Dog walkers bring the furry friends to Cadboro Bay beach to socialize both on and off-leash. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Public input regarding off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches dominates council meeting

Agenda items pushed to next week after meeting hit four-hour mark

Public input on a motion to review Saanich’s policies for off-leash dogs on beaches dominated the Monday night council meeting.

In January, Coun. Karen Harper submitted a report calling for a staff review of the District’s bylaws for dogs on beaches. If her motion passes, staff will be directed to report back on the efficacy of the municipality’s bylaws and provide options for moving forward.

READ ALSO: Councillor calls for review of off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches

During the Feb. 24 meeting, the chambers were packed and there were “clear sides” on the matter, Harper said, noting that about two thirds of residents were opposed to a review of the current off-leash dog bylaws.

Harper pointed out that some speakers were clearly working to “inflame the issue.”

Despite not being surprised, she was disappointed that the issue was so controversial. Her motion was to request a review along with options for moving forward and she was concerned that some residents were opposed to more information on the issue.

Three hours into the meeting, Mayor Fred Haynes attempted to speed up the input process but gave up as shouts of opposition rang out from the audience.

Council was meant to vote on Harper’s motion and several others, but after several hours of public input, the meeting concluded just after 11 p.m. The remaining agenda items were pushed to the March 2 committee of the whole meeting where council will discuss and vote without further public input, Harper explained.

READ ALSO: Unrelated occupancy limits creating divisions in Saanich

Harper felt it was important to start a conversation about off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches not because she’s against it – Harper is a self-proclaimed dog-lover and has owned dogs for much of her life – but because residents had voiced concerns with specific emphasis on the effects on the environment in Cadboro Bay.

While the public will not be able to provide further input on the matter at the next meeting, residents are invited to reach out to council by phone or email beforehand, Harper said. Further correspondence will be accepted until noon on the day of the meeting.

Harper suspects her fellow councillors will agree that more information from a review would be helpful but she’s not sure if they’ll agree to ask staff for options to move forward.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

beachesDistrict of SaanichDogsSaanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Langford businesses can expand onto sidewalks, public spaces

Council passes new bylaw supporting business expansion

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read