Leash law issue goes back to Steamboat City Council

Members to hear recommendations from Parks and Recreation

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, including a discussion of leash laws

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Leash laws: Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Director Chris Wilson will present an update following meetings with dog owners groups, police and city staff.

Residents who cannot attend but who would like to voice comments or opinions can e-mail kstamp@steamboatsprings.net.

— After a series of meetings and collaboration between the city and residents groups, the Steam­­boat Springs City Council again will take up off-leash areas and leash laws at its Tuesday meeting.

The council previously directed the Parks and Recreation Com­­mission to work with the Responsible Dog Ownership Group of Steamboat, police and Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services staffers to come up with options regarding off-leash areas in Steamboat.

According to a news release from Parks and Recreation Department Director Chris Wilson, the emphasis has been on tiered options that would include leash-free areas on some city-owned land.

The dog ownership group worked with the city to create a trial off-leash program in November 2007 at Spring Creek and Rita Valentine parks during certain times and days of the week, in conjunction with a voice- and sight-control evidence tag program.

A year later, the program expanded to seven days a week, from dusk until dawn.

City regulations require that dogs be on a 6-foot handheld leash unless in an off-leash area. Residents can call 970-879-4300 for more information about off-leash certification.

According to a 2008 survey conducted by the Parks and Recreation Department, 54 percent of the 319 respondents considered a dog park a very important priority for the city, while 24 percent listed it as a low priority. The remainder rated the importance in the middle.

A dog park finished fourth in importance among a list of 21 items the department polled residents about. Open space, unpaved trails and paved trails finished higher.

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