Del Mar: City considers new restrictions for dog beach - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Del Mar: City considers new restrictions for dog beach

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DEL MAR (NEWS 8) – Del Mar’s long standing practice of allowing dogs to run freely along the beach has been the subject of an ongoing debate between beachgoers and dog owners.

On Monday night, the Del Mar City Council met to review and discuss new restrictions for the city’s dog beach.

During the summer, leashes are required on Del Mar’s dog beach. According to the city, they make about 100 contacts a day reminding dog owners the rules and give about 50 citations a year.

Letting dogs run free on the beach dubbed “dog beach” has been an unwritten rule for some time.

“I think it’s really important for a dog’s health to be able to run around,” said Laura Xiao.

Last year, after a woman said she was attacked by a dog and its owner, a petition with more than 1,700 signatures pushed the City Council to consider off leash regulations.

“The non-dog people have a huge part of the beach and the dog people have a little part of the beach,” said Scott McDonald, who circulated the petition.

During Monday night’s meeting, the Del Mar City Council pushed back on the city’s recommendation to allow off-leash down its coastline before eight in the morning, but agreed to test out allowing off leash in the morning during the summer hours – from 25th Street to the Solana Beach border.

During the winter months, off leash would be allowed all day.

“I do think that people who want to enjoy the beach and not want to be around dogs have a right to know where to go and enjoy the beach,” said Del Mar’s mayor, Dwight Worden.

During the summer months, no dogs are allowed between 29th Street and Power House Park, but dogs on leash are allowed during the winter months.

“Leashes or no leashes, the dogs chase me. I can’t sit on the ground on my blanket – these dogs will come up to me,” said Jonelle Agnew.

Opponents of off leash dogs worry about safety. “We need to know it’s safe there and it’s not safe there,” said Eunjee Viscardi.

The proposal also calls for enforcement during the morning hours which will cost the city about $21,000.

The council wants to test it and monitor it for further expansion. If a final draft ordinance is approved, pet owners would be allowed to take their four-legged friend to dog beach off leash by summer time.

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