Re: Expanded access to McNeill Bay leads to more dog-friendly Oak Bay (News June 1).
As a south Oak Bay dog owner, I wish to add my support for the pilot project at McNeill Bay Beach for expanded dog access.
This pilot project, approved by council in May, 2012, allows dogs at this beach sunrise to sunset through to Sept. 30, at which time the existing bylaws allow dogs access anytime until the next spring.
Access for dogs to Oak Bay beaches and parks is very good in winter, and we dog owners are appreciative of these privileges. Come summer, however, Willows Beach is off-limits to dogs, Windsor Park limits dogs off-leash after 9 a.m., and Anderson Hill Park is full of spear grass, which can be fatal to dogs.
McNeill Bay Beach is not used extensively by non-dog owners because of the cold winds, tideline variations, geese droppings and its rocky/pebbly surface. It is an ideal location in south Oak Bay where dog owners can safely exercise their dogs in a relatively large space in daytime during the summer.
For local residents who prefer to enjoy their beach time without dogs, council also has made nearby Kitty Islet (with its chairs and picnic tables) prohibited to dogs as part of this pilot.
Kudos to Mayor Jensen and council for trying to make Oak Bay more dog friendly.