Proposed changes to Fiesta Island concern dog owners

SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego held an informational meeting Tuesday night to unveil a potential new plan for Fiesta Island’s dog beach.

The biggest potential change to the island in Mission Bay Park would be adding a road that would cut through the currently unobstructed dog beach. Other changes include adding tent camping areas, an outdoor arena and more environmental preservation.

As it stands now, the 90-acre park is unlike any other dog beach in the county because owners can let their dogs roam leash-free from the moment they get out of the car.

At the meeting at Mission Bay High School, city employees answered questions from concerned residents and gathered public written comment.

“Fiesta Island works the way it is and there’s no reason it should be changed,” said resident Charlie Plavi.

He voiced the sentiment of nearly 50 people who attended the meeting.

“You can’t find this anywhere else. It’s beautiful, so special,” said Joe Malloy, who takes her two pups, Sassafras and Lakshmi, to the beach every day. "It's horrifying. If they're going to take that away from me, we're going to move out of San Diego."

If residents like those at the meeting continue to be vocal enough in their opposition, the city won't touch the island at all.

"It is a no-project alternative. We will be analyzing that option of doing nothing more to the island," said Alyssa Muto with the city.

The proposal will now go to two more committees and then a number of public forums will be held. If the proposal were to go through, the city said the Park and Rec. board would have final approval.

“Come on a weekend here, it is full. People use this place, people love this place. To take that away from them, even in part, I think that would be a mistake,” said Malloy.