Two new off-leash dog parks will open on Jan. 13 at West Hollywood Park — the first of a number of improvements in the $96 million park redevelopment project.
The dog parks are located on either side of the outdoor basketball courts at the north end of West Hollywood Park. The area for small dogs consists of 4,250 square feet and is located to the west of the courts. The area for large dogs consists of 7,350 square feet and is located to the east of the courts.
Each dog park features expanses of open space with benches, shade trees, small mounds and turf terraces for romping, and water stations. The cost of the dog parks is an estimated $700,000.
Initial plans for the park redevelopment didn’t include a dog park. But in 2014, then-Mayor John D’Amico noted that it did include three play areas for children, a distinct minority in a city very focused on dogs. The U.S. Census Bureaus’s American Community Survey reports that only 1.9% of the city’s residents in 2010 were five years old or less. Only 4.6% were 18 or younger. In a memorable remark, D’Amico said the inclusion of play areas for children and none for dogs was an example of the city’s “institutional fetishization of kids.”
Residents are invited to attend (with their dogs) a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. on Jan. 13 to celebrate the opening of the dog parks. They are located just behind the former Citibank building on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards. Members of the City Council and the city’s Public Facilities Commission will be present.
Construction at West Hollywood Park began in January 2017 and is anticipated to last through 2020. While certain areas are closed during construction, the majority of the park remains open to visitors.