Proposed ban draws ire

Grand Haven City Council is expected to decide Monday on a proposal that would regulate dogs on the city’s beach.
Alex Doty
Mar 1, 2014

“I have heard a lot from our constituents,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “It is something that people are passionate about.”

At its Feb. 17 meeting, a majority of council asked city staff to draft a proposal that bans dogs entirely at City Beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Officials prepared two resolutions ahead of Monday night’s meeting: The original proposal presented Feb. 17, and an alternative that would restrict dogs from the beach between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In the alternative proposal, dogs would also remain prohibited between swim buoys as they are now, and the city's leash law would be unchanged.

City Manager Pat McGinnis said dogs are allowed on a leash in the city unless the area has been declared a “dog free zone” by resolution, and the area is properly signed.

“The only off-leash areas we have are Mulligan’s Hollow and East Grand River Park,” he said.

On the beach, current rules state that dogs are not allowed between the swim buoy area, and dogs must be on a leash in areas south of the buoys.

“It’s dog-friendly, but it’s not a dog beach,” McGinnis said.

Dogs are not permitted at all at the adjacent Grand Haven State Park beach.

McCaleb said she isn’t in favor of banning dogs from City Beach.

“The beach is for everyone, and that includes people with dogs,” she said. “I’d hate to ban anybody from that.”

The biggest thing, McCaleb said, is for people to be more respectful of others and keep their pets under control.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




We have more than enough rules already. Let's stop letting a vocal minority bully the city council into making more.

Say no to new taxes

You hate to ban them entirely, but so many people abuse the privilege what choice do you have?


Really? So many? You have the choice to penalize those who don't follow the guidelines and leave the rest of the law abiders alone!

Blanket laws are for lawmakers too lazy to address the real problem. If you can't afford the manpower, or the time and effort it takes to enforce the laws as they're written then they're nothing more than worthless proclamations.

You Mr. Say no to new taxes should understand that concept. If you want to make new laws and have them enforced that takes time and manpower. They'll need to tax you more to cover those costs. You OK with that?


Now replace dogs with guns....




Every time we took our dog (leashed) to the city beach or to any of the county parks, an unleashed dog approached our older, grumpy dog creating a tense situation.
My solution would be to consider the loose dog a dangerous stray and shoot the cur but my wife disagreed so now we can't use the parks.
You are correct sntnt, what choice is there?


Pepper spray the unleashed dogs. Maybe their owners will get the message. And for you people that think, "it's not the dogs fault"...Pepper spray the unleashed dog owner too!!!!


Actually that's not a bad idea for the next time I'm out at Hofma and I run into the cretin with the pit bulls that were off-leash. I was afraid his dogs were going to attack my dogs and I'd have no way to protect them.

Where does one get that stuff? Sporting goods store?

Grand Haven Happy

Just keep on adding to the senseless restrictive rules and laws passed and watch the vistors who come and spend money dwindle down in numbers and ruin what has taken so many years to have built up. How dumb and ignorant can a city council get? Shame on them!

A few minority local people are trying to dictate their personal wants to the majority and also the constant extreme numbers that come to Grand Haven each and every year. We have walked the south area of the city beach so many times without having a dog with us and have yet to see more than 2 dog piles total left in over the last 10 years now. Total BS about there being constant dog poop on the city beach that the few who likely have never even been on the beach area are complaining about. Kids and their parents leave so much more filth and junk on the beach when they leave than dog's ever have. People are the real PIGS! Too good to cleanup after themselves or take their trash to a trash barrel in both the city's long beach and the State Park areas. They are disgusting+!!!

The city's dog laws are plenty restrictive enough now!

As for the owner of homes/cottages in the Highland Park area? They have their own owned land to worry about and not the city owned land/beach as it belongs to every resident and can be used by every visitor also. Somehow, these few acroos the road seem to have forgotten about that simple fact!

Grand Haven Happy

I might add that my wife just reminded me that we'd actually seen several lazy parents having their kids dropping their bottoms and pooping etc right on the south area of the city beach several times and all the the parent ever did was push some sand over it which the wind soon blows off. NICE! Can't see the beach area from the road because it's behind the sand hills and you actually have to be down on the beach area to see either a dog or a human! Of course, the dogs got and get the blame for those piles too! Dog or kids poop, anyone know the difference? Both squish when you step on it and both look and smell the same...




Muskegon has a dog beach....worst plan poop everywhere..and visitors and residents alike ignore posted area. No regulation. police will sit along beach and see people with dogs on non dog beach and do nothing. The neighbors actually have cleanups to try to keep the dog beach open. I've lived there right by the dog beach..and have seen it over and over.Whatever plan is adopted...keep the beaches clear of dogs as much as possible..


Please ban sea gulls on the beach too. Those disgusting things poop everywhere. Oh, and I'd rather sit by dog poop than some of those nasty sweaty tattoo'd hogs you see down there.

Truth Be Told

Seems the only people who are not restricted in GH are the hooligans-

Well, elections really do have consequences....don't they.


I personally don't need your dog on the beach. People act like their dogs are their children. Not everyone is a dog lover. Play with your beloved pet in your own home.
My house is the piss stop for all my neighbors walking their dogs. Why dont they use their own lawn? We are baptized no less than 5 times a day.
You love your dogs? Fine then let them live at your house, not our public areas.


agreed! When I used to live in GH, daily some little ankle biters thought it was cool to let their loveable furball deposit its natural waste on my lawn it gets very irritating when people are not responsible for their pets. As an idea or penalty, hold their pets until they do some public service cleaning up the neighborhood or beach from dog bombs.


I looked it up and I was right.....there's an ordinance against Ninja's anywhere within the city limits. Start packing. :-S


Says the cat lover lady....might be just my neighborhood, but I see several cats off-leash, frequently wandering around in my yard, trying to kill the birds at the bird OK with that type of behavior cat lady?

I've only had one incident with a dog in my yard in the last year and he came right to me so I could get his name and phone number off his collar and call his owner, who was at my house in under 5 minutes to thank me. There was no pooping involved during the whole retrieval process.

I see cats in my yard most every day and when they can find the ground they do their business in my yard too, so my advice to you cat lady would be to keep your cats at home, or I'll feed 'em to the neighbors pit bull.

I'm not running an A&W for cats just cuz I like feeding the birds.

What's that old saying about glass houses and stones??


Grand Haven Happy- you are full of it! I am on that beach every day and have never seen a parent let a child do that. Ridiculous!!


Suggest the poo monitors visit Carmel,CA beach,the dogs run wild,the owners take care of the "business"


maybe they could import a few to Grand Haven and teach them how?


maybe they could import a few to Grand Haven and teach them how?

Former Grandhavenite

I've always found the level of passion regarding dogs and dog policies kind of bizarre. For some reason everybody either REALLY hates dogs or REALLY loves them, and nobody is like, "meh, dogs are ok I guess."


Obviously you're an outside observer and not a dog owner? It's hard to explain and it would take too long for this forum so let's just say, you either get it or you don't. That's a cop out I realize, but so are stupid blanket laws to solve individual problems. :-S


Like Obamacare?


I don't profess to know a lot about the ACA, But I'm pretty sure it doesn't cover dogs. :-S

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