Boynton Beach asks residents: Should we allow dogs at the beach?

Feb 12, 2018
Jupiter resident Matt Arensman, manager at Blueline Surf in Jupiter runs with his dog Rosco along the beach at Coral Cove Saturday morning. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

Gina Burg would love to go to Oceanfront Park beach with her 3-year-old flat-coated retriever Lakota and her 6-year-old terrier mix Tinkerbelle but because dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, she has to drive to Jupiter or Boca Raton.

“I have a water loving dog, but she can’t play in any of the lakes because of alligators,” Burg said through Facebook. “There’s always the bad apple who leaves their dog’s poop on (the) ground, but the majority of us aren’t that way.”

But not all agree with her — Who will make sure owners clean up?

Bob Courtemanche, who also lives in Boynton, said Boynton Beach should charge a fee to the dog’s owner and pay an attendant to clean the beach at the end of the day.

Boynton’s commissioners will soon decide whether to invite dogs to the beach, and staff created an online survey to get residents’ opinions. The survey, available until March 16, includes questions such as: Should dogs be allowed at the beach during specific days and hours? Should they have to wear leashes? Would you bring your dog to the beach if allowed?

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Already, Boynton’s staff has said if allowed, dogs would be welcome when the beach isn’t as busy such as early morning or late afternoon.

At Spanish River Park in Boca Raton, the Bark Park Dog Beach is open only Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to sunset November to March and from 5 p.m. to sunset March to November. The dog beach is between lifeguard towers 18 and 20. Dog owners must have a permit, which comes with a price, and dogs must wear leashes when they enter and exit, according to the park website .

In Jupiter, the dog-friendly section stretches about two miles along A1A from crossover #25 to #59. Dogs should be kept on leashes or under control and supervised at all times, according to the website . The dog must wear a leash when walking from the car to the beach, around small children, at the water fountains and at the crossovers. Owners are encouraged to bring their dogs early or late in the day when it’s cooler and not as crowded.

RELATED: How safe is your dog park from other dogs in Palm Beach County?

Boynton Beach Commissioner Joe Casello raised the idea in August , and in November staff met with Ocean Ridge officials because the beach is actually owned by Boynton but it’s in Ocean Ridge. The problem is that Ocean Ridge’s ordinances prohibit dogs on the beach. Boynton’s staff recommended dropping the plan, but city officials in December said they were determined to make it work. Staff in a memo said it could be argued that the city’s park is no different than other private property on which property owners can allow dogs.

At that December commission meeting, officials told the city’s director of parks and recreation, Wally Majors, to come up with rules and regulations that the Boynton commission could vote on at a later date.

For those residents who want to bring their pets out in Boynton now, leashed dogs are allowed at:

*Intracoastal Park, 2240 N. Federal Highway

*Jaycee Park, 2600 S. Federal Highway

*Dewey Park, 100 NE Fourth St.

*Boynton Lakes, 300 Boynton Lakes Blvd.

*Boynton Village Park and Dog Park, 800 Renaissance Commons Blvd. N.