Boynton Beach fights for dogs to frolic at beach … in Ocean Ridge

2:48 p.m Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 Local
Sheila Jones tosses a rock into the surf at Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park beach on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Some Boynton Beach officials are seeing if they can get dogs allowed on the beach, which is owned by Boynton Beach but is in Ocean Ridge. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

Boynton Beach won’t give up on Fido.

Commissioner Joe Casello is determined to have dogs welcomed at Oceanfront Park beach. The problem is, while Boynton owns the property, it’s located in Ocean Ridge.

Casello first raised the idea in August, and in November, staff met with Ocean Ridge officials. That’s when Boynton learned that Ocean Ridge’s ordinances prohibit dogs on the beach, which includes Oceanfront Park, at 6415 N. Ocean Blvd.

Apparently Ocean Ridge wasn’t too keen on the idea, and Boynton Beach staff recommended dropping the plan all together, according to city documents.

“Although it could be argued that the City’s park is no different than other private property on which property owners can allow dogs, it seemed clear from discussions with (Ocean Ridge) representatives that the Town is firm on enforcing its regulations,” a Boynton Beach staff memo said.

But at Tuesday’s commission meeting, Casello pushed forward.

“I would recommend we say ‘thank you, but no thank you’ and continue moving forward with this plan,” Casello said.

Residents have given mixed responses. Some want dogs allowed at the beach; while others don’t, and voiced concerns about stepping in dog feces.

Casello was able to get some support. Now, the city’s director of parks and recreation, Wally Majors, will create an outline with rules that the Boynton commission will vote on at a later date. The outline could include rules that the dog must be leashed and that the owner would have to pay a fee to bring the pet to the beach, Majors said.

Dog beaches are popular across the state. There are Davis Islands Dog Beach in Tampa, Gulfside (Algiers Beach) in Sanibel and Rickenbacker Causeway’s Hobie Beach in Miami.

But in Palm Beach County, they’re scarce. A popular one is at A1A and Marcinski Road in Jupiter. There, the dogs are free to run without leashes. Owners are expected to pick up after the dogs and put the waste in the trash can. Boca Raton has a specific area on its beach for dogs that is monitored by a park ranger, said Majors.

As for Boynton, leashed dogs are allowed at:

View full experience