Calling their group “Unleash the Beach,” about a dozen Santa Monica residents met at Joslyn Park Saturday, June 12th, to discuss creating an off-leash dog zone between lifeguard stands 11 and 12 on Santa Monica beach.

Speaking to the group was Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tempore Kevin McKeown; Daryl Barnett, founder of Freeplay, a group lobbying for a similar dog zone at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey; and Sandra Lloyd-Jones, assistant to former El Segundo Mayor Mike Gordon, who is now running for the California State Assembly.

Unleash the Beach plans to circulate an informal petition throughout Santa Monica.

“With between 4,000 and 5,000 licensed dogs in the city, we should certainly be able to show a huge amount of support,” said Jeff Goodman, one of Unleash’s organizers.

Unleash the Beach targeted an area in the stretch of what it considers to be underdeveloped and poorly used beach close to the Arizona overpass and south of the California Incline.

The area is also very close to a storm drain and lifeguards refer to it as the “desert,” according to a group spokesman.

Unleash will be sponsoring a campaign event featuring dog owners with their pets near the beach, but not on the sand where it is illegal, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 17th.