Orange County is closer to getting its first official off-leash dog beach.
Leaders in Orange County met on Tuesday to begin the process of creating a designated off-leash dog area where the Santa Ana River is located.
The county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow dogs to be off leash on a stretch of beach near the Newport Beach and Huntington Beach border.
Now, the ordinance will move to a second reading in May. If it passes, the earliest the area would become an official dog beach is June.
Over the years, the area already has been a place for dogs to run off leash but it was never official.
“The dog park has been there for so many years,” Supervisor Michelle Steel, who pushed for the change, told The Los Angeles Times. “This is just common sense. When you go out there and look at them, those dogs are free. There are so many happy dogs there.”
But that doesn’t mean there are happy people. This move came after residents complained about the dogs, citing noise, poop and unruly behavior.
The city then went on to conduct a survey, asking people in the area if Newport should crack down on owners not having their dogs on leashes. The majority said no and to keep the unofficial dog beach as is.
This response in conjunction with a meeting where dog owners testified about the importance of the area lead to the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission to vote against having animal-control officers ticket owners for having their dogs off leash. Instead, the committee proposed having the area becoming an official dog beach and adding amenities, including poop bags, more trash bins and possibly a paved path for easier access.
Council candidate Mike Glenn couldn’t be happier about the possibility of getting a dog beach in the area.
“This area has always been a dog beach,” he told the outlet. “There were a few squeaky wheels who bent the ear of people who weren’t aware of the history. We have some really fantastic momentum and I look forward to the next council meeting on the subject.
Image via Flickr/SherryMain