SANTA CLARITA – A coalition of dog lovers is pressuring the city to establish a leash-free dog park. On Tuesday, the group asked that pet owners be given the same consideration as has been shown to skateboarders. Santa Clarita is building a replacement skate park at the city Sports Complex for the latter. “Especially in this area, we have such small yards, it’s healthy to let dogs off the leash and run,” Virginia La Monica said. “Maybe more people who are too lazy to walk them on a leash will take them and let them run.” La Monica said after she tired of sneers from joggers at the park near her former Tujunga home, she began taking Biloxi and Alabama, mixed black Labrador retrievers, to a dog park in Van Nuys. An off-leash park is called for in the city’s master plan, but the location won’t be graded any time soon. The Sports Complex project that provides for relocating the skate park includes an interim dog park, adjacent to Ruether Avenue. City Manager Ken Pulskamp told the group the dog park is “something we’re hopeful we can explore with our upcoming budget for the next fiscal year.” If a new phase of the Sports Complex is funded in June, both the replacement skate park and interim dog park could be built in 18 months. “We’re committed to that,” Tom Reilly, the city’s park development administrator, said Wednesday. [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!