Willows Beach off-leash dog rules upheld

Summertime is not so easy for beach-loving dog owners

Dog owners who like to take their pets to Willows Beach in summer must continue finding other places to let them run free.

At this week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, councillors accepted a recommendation by the Oak Bay parks and recreation commission to maintain the current rules for dog access on the popular beach.

At present, dogs are not permitted on the beach between May 1 and Sept. 30. They have unlimited access the rest of the year.

The issue has been discussed at length in recent weeks and council received letters from Oak Bay residents on both sides of the issue. In the end, the councillors felt that the current rules were a good compromise for all parties involved.

“I think council has done a lot to ensure dog owners have options,” said Mayor Christopher Causton. “Some have suggested making some sections of the beach accessible to dogs, but it’s hard to delineate where those restricted areas would be.”

Some owners were pushing to be allowed access with their dogs to the beach before 9 a.m. during the summer months.

According to the District of Oak Bay dog regulations map, there are 12 parks in the municipality with no canine restrictions.

editor@oakbaynews.com