Dogs in the city of Delray Beach, fla., may soon have a place to catch the waves and have fun in the sun. The City Commission is considering a pilot program that would create a dog beach in a section of Atlantic Dunes Park.
The organization Friends of Delray Dog Beach have been lobbying for the proposal for nearly two years. On Tuesday, the commission will analyze the idea during an open workshop. In a rare move, each citizen will have one minute to voice an opinion on the matter.
“Delray Beach is dog-friendly everywhere, the only place that’s not dog-friendly is the beach,” resident Chris Webb told the Sun Sentinel.
If the pilot program is approved, dogs would have 200 yards of Atlantic Dune Park to play in. They would be allowed access Fridays through Sundays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and from 3 p.m. to sunset in the winter; and from 5 p.m. to sunset in the summer.
A city employee would check for permits at a single access point. These permits would cost residents $50 per dog, per year. Non residents would be charged $165 per dog. $10 single-weekend passes would also be available per dog.
City estimates show Delray Beach could earn about $60,000 in permits and parking meter fees. Estimated costs are about $24,000 to hire a part-time park ranger and to pay for signage and trash receptacles.
However, City Manager Don Cooper says the estimated costs are off.
He says the city may need to hire two park rangers and two police officers, as well as an outside firm to conduct waste removal.
Some city officials warn of parasites. They cite research that indicates zootonic hookworm and ringworm could travel from infected dog feces onto human feet and cause infection. Infected dogs show no symptoms, according to the report.
Friends of Delray Beach sent city staff an email from a local dermatologist who says she’s never seen such a case.
According to a memo Cooper wrote to the commission, the dog beach won’t open until Oct. 1 if the pilot is approved.