Dogs will now be allowed on beaches an hour longer in the mornings for 20 more days over the summer months.
Dogs on leashes will be able to exercise on the sand before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. from June 15 to Sept. 10, as recommended by the city’s Recreation Committee and unanimously approved by the City Council this past Tuesday. Dogs were previously prohibited on beaches between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. from June 1 to Sept. 16.
“The recreation committee’s recommendation is not quite what we had originally hoped for,” said Stacy Dugger, a dog-owner who brought the extended hours and days suggestion to the council last October. “but it is quite a bit better” than previous restrictions. Dugger is also a member of the Recreation Committee.
“The current ordinance is the most dog-friendly in the state already,” said resident Marcia Klosterman. “I believe there should be a time for people on the beach as well without dogs chasing them off. The morning is a special time for people to be on the beach where you can have that solitude.”
Jane Egly was the only council member against the more lenient rules for dogs on the beach. “I’m not anti-dog,” she said, adding that she recently acquired a “grand-dog that is the cutest dog in the history of the world.” Egly said her husband Paul found that there were 2,500 dog licenses in Laguna and probably 500 more unlicensed dogs. “I think they should not be on the beach any more time. People do not pick up after their dogs all of the time and that’s a mess.”
Council member Verna Rollinger admonished, “Keep your dogs out of the tide pools.”
Fees for unleashed dogs or dogs in restricted areas are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third.