|Dogs play at a beach in Coronado, CA - A new bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto|
would eliminate barriers for cities like Coronado to build dog parks.
The idea for the bill came from a local city councilmember, who expressed to Gatto that cities would open more dog parks, but for the liability concerns. “Apparently, large cities and counties can ‘self-insure’ and absorb any potential liability,” said Gatto, “but for smaller and mid-size cities, the liability concerns are a major barrier to improving the lives of dog lovers.”
There is precedent for the state stepping in to limit liability for the public good, especially for the use of public resources that come with some inherent danger. In 1997, the state imposed limited liability under certain circumstances for cities that open skate parks. Policymakers reasoned then that more recreation opportunities were needed, but that since skateboarding is inherently dangerous, it should be done at the users’ risk and without massive liability for cities and their taxpayers.
“By offering our communities a more sensible set of laws on this issue, we can help make more dogs parks available in more neighborhoods,” said Gatto.
Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents Burbank, Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, and portions of the Hollywood Hills and East Hollywood. www.asm.ca.gov/gatto
Read more: San Diego Pets Magazine - Assemblyman Mike Gatto Bill Would Help More Communities Get Dog Parks