Will Santa Monica’s sand castles turn into dog houses? Will dogs kick sand in the faces of 98-pound weaklings on Santa Monica’s beaches? Or will the dogs end up in the pound? Those are some of the questions Santa Monica residents may be asking, after the Santa Monica City Council voted yesterday to come up with a pilot program for designating a dog beach, and to present the program to state officials in Sacramento.
In dog-crazy Santa Monica, some locals, including the folks at Unleash the Beach, have been pushing the dog beach idea for years. However, you’re likely to find just as many people who think it’s a bad move, primarily for sanitary reasons. This is one issue where “step in it” is used literally rather than figuratively.
Additionally, the legal thicket involved in creating a beach for dogs in Santa Monica is one that most dogs wouldn’t even want to enter. In addition to trying to convince the folks in Sacramento, dog beach advocates must overcome opposition from, er, well-heeled groups such as Heal the Bay, whose members are concerned about those who would poison the atmosphere (again, literally not figuratively). And if the Coastal Commission wants to get involved? Just ask Venice homeowners or The Edge how accommodating the Commissioners are.
So, I would caution Santa Monica dog beach advocates: don’t hold your dog breath just yet, as this may take a while.