Off-Leash Dogwalking on Service Road to Lock Lomond Dam

  • by: Friends of Loch Lomond dog-walkers
  • recipient: Dogs and their owners who've loved walking on the city-owned gated-off road where Newell Creek Road "dead-ends" at the Green Gate
For 50 years some of us have been walking our dogs on the city-owned service road to Lock Lomond Dam.  Even though "No Tresspassing" signs have been posted for DECADES dogwalkers and joggers have gone around the gate to enjoy a walk in the woods below the dam of Lock Lomond.  
Until 9/11/2001 City of Santa Cruz personnel permitted this despite signage prohibiting this.  Water Department personnel and Park Rangers were cordial, waved hello, greeted dog-walkers and joggers with a neighborly greeting and never enforced the "No Tresspassing" signs.  After 9/11/01 city staff began to ask dog-walkers and joggers to not enter the last gate and to no longer go all the way up to the dam.  The reason stated had to do with Homeland Security and the city's drinking water supply.  City staff said they would continue to not enforce the signage from the first gate to the second gate, allowing walkers to continue to use 60% of the road.   
Until the last 2 years, when new residents on that road decided the happy dogs must be stopped, we've had a cordial relationship with people who live there.  Even now, most of the few residents who live there wave, say hello and happily slow their cars when they see dog-walking and jogging taking place.  
City personnel have informed us they are now being forced to enforce the signage, have purchased additional signage to be installed soon and a new, high security gate to keep the exercisers away.  They say they will also begin citing violators as soon as the new signs arrive.  
City personnel are quite apologetic and say they don't like being used as the personal security guards of a few millionaires, but a few new arrivals to our quiet neighborhood have loudly lobbied downtown to make enforcement happen.  
We want the City of Santa Cruz to immediately postpone the installation of new signage and a new gate, which must cost in the many thousands of dollars, and not begin enforcement until this petition and a public hearing can occur.  
We believe the residents around the road to Lock Lomond dam should be heard, even though we are not City residents.  We also will canvas the neighborhoods around the City's current dog-parks and the users of those parks, who we believe will want the City allow an off-leash dog-walking area in Ben Lomond so the residents of the San Lorenzo Valley will not be forced to bring many dozens of additional dogs down to the City of Santa Cruz and cause congestion in the City's limited off-leash parks.  
We humbly request that the City Council immeidately order the Water Department and the Parks Department to cancel all orders for new equipment (in the amount of up to $10,000) which is occurring in an environment of lay-offs, cutbacks and furloughs.  
We believe the City cannot afford to and should not pay to provide a private, security gate and enforcement officers so a few millionaire landowners will not have to slow their cars to avoid hitting doggies and walkers on a City owned road.
The Dog-walkers, Hikers and Exercisers of Newell Creek Road in Ben Lomond. 
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