The City of Vernon has posted colourful, clear maps on posts at every entrance to Marshall Field in Okanagan Landing where dog owns may and may not walk their dogs on- and off-leash. (City of Vernon - photo)

Vernon dog leash debate continues

Council discussed fines and fences in regards to on- and off-leash dog areas at Marshall Field

If you walk your dogs on-leash and off-leash in clearly marked areas of Marshall Field in Vernon’s Okanagan Landing, you’re good.

If you walk your dogs or let them run on the playing fields leash-free, you’ve got trouble.

The topic of dogs on- and off-leash came up again at Vernon council Monday, when councillors were voting on a motion to receive information and a 500+ signature petition from the Vernon Soccer Association for consideration in the on-going review of options for an off-leash area at the popular sports facility.

The soccer organization has called for the park to be on-leash only. Council has also received a pair of petitions calling for the park to be off-leash.

Council voted 4-3 earlier in February to temporarily suspend enforcement of dogs off-leash at Marshall Field in an area between the playing fields and Vernon Creek until an environmental assessment, of the area, costing about $6,000, is done. That area is currently on-leash only.

Both sides have agreed a fence around that area would be a solution to the problem, with city council concurring.

Councillors Akbal Mund and Kelly Fehr called for the suspension to end.

Administrator Will Pearce pointed out that the current direction of council is that the city not enforce dogs on-leash outside or off of the fields, but, by council’s specific direction by resolution, that dog control services would enforce dogs on the playing fields because that’s a no-dog area.

“We have that now,” said Pearce.

Mayor Victor Cumming praised the city planning department for doing a good job of “putting out new maps on the fence of every entrance at Marshall Field.”

“I don’t think there’s any possibility that someone could say, ‘Gee, I didn’t know (the field was on-leash),’” said Cumming. “It’s a good-sized map at all the entrance points.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of receiving the Vernon Soccer Association petition and information, and referring it to staff for consideration in the ongoing review.

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