One Small Beach, Off-Leash Full-Time?


Now this is a proposal that makes sense. The Sentinel reports that Eastside dog lovers seeking off-leash access for their pooches have changed up their proposal. Instead of asking for morning and evening off-leash hours on the entire stretch of beach from 20th Avenue to Moran Lake, they're now requesting full-time off-leash status for a smaller area near Corcoran Lagoon, at the 20th Avenue end of the shoreline.

The change in tactic may mollify the off-leash advocates' harshest critics, who contend that dogs threaten birds, people and wildlife on the beach. It will also, if approved, confine the canine frolickers to an area closer in size to the Westside's popular Its Beach, a major dog hangout.

A meeting to make a decision is tentatively set for Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:30pm, at Simpkins Swim Center.


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Why would those opposed to off leash dogs at the Corcoran Lagoon beach be mollified that a few dog owners want the beach all day every day (sunrise to sunset)? All of the impacts of the original proposal will be intensified at Corcoran Lagoon beach. More wildlife disturbance, more defecation and peeing, and more dog/dog and dog/human incidents mollifies no one. Furthermore, how will such intensified use by off leash dogs be confined in an area that has no natural boundary except the ocean? We should not suspend a public safety law in shared public space just because those who violate it don't like it. Dog owners can visit the beach with their dogs 365 days a year, as long as the dogs are leashed. Our beaches have become playgrounds and toilets for unleashed dogs, turning a treasure for all into an exclusive domain for the few. Enough!


The idea is that by acknowledging the existence of certain behavior (dog owners letting their dogs off-leash, which is happening now regardless of the rules), and then dealing with that behavior head-on by containing that behavior in a legally sanctioned area, you can then police the other areas more effectively, and more reasonably. And you can more effectively police the sanctioned area itself.