Off-leash areas designated
Animal bylaw changes coming Sept. 1
Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 06:00 am
The City of St. Albert has released a list of the parks which will remain off-leash areas when a new animal bylaw comes into effect in September.
As St. Albert city staff prepare for the bylaw changes taking effect Sept. 1, locations that will remain off-leash friendly have been approved by the city manager.
“The city manager has signed off on the 20 locations,” said Chris Jardine, general manager of community and protective services for the city.
A memo written by Jardine explains there have been some changes to the original locations considered as not all were found to be appropriate after staff reviewed the criteria laid out in the bylaw.
“These ones do fit those criteria,” Jardine said.
Jardine noted Gloucester Park appears as an off-leash area in the list. If that park is selected to host a bike skills park, as is currently being considered, the city will have to examine if it can be both.
Changes to the places that will continue to permit off-leash dogs could include adding more garbage cans and signage.
“There is no plans for any fencing … they’re already currently off-leash areas. We didn’t all of a sudden want to turn them into little jail yards,” Jardine said.
The city will ramp up communication on the coming animal bylaw changes during the summer as the Sept. 1 date draws closer.
Jardine said after a trial period there will be time for evaluation of the selected sites and perhaps some new ones.
Because city council delegated the authority for selecting the sites to the city manager, the list won’t be going to council for approval.
“This isn’t going back to council for their nod on it,” Jardine said.
St. Albert currently allows dogs to be off-leash in all areas except for certain designated on-leash areas, within one metre of the paved surface of the Red Willow Park Trails and tot lots. The changes to the animal bylaw – which includes new leashing regulations – drew controversy last year during the update process.