Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Daily Breeze: Dog park legislation boosts Whittier plans

Excerpt from a great story by Peter Fullam of the Daily Breeze / San Gabriel Valley News on how my AB 265 is already having a positive effect in small/medium cities.

Members of the Whittier Dog Park Task Force gather with their dogs on the sidewalk around Central Park in Whittier on Friday April 22, 2011. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/SWCITY)

Cities would have immunity from bite lawsuits

By Peter Fullam, SGVN

WHITTIER - Plans for the city's dog park got a boost earlier this month when legislation giving cities immunity from lawsuits by people who get bitten at dog parks was sent to the Governor's Office.

"We were happy it was approved," said Fran Shields, director of the city's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. "It gives us an immunity shield for the dog park we're planning."

According to the Legislative Counsel's Digest, the bill provides that any public entity that owns or operates a dog park "shall not be held liable for an injury or death of a person or pet resulting solely from the actions of a dog in the dog park."

Shields said she hopes to bring plans for the dog park before the City Council by the end of August. If plans progress smoothly, construction on the dog park could begin by the end of the year, she said...

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) authored AB 61 to help
small- and medium-sized cities open dog parks.
...Shields said the legislation, called Helping Communities Afford Dog Parks, is similar to earlier legislation that gave cities immunity from liability for injuries that happen at skate parks.

The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles. It passed the state Senate June 24 and the Assembly June 27. It was sent to the Governor's Office on July 1, and a spokeswoman for Gatto said Tuesday the bill is waiting for the governor to sign it.

"It's a good thing for the city," Shields said of the legislation. "With this we're able to keep moving forward."

You can

Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the California State Assembly.  He represents Burbank, Glendale, La CaƱada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake. 

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