Dogs beach bylaw: update

Monday, February 24, 2020: At the regular Saanich Council meeting last tonight, Councillor Karen Harper brought forward a motion asking Council to order Saanich staff to review the dog bylaws in Saanich, with a particular focus on Cadboro Bay beach east of the outfall.  Cadboro Bay beach is a well-loved off-leash area.  During the summer months the main part of the beach is closed to dogs after 9am, but the east part is still open.  The large number of speakers resulted in the meeting ending without debate taking place on Ms. Harper’s motion.  Debate and a vote by Council on the motion were postponed to Monday, March 2.  

A large majority of citizens had described positive experiences with dogs on the beach and had requested that the current bylaws be maintained.  However, given that some concerns were raised, the Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA), in the interest of harmony, wrote a second letter to Saanich requesting time to develop a “neighbourhood solution”.

February 24 – March 2, 2020: Discussions between Councillor Harper and CBRA resulted in an agreement that Councillor Harper would pull her motion in order to allow community discussions to take place. Accordingly, Ms. Harper asked Council to postpone debate and a vote on her motion until mid-July, in order to allow CBRA to work toward a community resolution.  

Mayor and Council clarified that this would be a grass-roots exercise, with Saanich staff only being available on an advisory basis.  Staff also noted that any substantive action, had the motion been considered and passed, was not covered by the current year’s budget and could not have commenced until 2021.  

Cadboro Bay Residents Association is confident that increased dialogue and ideas jointly developed among the interested parties will yield a positive outcome.  

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