“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.