The Coast News Group
Because the rules for dogs on Del Mar beaches are evolving, pet owners are urged to carefully read all posted signs. New regulations are expected to be implemented after summer. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
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Del Mar adjusts current regulations for dogs on beaches


DEL MAR — To avoid having to apply for a development permit from the California Coastal Commission, council members at the June 18 meeting agreed to modify one of the upcoming new rules governing dogs on city beaches.

The current regulations, which remain in effect until at least September, are as follows:

North Beach — 29th Street to the Solana Beach border

Dogs must be leashed June 16 through Labor Day. Unleashed dogs can run under voice-control between the day after Labor Day through June 15.

Main Beach — Northern end of Powerhouse Park to 29th Street

No dogs are allowed June 16 through Labor Day. Leashed canines are allowed the day after Labor Day through June 15.

South Beach — Powerhouse Park south to the Torrey Pines State Beach border at 6th Street

Dogs must be leashed year-round.

In April council agreed to modify the existing regulations in the north and main beach areas.

From 29th Street to the Solana Beach border, unleashed dogs would be permitted between June 16 and Labor Day, but only before 8 a.m.

Between 25th and 29th streets, unleashed dogs would be allowed before 8 a.m. year-round. Untethered canines are currently prohibited in this area at all times.

The Coastal Commission determined the change between 25th and 29th streets would require a permit because it was a de facto expansion of the physical area were dogs would be allowed.

Council members did not support applying for a permit to implement the approved change given the amount of staff resources and time needed to go through the process.

Instead, they decided to change the current regulations to allow unleashed dogs between 25th and 29th streets from dawn to 8 a.m. only in the off season, from the day after Labor Day through June 15, and unleashed dogs year-round before 8 a.m. north of 29th Street.

Additionally, without having to apply for a permit, city staff can now begin preparing an ordinance and the corresponding environmental review to implement the change in the current regulations.

Because ordinances require two public hearings and a 30-day grace period, the change will not likely go into effect until at least September.

“Until this process is complete, the current regulations will remain in place and leash law enforcement will continue to be a low priority,” the staff report states.

Enforcement will eventually be stepped up in the early morning hours to ensure compliance.

The new rules will cost the city about $2,500 for signage to explain the modifications.