Sicamous’ dogs will likely continue to be allowed at a popular memorial beach.
Earlier this summer, the beach area previously known as Tecumseh Beach was renamed to honour late NHL player and Sicamous resident Rob Flockhart. The unveiled sign recognizing Flocky’s Beach Park has a symbol on it denoting dogs are allowed, on-leash only. District operations manager Darrell Symbaluk came to council’s Aug. 23 meeting to discuss if this was still what was best for the beach.
Symbaluk said he’d had some feedback from residents which claimed the district bylaw states dogs are not allowed on public beaches at all, and he said he didn’t dispute that fact. He went to the sign company and had a patch made to change the sign to conform to the bylaw, but wanted council’s input about allowing on-leash dogs.
The bylaw will need to be brought back to council to officially change the name to Flocky’s Beach. After research, he said most other jurisdictions don’t allow dogs on public beaches, even on-leash, and keep off-leash dog parks for that reason.
A proposed amendment reads that, with the exception of special needs dogs, no dogs would be permitted on any area of the Beach Park, the Carter Road beach area or the Tecumseh Road beach area (to be renamed in the bylaw) at any time.
However, council discussed the option of continuing to allow on-leash dogs at Flocky’s, and keeping the other beaches in the district dog-free.
Coun. Malcolm Makayev said it could be nice to have a place for dogs and families to enjoy the beach and mentioned the dog owners’ community is usually self-sufficient, reminding each other to keep dogs and others safe and clean up after their pets.
Coun. Ian Baillie said he was worried more problems would arise when opening up his restaurants’ patios to allow dogs, but saw much less of an impact on diners’ experiences than he expected. He allowed beaches are different and require certain safety considerations but agreed with Makayev about dog owners taking responsibility.
Symbaluk confirmed the change, if approved, would only affect Flocky’s Beach, not other beach areas, and would involve looking into more garbage and pet waste stations being set up.