City of White Rock survey results suggest dogs may continue to be allowed on the promenade in off-season months. (Ric Wallace photo)

City of White Rock survey results suggest dogs may continue to be allowed on the promenade in off-season months. (Ric Wallace photo)

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

White Rock city staff presented council with survey results of the Dogs on the Promenade pilot project at Monday’s (June 29) meeting.

Overall results of the survey – which reached 1,001 individual respondents and 18 businesses – show 67 per cent approval for allowing dogs on the promenade in the off-season, 30 per cent opposition and two per cent unsure, according to the report from planning and development director Carl Isaak.

When narrowed down to respondents with a White Rock postal code, the results show 61 per cent approval, 36 per cent opposition, two per cent unsure and one per cent giving conditional support, depending on factors such as a reduced length of season or additional regulation and enforcement.

The controversial pilot project ran from Oct. 1, 2019 to March 31 of this year.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Dogs allowed on White Rock Promenade during off-season

Council endorsed the staff recommendations that the results of the city survey be forwarded to the city’s Dogs on the Promenade Task Force, and that individual written reports from members, including observations and recommendations, be submitted back to council by Aug. 31.

At the same time, council received, as an ‘on table’ submission from resident Ron Kistritz – a former member of the task force who resigned – a report on usage and compliance with rules by dog owners on the East Beach section of the promenade.

READ MORE: Three quit White Rock’s ‘Dogs on the Promenade’ task force

Kistritz contends that – on East Beach during the pilot period – one in four dog walkers were responsible for a bylaw violation, and that some 309 were observed not picking up after their dog (although he asserts this was a significant underestimate due to “poop fairies and city staff” removing evidence before it could be recorded).

One in 12 dogs being walked on the promenade was off-leash, in contravention of the rules, he asserts, while only 5.6 per cent of promenade users were dog walkers.

While endorsing the survey report, councillors were mindful that further enforcement of bylaws will be necessary if allowing dogs on the promenade in the off-season is to become permanent policy.

Coun. David Chesney, who supports continuing the policy, questioned Isaak on the fact that only nine dog walkers were issued with bylaw tickets on the promenade and pier during the trial period – in contrast with a spate of letters and comments received by council complaining about infractions.

“Nine tickets? I could probably give out nine tomorrow,” he said, adding “something needs to be done about the bylaw enforcement.”

Similarly, Coun. Helen Fathers, who originally suggested the pilot project, said that bylaw enforcement is key to continuing the policy.

“I think it’s something we do need to address, whether that’s us providing (staff) with the money to be able to hire more people to do the job that our community expects.”

In response to a question from Coun. Anthony Manning of whether dog licensing fees could ultimately bear the costs of a continued program, Dogs on the Promenade Task Force chair Scott Kristjanson said that while this was outside the task force mandate, one model could be the City of Calgary’s dog licensing program.

“In Calgary, dog licences pay for all bylaw enforcement, and the dog parks,” he said.

“And dog owners, in order to get licences, have to demonstrate that their dogs are well-trained; they have to take courses if they’re not, and they have to demonstrate, when a bylaw officer asks you to, that you have control over your dog.”

City CouncilDogsWhite Rock

Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read