Saanich staff have now posted the agenda for the June 14 meeting of Saanich Council. It includes the anticipated report, PEOPLE, PARKS, AND DOGS: A DISTRICT-WIDE STRATEGY FOR SHARING SAANICH’S PARKS.
Instructions on how to participate in the meeting are provided in the agenda, and public input is accepted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org until noon on the day of the meeting.
The report recommends: “That council endorses this report and directs staff to report back to council with options for developing a District-Wide Strategy for Sharing Saanich’s Parks and regulations for commercial dogwalkers.”
If approved, a consultant will lead the initiative at a cost of approximately $200,000.
The agenda for June 14 does not include anticipated bylaw readings that would have allowed leashed dogs on designated pathways in Cadboro-Gyro Park. This was approved by Council at the May 17 meeting to create immediate accessibility improvements, however the bylaw readings that would implement the changes have been postponed. Existing bylaws remain in effect. For clarity: during the restricted period (May 1 to Aug 31 after 9 am):
- Dogs are banned from the entire park area. There are no paved or gravel pathways available for use by the public walking dogs. Families with dogs may not access the parking lot, the washrooms, the grassy areas, the picnic tables or the garbage cans in the park if they are accompanied by a dog.
- Dogs are also banned from all beach areas west of the outfall during the restricted period.
- The section of beach east of the outfall remains dog-friendly. It can be accessed by the pathway at the foot of Tudor Avenue only, where there is also one garbage can.
Signs have also been posted to advise that dogs are not to be permitted to chase birds. Saanich bylaws require that dogs are under control at all times.
Increased enforcement has been implemented
CBRA recognizes the tremendous input from the public over the past 1.5 years and recommends attention to its letter to Saanich Council that outlines immediate actions that would alleviate pressure and improve accessibility while a broader District-wide strategy is developed.