dogs on leash

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dog Work Group Begins December 3, 2018

The Dog Work Group began work on December 3 to review new actions regarding dog recreational use and to begin developing pilot programs.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Commission Approves Dog Management Recommendations

The Parks and Recreation Commission approved dog management policy recommendations presented at the December 7 meeting by the Dog Management Committee.


Committee Members

The Dog Management Committee is comprised of 10 community members who advise the Parks and Recreation Commission as it seeks to update and clarify dog management policies in San Mateo County Parks. The Committee is comprised of two County Parks and Recreation Commissioners, a County Park Ranger, representatives from unincorporated areas of the mid-coast, Pescadero area, and North Fair Oaks, and representatives from conservation groups, equestrians, bicyclists, and dog advocates.  Both the Peninsula Humane Society and San Mateo County Resource Conservation District have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity.

The members of the committee are:

  • Mike Cooney, Commissioner and Committee Co-chair
  • Neil Merrilees, Commissioner and Committee Co-chair
  • Darrick Emil, San Mateo County Parks Ranger
  • Nic Erridge, Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council
  • Chris Johnson, Mid-Coast Community Council
  • Rafael Avendano, North Fair Oaks Community Council
    • Alternate: Aaron Gonzales, Youth
  • Jim Sullivan, Pacifica Community Member and Mountain Biker
  • Faye Brophy, Equestrian Trails and Recreation Advisory Council
    • Alternate: Lyndal Erb
  • Jerry Hearn, Conservation community
    • Alternate: Cindy Abbott
  • Christine Corwin, Coastside Dog Committee
Purpose of the Committee

Currently, Parks operates under a County ordinance that prohibits dogs in County parks. Yet, during the past 10 years, the Department has accepted properties from other agencies and “grandfathered in” the practice of allowing dogs on leash at Pillar Point Bluff, Quarry and Wicklow parks, and the Loma Mar addition to Memorial Park. Some trails, including the Coastal Trail, Devil’s Slide Trail, which is a segment of the Coastal Trail, and the Bay Trail are also exceptions. In addition to recommending updates to the County ordinances and identifying potential dog recreation opportunities, the Committee is expected to outline criteria to be used in identifying parks, places or trails best suited for dog activity and parameters for specific pilot areas where dog management will be allowed and carefully monitored to determine effectiveness.

Topics of enforcement, budget, owner education, and park infrastructure will also be on the Committee’s agenda. The Committee will be supported by Parks staff and an independent facilitator.

Send your ideas and comments to

Committee meetings, listed below, were open to the public.

Committee Meetings

Meetings began at 2:30pm and were held in:

455 County Center 4th Floor
Redwood City CA 94063 (See map)

Find agendas and minutes for the meetings listed below.