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Mayor's Blog: Dogs on the Beach on Council Agenda

At this week's council meeting we'll discuss allowing dogs on the beach in the morning.

Friends, it seems the burning issue this week is an old one. I know this has been , but I thought that having the interested parties state their case would be only fair.

At this week's city council meeting we will discuss allowing on-leash dogs to be walked on our beach during the early morning hours.

Just to be clear, I do not own a dog. I have no motive except making certain all segments of the population of Capitola are heard. Does the early morning, dawn until 10 a.m., element make any difference? Perhaps only the low tide "path" leading to New Brighton should be open to on-leash dogs? Do we patrol and issue citations enough currently, especially for inconsiderate dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets?

All the above, this Thursday.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments and come voice your opinion at the council meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jennifer Squires April 09, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I'd love to be able to walk my dogs down there in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee. What a great (possible) development!
Barry Kane April 09, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Great idea and makes Capitola more friendly to all of us that have dog best friends and our beach/ocean is a big reason we are here. I promise to bring my doggie bag along :-)
Michael Termini April 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Thank you both for your comments. I have received several e-mails with differing points of view. The primary concerns seem to be off leash dogs, which is not what we are considering, and owners who do not clean up after their pet. If this goes through it very well may include aggressive policing of those who now flaunt the law.
Peking April 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM
If nothing else results, this item on the agenda at least allows for a discussion of the issue. Responsible owners should not be punished because there are those who don't clean up after their dogs.
Michael Termini April 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Peking, I would strongly agree but, I never imagined the emotional response I have received from both sides! If nothing else, we have served the democratic process.
Cheri O'Neil April 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Woof! I'd love to take my dog on Capitola beach, which is close to my home.
Dave N April 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I would support idea that only the low tide "path" leading to New Brighton should be open to on-leash dogs. The reason for this is because the main part of the beach is a big draw for families. The biggest issue I have with dogs on beaches – any beach – is sanitation. Responsible pet owners can pick up dog feces but there is nothing that can be done about urination. I would certainly not want my children playing in dog pee. In addition to that, some people, especially children, are afraid of dogs. Even though I am not afraid on most dogs I do resent when they approach me to take a good sniff or looking for a petting. Even though they will be on a leash some of those leashes that are on a reel can be extremely long and even responsible owners have no more control over that sudden sprint than a responsible parent has over a child who suddenly decides to run in a no running area like around a pool.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 11, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Dave, there is VERY little risk from dog urine. Sure it has the ick factor, but healthy dogs will not transmit anything to humans from their urine. Far more concerning is all the horrible stuff carried in bird droppings. Can't do much about that though.
Dave N April 11, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Jacob, I never said anything about transmission of diseases or ??? – the point is - would you want your child to come back from playing in the waves to play with their pail and sand toys after a dog peed on them? Your comment about the birds is a valid one but just because there is some litter in the street doesn’t mean we should feel free to add more. Some things we can’t control but others we can – and should.
Michael Termini April 11, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Dave, Great comments. one of the benefits of tomorrows meeting is the clear message the Council can give to the police department about enforcement of not picking up after pets and off leash dogs,
Chuck April 12, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Mayor Termini: Regardless of the final result, I sincerely hope that the city council delivers clear and firm directives to the Police Dept as to what will be enforced in regard to dogs on the beach. I have seen little to no enforcement of the dogs on the beach ordinance, especially in the busy summer months. A recent comment by Sgt. Eller in the Sentinel stated that the CPD made about "15 contacts a day in the summer", but admits very few citations are issued. I'd say that number is closer to zero, over the last ten years. If there is next to no enforcement of the existing ordinance, I find it hard to see how differing "Okay in the morning hours, not okay in the afternoon" and "Okay on Hooper's, not okay on the Main Beach" variations will work. I have seen the same "law abiding dog owners" walk right past the signs and ignore the city lifeguards when they try to tell them of the ordinance or point out the signs; playing dumb "Oh, I didn't know..." or get belligerent "yeah, yeah, I know. Hey man, I'm a LOCAL!" Mayor, what will you propose to ensure the ordinances are enforced, even if modified? People still smoke on the beach, and they still consume alcohol, despite the laws. Will you dedicate a police officer to the beach area to inform and cite violators? An easier way out would be to repeal the ordinance entirely. Make it a free for all, but remember to weigh the legal liabilities of the City in doing so. One dog bite to a child incident could change it all.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Chuck, you are correct about citations. I spoke to the PD about this a couple of months ago and at that point exactly ONE dog on the beach citation had been given since 2006.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Here's the story on the council's decision tonight: http://capitola.patch.com/articles/council-squashes-dog-beach-idea

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