Pacific Beach Town Council wants more time for dogs in Mission Bay parks

Madison Parker walks Billie, Charlie, Lucy and Bodi at Fanuel Street Park in Pacific Beach.
Madison Parker walks Billie, Charlie, Lucy and Bodi at Fanuel Street Park in Pacific Beach. The park is part of a Pacific Beach Town Council proposal to loosen dog hours at Mission Bay parks.
(Milan Kovacevic)

If the Pacific Beach Town Council has its way, parks in Mission Bay will become a little more dog-friendly.

Currently, dogs are not allowed in Mission Bay parks from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through October and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March. The Town Council is aiming for those hours to be loosened to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round so dog owners can have more time in the mornings and evenings to “enjoy the bay with their pups,” according to Town Council President Brian White.

“Changing the hours to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round would be more simple and concise and would provide more consistency all year,” White said.

A sign shows the hours that dogs are not allowed at Mission Bay parks.
A sign shows the hours that dogs are not allowed at Mission Bay parks.

According to the city of San Diego website, some parks at Mission Bay allow leashed dogs while others are leash-free and some are entirely dog-free. The proposal submitted by the Town Council applies only to on-leash dogs at Mission Bay parks, including Crown Point Park, De Anza Cove Park, Fanuel Street Park and the boardwalks stretching around the bay. The proposed changes would not affect beaches, White said.

At a virtual meeting Oct. 6, the Mission Bay Park Committee gave initial approval to the Town Council’s proposal, though more approvals are needed before the rule is changed. The process to change the municipal code isn’t easy.

“As this moves forward, it would go to the Park and Recreation Board, which is a citywide board, which is the next step beyond the Mission Bay Park Committee,” White said. “If they decide to give the same recommendation and if it passes there, Parks and Rec would then go and work with our city attorney to get a draft ordinance to work out that draft language to change the municipal code, and then it would get docketed to the City Council for a vote.”

Amy Ryan walks Herky (left) and Luna at Fanuel Street Park.
(Milan Kovacevic)

White noted that during the Oct. 6 meeting, the sun set at 6:25 p.m., which he called a perfect example of why the parks should loosen their dog-friendly hours.

“The day of the meeting ... fell within that half of the year where the hours don’t allow people with dogs up until 6 p.m.,” White said. “I looked up the sunset as we’re in the meeting; I look out my window and it’s completely dark and the sunset that night was 6:25 p.m. So it doesn’t allow a whole lot of time for someone to get their dog out there before sunset during the allowed hours.”

Tim Graham, the city of San Diego’s supervising public officer, said the city “strives to implement solutions that reflect the desires and wishes of the community. As such, the city will continue to work with the community to find solutions that allow both dog owners and visitors to enjoy the park.”

Ray Hamel and Popcorn, a Maltese poodle, take a break at Fanuel Street Park in Pacific Beach.
(Milan Kovacevic)

“As for the next steps in the process, those in favor of the new times will now seek to gather additional community support before bringing their recommendation to the Park and Recreation Board as a package,” Graham said. “The city expects this will come before the park board sometime in January.”

For more information about the Town Council’s efforts, visit