- Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:00
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council unanimously approved changes to the Town Code of Ordinances regarding animals in public places at their January 14th, meeting.
The changes were brought to Council in order to make the rules for permitting dogs on the beach consistent with neighboring Kure Beach.
Previously the Town's ordinance permitting animals on the beach was different than Kure Beach's ordinance.
According to Town staff, that caused confusion with property owners and tourists and the goal of the amendment is to make rules in both Town's consistent and to clarify language in the ordinance for the beachfront and Freeman Park on the northern end of Pleasure Island.
Currently the Town of Kure Beach ordinance states, "It shall be unlawful for any person to have or allow their dog to be upon the beach strand of Kure Beach during the period of April 1 through September 30 of each year."
The Carolina Beach ordinance stated in part, "It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, owner, or keeper of any dog(s) to allow said animal upon the public beaches within the jurisdictional limits of the town from November 1 to February 28 without a leash of a type to restrain said animal, and it shall be unlawful to allow any dog(s), whether on leash or not, upon the public beaches within the jurisdictional limits of the town from March 1 to October 31 or within the boardwalk areas of the town (A-1 Zoning District as displayed upon the official town zoning map); and furthermore, it shall be unlawful for any such owner or keeper to allow any said dog(s) upon other public rights-of-ways, public lands, or property without a leash."
Part of the change to the Carolina Beach ordinance states:
(b) Animals on the municipal beach strand, public rights-of-ways, public lands, and property within the jurisdictional limits shall be restrained by a leash. The following additional regulations shall apply:
1. No animals shall be allowed on the Boardwalk at any time.
2. From April 1 through September 30 no animals shall be allowed on the municipal beach strand.
3. Animals are prohibited from entering any park building (i.e., restrooms, concession stands and score towers). Animals are prohibited within one hundred feet (100) of any concession or vending areas. Animals are prohibited from any established athletic field or court (i.e., baseball fields, football/soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts). Dogs and pets Animals are prohibited within fifty (50) feet of any children's playground except on designated walking paths. Dogs and pets Animals are prohibited from any mass gathering, identified as any planned event of two hundred (200) or more people unless otherwise approved by the Town.
4. Service animals shall be exempt from Sec 3-9 (b)
Animal Owner Responsibilities:
The owner or keeper of animals who harm or cause offenses or damages to the public, or who deposit waste upon public land or property, shall be held responsible for such action and shall be held responsible for cleanup or have cleaned up said waste immediately following the occurrence. An owner or custodian of an animal will have on or near their person a device such as a plastic bag, or other suitable plastic or paper container, that can be used to fully clean up and contain animal waste until it can be disposed of in an appropriate container. Such a device must be produced and shown, upon request, to anyone authorized to enforce these ordinances.
Sec. 11-59. Dogs and other commonly accepted animals and fowl on public rights-of-way, public lands, property and beaches:
Any person, persons, owner, or keeper of "commonly accepted domestic animals or fowls", as defined in Chapter 3 section 3-2, herein referred to as “animal” shall have the animal on a leash while in Freeman Park from April 1 to September 30.
Between October 1 and March 31, animals will be allowed off of a leash in Freeman Park so long as they remain under voice command and the owner is within a reasonable distance from the pet.
The owner or keeper of any such animal who harms or causes offenses or damages to the public, or who deposits waste upon public land or property, shall be held responsible for such action and shall be held responsible for cleanup or have cleaned up said waste immediately following the occurrence.
An owner or custodian of an animal will have on or near their person a device such as a plastic bag, or other suitable plastic or paper container, that can be used to fully clean-up and contain dog waste until it can be disposed of in an appropriate container. Such a device must be produced and shown, upon request, to anyone authorized to enforce these ordinances.
During the Council's January 14th, meeting Council member Sarah Friede questioned the definition of "commonly accepted domestic animals or fowls" since the word "dogs" had been replaced with that language and the word "animals."
Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin explained, "The Town code lists out what types of animals are customarily allowed as pets in Carolina Beach. It prohibits certain things like livestock. But you can have a variety of reptiles, pot belly pig or a bird."
Friede said, "The proposed change says that between October 1st and March 31st, it used to say "dogs" would be allowed off leash now it says "animals" will be allowed off leash. So we could have somebody with an unleashed reptile up at the North End?"
Parvin explained, "Yes. If you have a pet cat, or if you have a dog or a lizard..."
Councilman Gary Doetsch said, "It's kind of hard to put a leash on a snake."
Friede said, "It wouldn't just be whatever that you could get on a leash, this would be the pet that you could put in a glass cage."
Parvin said there's nothing in the ordinance that prohibits those types of animals and, "This at least puts some restriction on those."
Town Manager Michael Cramer said the ordinance currently doesn't address what kind of animal you can have out there. He said, "If we at least identify back to our existing code that states what a domesticated animal is, we are basically restricting the possibilities down to that list that previous council's have accepted."
The ordinance contains language prohibiting animals at mass gatherings (events) with 200 or more people. For events such as the Chowder Festival the Town Manager can waive that rule.
Local resident Fred Grady said the current ordinance is not enforced and the Town should step up efforts to ensure people follow the rules including dogs on the boardwalk where signs clearly state they are prohibited. He said writing some tickets would generate some attention.
Mayor Dan Wilcox said other beach towns allow dogs in public places such as boardwalks.
He said, "We have a little bit of a unique situation with the layout of our Boardwalk. Myrtle Beach allows them after a certain time in the evening. Of course that's when normally we have our activities which is the worst time to have them down there so there are pros and cons and Carolina Beach has decided not to have dogs on the Boardwalk. I don't know that I've seen it enforced. I know we've given them a lot of warnings."
Councilman Gary Doetsch said the Council could come back and revisit cleaning up other wording in the ordinance in the future.
The Council voted unanimously to approve the new ordinance changes.