Saanich has softened on a strategy that would have seen off-leash access to parks drastically reduced.
At a meeting Monday night, council advised staff to revise the People, Parks and Pets strategy that was passed in June.
“Council had the opportunity to reflect and responded to a number of the concerns that were raised with the proposed changes,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock.
Proposed changes included cutting back the number of leash-optional parks in the district to 57, and allowing off-leash dogs on just one Saanich beach, but much of the concern came from changes to PKOLS (Mt. Douglas Park).
“Overwhelmingly the issues we heard most about were to PKOLS, moving from virtually off-leash everywhere at that park to a single off-leash loop,” says Murdock.
Monday night council’s compromise featured the inclusion of a well-used trail that leads to the summit made available to off-leash dogs and their owners.
Trish Fougner is the Director of the CRD DOGG (Dog Owners for Good Governance) Society, and was central to dog owners’ voices being heard.
“I shouldn’t say we’re happy, we’re at about a C+ right now,” laughs Fougner. “We’re grading slowly upwards.”
Amendments to the bylaw will be heard at Saanich council on Oct. 30.