Dog owners have been fighting for equal, safe and clean access to Noe Courts since the late 1980s when the perimeter fence was installed. In 1997, Parks and Rec tried to ban dogs altogether but relented and allowed dogs as long as they remained on leash. That leash law has remained a bone of contention ever since. Fast forward to last week when one dog owner fired off this email to Scott Wiener:
Dear Mr. Wiener:Scott's response:
If you think I was upset about the park work trucks digging up the grass, I am now outraged by the fact that we are being harassed by Park Rangers again. It has been over two years since we dog owners complained about the park rangers enforcing a leash law that has been contested for years and thought it was resolved and that this had been put to rest.
As a homeowner who pays outrages taxes and does not use the schools and any county services to speak of, let alone getting much for my taxes at all, I feel taking my dogs to Noe Courts is my privilege and I have paid more than enough for the privilege. This city can't keep our roads up, provide decent public schools or keep drunks from living on the streets, but you can pay for Park Rangers to police a tiny little neighborhood park. Our park is a disgrace because of maintenance and the only way we can upgrade it is if we citizens file for and get grants to upgrade, but the city can spend money on rent-a-cops.
Parents with children and their dogs use Noe Courts because of it's multi-use grounds. I know you are going to say there is Douglas Park for dogs, but there are too many dog walkers and some very nasty dogs that I do not want to expose my dogs to.
[The above picture shows] some of the criminal dogs who frequent this park.
I expect to continue to use Noe Courts with my dogs and will fight this tooth and nail.
[Ed.--email reprinted with permission as long as writer remains anonymous]
I agree that Noe Courts is an amazing neighborhood park, and a lot of us are hoping to make it even better. While I agree that enforcement of the leash laws needs to be judicious, I disagree that park rangers shouldn't go to neighborhood parks. We do a very poor job enforcing park rules (quite apart from the leash laws), and we need more park patrol attention, not less. Again, this is with respect to park rules generally. With respect to leash laws, I do agree that we need to be thoughtful in our enforcement and not clamp down. With that said, there are situations when too many off-leash dogs in an on-leash park can cause operational difficulties. It's all about balance and good judgment in enforcement.So... expect the battle for use of this small neighborhood park to continue.
[NVV: Neighbors in a Dogfight Over Noe Courts]