State legislation for a pilot program to allow an off-leash dog beach park on Dockweiler State Beach in the southern end of Playa del Rey has received its first approval by a State Assembly committee.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gordon of the 53rd District has proposed a measure to establish a one-year pilot program that would allow dogs to roam unleashed on a one-mile stretch of sand in the southern portion of Dockweiler Beach, adjacent to the Hyperion Treatment Plant.

Gordon has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is currently being treated in a hospital, but he continues to push the legislation forward.

There are currently 57 county and city sanctioned dog beaches in the state, but the only dog beach in Los Angeles county is in Long Beach, according to a Gordon statement.

The legislation faced its first review by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in Sacramento Tuesday, March 29th. The committee addresses issues related to water policy, parks and wildlife.

After reviewing a statement released by Gordon and testimony from other supporters, including a dog-owner group, Freeplay, the 14-member Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee unanimously supported the legislation.

“This is a great start for the nearly one million dog owners in the County of Los Angeles,” Gordon said in a statement Tuesday, March 29th.

“I am pleased this bill moved forward today and that we are one step closer to removing an impediment so often cited by the county.”

The State Assembly Appropriations Committee will next review the legislation to consider any fiscal impacts to the state. That committee is expected to address the legislation before a Friday, May 27th, deadline for fiscal bills, said Janelle Beland, a Gordon spokeswoman.

Although the legislation has received initial approval by a State Assembly committee, the measure still faces strong opposition from such opponents as Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and State Park and Recreation Commission district superintendent Ron Schafer.

Knabe and Schafer claim the pilot program for off-leash dogs on the beach would impact the public’s beach-going experience and create health and safety issues.

Beland said Gordon and his staff would like to meet with Knabe and Schafer to try to settle some issues and concerns about the legislation.

“I look forward to working with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the County of Los Angeles to make the dog beach that so many have dreamt of a reality,” Gordon said.