Click photo to enlarge
David Nebenfuhr, of Pittsburg, and his three dogs walk into the dog park at Baldwin Park in Concord, Calif., on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Nebenfuhr soon will be able to take his dogs to a dog park in Pittsburg. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group)

PITTSBURG -- By the end of the month, Highlands Ranch Park should be ready to for the dogs to be let out.

Work is underway to create a dog park with separate fenced areas for small and large dogs. When completed, the park on Buchanan Road, east of Ventura Road, will be the first in the city to have a dog park.

A grand opening will take place May 31, said Don Buchanan, Pittsburg's director of recreation and maintenance services. "It's coming along beautifully," he said.

Dog day afternoons in the new play area can come none too soon for David Nebenfuhr, one of many residents who wanted a dog park in Pittsburg.

"Dogs on a leash and dogs being able to run around. It's like night and day," Nebenfuhr said. He's been taking his three dogs, a Chihuahua named Taco, a Basenji-terrier mix named Misty, and Beemer, a miniature Pinscher, to dog parks in Concord and Antioch.

The dog park area is in an underutilized area on the north side of the 10-acre Highlands Ranch Park. It will have a waste station that will dispense plastic bags in case dog owners didn't bring their own. And there will be a two-level water fountain to serve thirsty dogs and people.

"As time passes, we will add additional amenities as we get feedback from the public," Buchanan said.

In April, City Council members voted unanimously to allocate $40,000 from park-dedication funds for the Highlands Ranch dog park.


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The cost of building the dog park is expected to come in well under that amount, Buchanan said.

The council approval came after the Community Advisory Commission voted in favor of a conceptual plan for the dog park developed by city staff.

While Highlands Ranch will be the first park in Pittsburg to have a dog park, it won't be the last.

Another one is planned at the yet-to-be-built San Marco community park at San Marco Boulevard and West Leland Road. A Community Advisory Commission has given conceptual approval to the 6-acre San Marco park, but final details still need to be worked out.

Construction on the San Marco park is tentatively set to begin in late summer.

Discovery Builders has pledged to spend up to $1.5 million to build the community park as a condition of a 12-year extension granted by the city to build housing in the San Marco subdivision.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her at Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

IF YOU GO
What: Grand opening of Pittsburg's first dog park
Where: Highlands Ranch Park, on Buchanan Road, east of Ventura Road
When: 10 a.m. May 31