A law that has been on the books since 1980 banning dogs from and often ignored, was amended by city council, now allowing for pets, on leashes in the park.
The ordinance, 1070.04, is more than 20 years old and stated, “No person shall bring any animal area or pets in swimming area or park.”
Recently, the city's Parks and Recreation personnel have been asking people with dogs to leave the park, citing "rule no. 5."
“There was a series of complaints from people who had been walking their dogs, especially at sunset,” Marty O’Donnell said at a recent meeting. He noted that the park had expanded since 1980 and the area is popular with dog walkers, especially senior citizens.
Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch supported the change but said she would like to approach some businesses about donating materials for owner to clean up after dogs with.
The measure did not receive unanimous support.
Recreation Department worker Jim Black spoke out against changing the ordinance at last week’s council meeting.
“I would hate to see the law overturned,” Black said. “We have a lot of senior citizens who use the park for therapy. All dog owners do not take care of their pets. It’s a fact.”
Black said there are a number of citizens who use the beach and boardwalk.
“They truly enjoy the park because there are no dogs,” he said.
Black also said it was possible for dogs on very long leashes to approach picnic tables.
“We should be able to have one park in the whole city where dogs are not allowed,” he said.
Council unanimously approved the change at the July 9 council meeting.