File photo The City of White Rock intends to allow dogs to be walked on the promenade as a trial project in 2019 – to be voted on in January – but under limitations not observed by this dog’s owner, and only in non-peak months.

File photo The City of White Rock intends to allow dogs to be walked on the promenade as a trial project in 2019 – to be voted on in January – but under limitations not observed by this dog’s owner, and only in non-peak months.

White Rock to allow dogs on promenade

Plans for a one-year pilot program would continue to ban canines on waterfront from May to August

Dog owners will soon be able to walk their pets on White Rock’s promenade next year – but not between May 1 and Aug. 31 – if council continues to back a motion introduced this week.

At Monday evening’s council meeting, members agreed unanimously to support an amendment to the city’s existing dog-control bylaw to allow dogs on the promenade – but not on the pier or the beach – in non-peak months, as a one-year pilot project.

It’s the latest development on an issue that has proved contentious among residents for years. It was subject of a failed motion in 2012 and topic of a city survey in 2017.

This week’s decision, on a motion by Coun. Helen Fathers, followed a presentation from former civic candidate Mike Armstrong, representing the Dog Owners Group of White Rock.

In suggesting a one-year reviewable program, Armstrong argued that a key to restoring vibrancy on the waterfront was to allow dog owners to walk their pets on the promenade in off-season months. He said dog-poop bag dispensers could be provided free of charge.

Mayor Darryl Walker, speaking in support of the motion, said “to a degree, it’s up to the dog owners themselves who will help to make sure that they do all the right things.”

If supported Jan. 14, council will have a final vote Jan. 28.