After much debate and public consultation, the City of White Rock has approved a one-year trial program to permit dogs on the promenade during the off-season.
At council’s regular meeting Monday, council voted unanimously in favour of the program, which would allow leashed dogs on the popular walkway from Oct. 1 to March 31. Dogs will still be prohibited from the beach.
The issue has been one of contention among residents for years. It was subject of a failed motion in 2012 and topic of a city survey in 2017.
Prior to making a final decision Monday, the city conducted a survey, hosted a community forum, and collected written public input to weigh public interest in allowing dogs on the promenade.
Survey results presented to council showed that 75.58 per cent of 1,388 respondents were in favour of dogs on the promenade. Of those 1,388 respondents, 63.04 per cent said they own a dog.
The city received more than 50 written or emailed correspondence from residents on the issue.
Among the more common issues brought up by residents in the written correspondence were concerns with irresponsible dog owners, disturbances to wildlife, intimidation brought on by big dogs, and safety concerns with young children and elderly residents sharing the pathway with dogs.
Dogs will not be allowed on the promenade until Oct. 1.