Editor's Note: This is a letter from Don Slater, a staunch advocate of designating part of San Clemente's coastline to allow dogs. He and his wife are founders of the nascent Friends of San Clemente Dog Beach.
It seems that change is in the air in San Clemente. The pier area is fixed up beautifully, the new sports park is now open, Max Berg Plaza Park is expanding, and many more improvements are in the works.
Now, the City Council will vote on expanding the dog friendliness of the community. Already many business and restaurants have set out bowls of water and welcome dogs in outdoor seating areas. Such practices are kind to the animals and make good business sense, as they have found out.
A majority of homes have a dog as a pet; this is a large devoted segment of the population. These people spend money on and for their pets at an ever increasing rate. When they visit this community, our businesses and tax rolls will benefit. People and their pets go where they are wanted.
A small, little-used piece of beach is all we ask. By comparison to the earlier mentioned improvements, it is little to ask. Every recreational activity the City provides has potential of abuse, danger and ongoing expenses. We all pay taxes here, yet a majority of people are not served with dog friendly activities.
Stay in your yard, the sidewalk or the street is today’s mantra. If you have a problem with a dog beach, don’t go there; go to another of our fine beaches. You can only be on one beach at a time.
People will learn through fines and peer pressure to clean up after their pets, and then take this habit with them elsewhere in the city. The end result will be cleaner urban runoff and cleaner water. Friends Of San Clemente Dog Beach (visit us on Facebook) will promote responsible pet ownership and assist the city with keeping the beach clean.
We ask all in favor to email the City Council or better yet attend the meeting on 6 p.m. March 6 in Council Chambers, 100.
If you come, they will build it.