Steamboat Springs City Council to tackle off-leash ordinance




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What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, including a discussion about off-leash park areas (item No. 10 on the agenda)

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Citizens Meeting Room, Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

— Rita Valentine and Spring Creek parks are one step closer to going to the dogs as the Steam­­boat Springs City Council will take up an ordinance that would allow off-leash areas at both parks.

The off-leash issue has been a perennial discussion in Steamboat Springs and recently was rejuvenated when the Steamboat Springs City Council directed the Parks and Recreation Com­­mission to work with the Res­­ponsible Dog Ownership Group of Steam­boat and residents to create off-leash areas.

The commission is asking for community input at Tuesday’s meeting with the City Council.

The off-leash area will include all of Rita Valentine Park and Spring Creek Park. Spring Creek Park also continues onto county and Forest Service areas where dogs can remain off-leash to the Dry Lake parking lot on Buffalo Pass.

The main expense in the program, according to the report included in the City Council packet, will be for signs and pick-up bag containers that will be placed at several spots in each park. That cost is not yet determined. City Council members expressed support for expanded off-leash areas Aug. 3, in a 5-1 vote with Councilman Walter Magill opposing.

“Off-leash dogs with irresponsible owners are a hazard to kids, runners, bikers,” Magill said at the time.

He reiterated his stance Friday and said he intends to vote against the measure again because of dog waste near the trail and potentially in the water.

He said more enforcement is necessary but said he would not vote for the measure even if it had an enforcement component because it needs to be self-enforced.

“I’ve got to stick up for people who don’t like dogs,” he said.

Councilman Kenny Reisman said dog owner responsibility also should be a component of the ordinance and said it was a big part of the discussion. The ordinance has no provisions requiring cleanup.

The off-leash parks would replace an off-leash certification program started in November 2007 that allowed owners to have dogs off-leash after passing a voice- and sight-control evidence tag program.


Bitchbee 6 years, 6 months ago

How about a dog park with a fence, like everybody else. Dog in fence = off leash, Dog out of fence = on leash. Its not that hard. Y steamy does not have a real dog park is the question? Look at fort collins for some good dog park examples.


Brian Kotowski 6 years, 6 months ago

The problem is that for every responsible owner in Steamboat, there are 10 pinheads. Double that during the season when the brain dead 20-somethings decide it'd be cool to have a dog while they're here. Bitchbee's proposal for an enclosed, secure area is probably the only workable solution. Absent that, the preponderance of dipstick owners all but guarantees the fit hitting the shan when the dipsticks & their mutts interact with non-dog owners.


papafu 6 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the non-dog owners need to be put in an enclosed area.


Bill Dalzell 6 years, 6 months ago

Just the other day Magills kid ran right in front of me and my dog biking down the hill. Good thing my dog and I were quick to get out of the way.The kid wasn't even on a leash.


Chris Peters 6 years, 6 months ago

Due to its elk habitat and high speed bike action, Spring Creek seems like a poor choice of locations to me. Rita V. should be used for something, might as well be leash free.


Troutguy 6 years, 6 months ago

Seems to me that all of Emerald Mtn is already an off leash area. Whatever rules that would be put in place would most likely be ignored anyway. Sep has it about right on the ratio of 'responsible' to 'rules don't apply to me' dog owners.


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