keeping dogs on-leash. The biggest question is enforcement – the Humane Society officers attending have done patrols for six years and have never given a ticket, just warnings. They were at South BV Park today at 10:30 handing out warnings – since that is outside the posted off-leash hours. Thanks for all who attended and spoke up! We’ll see you Monday, March 26
    in the Civic Center Council Chambers (200 Civic Center Drive, Vista) @ 6 pm for the final meeting to gather public input on the issue. The Commission will consider and make a recommendation to the City Council about off-leash hours, to be presented in April.


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