Hearing set on new dog control code

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The town may soon have a say on dogs on the beach, such as this one taking a dip at Goose Creek in Southold.

Several months after Southold Town began debating changing its regulations for dogs in public areas, residents will soon be able to weigh in on a proposed set of changes to town laws.

The town began re-examining its code books after board members received complaints last summer about dogs running at large on Bailie Beach in Mattituck.

The new regulations would prohibit dogs and domestic animals in recreation areas, picnic areas, children’s play areas and athletic fields where signs are posted saying no dogs are allowed, on bathing beaches while lifeguards are on duty and within 50 feet of areas posted for piping plover and other endangered species.

Dogs will also be required to be under the immediate supervision of their owners at all other recreation facilities, meaning the owner must have the ability to immediately leash the dog if necessary.

A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held Jan. 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

If the law is approved, dogs will have to be leashed at all times on children’s play areas, picnic areas and athletic fields.

At the Town Board’s Jan. 2 meeting, Peconic resident Robert Dunn asked why the town chose to hold the hearing in the dead of winter, when many people affected by the proposed changes are out of town.

Board members said they could adjourn the Jan. 29 hearing to keep it open beyond that date.

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