“Newport Beach dogs could get an extra 90 minutes of beach time following a 3-2 vote Tuesday at the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission meeting.
Dog lovers turned up in force to testify, some asking for even fewer restrictions on the hours they can walk their dogs on the beaches.
“What a lot of people would like is no hours in winter at all,” said Greg Reinker of West Newport. “We’d sure like to not have those hours.”
The current laws ban dogs year round between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The new law, which city staff believe could be approved by Labor Day, would permit dogs until 10 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m.
Some dog owners said when it gets dark earlier, in the winter, it is difficult for dog owners to be home from work in time to exercise their pets during approved beach hours. And many said the beaches are often deserted, particularly in the winter, so their dogs do not cause a problem.
But Commissioner William Garrett said he was against increasing the hours for dogs on beaches because so many dogs he sees are off leash and out of control…
…In the end, two commissioners voted against the recommendation, instead wishing to table the matter for more study. The recommendation now will go before the City Council twice for public hearings before the law would take effect. The cost of this change will be minimal because signs can be changed by adding a simple sticker, staff said…”