What is the goal of this project?
With a growing number of dogs and dog owners in our community, this project aims to increase safety and harmony for dogs, dog owners, and non-dog owners across Squamish by creating designated off-leash dog locations.
Why is this being called a pilot project?
The District is taking a phased approach to ensure off-leash dog locations are gradually introduced to the community so they can be piloted and tested for success. Success will be achieved when owners follow off-leash responsibility conditions.
Approved locations would run as a pilot project to see what works and how to make improvements over time before considering additional locations in the future.
How was this updated list of off-leash dog locations developed?
The original list of proposed off-leash dog locations has been reconsidered. This was done to protect wildlife and to address land access issues. Since 2019, staff have narrowed down the original list of proposed off-leash dog locations and proposed some new locations.
The updated list of proposed locations was informed by public feedback received in 2019. The updated list was also developed alongside information from District staff with knowledge in parks, planning, environment, wildlife, and bylaw, as well as working with the RCMP and BC Conservation Office.
When did this public engagement process begin? Why was it put on hold?
The District began a public engagement process in 2019. This process gathered information from both dog owners and non-dog owners on proposed off-leash dog locations and dog owner responsibility conditions.
This engagement was put on hold in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic when Bylaw staff were forced to focus on emerging priorities.
Will all of the proposed off-leash dog locations move forward?
Not necessarily. Survey responses will be used alongside information such as service requests and community demographics to inform a recommendation to Council this fall about whether all or some of the locations should be added to our community.
Is the District updating the Animal Control Bylaw as part of this process?
The District is not updating the Animal Control Bylaw as part of this process. As part of the ongoing work on the off-leash dog process the District plans to do a full review of the Animal Control Bylaw in 2022.
Will the off-leash dog locations be fenced?
It depends on the location. Some of the proposed off-leash dog locations will be fully fenced or partially fenced. There are also two existing fenced dog parks in Squamish that are not included in this plan. One is located downtown near the Eaglewind development. The other is located in the Garibaldi Highlands on Glacier View Drive.
How will dog waste be handled at the off-leash dog locations?
The District is proposing a set of rules for using the off-leash dog locations. One of these rules will require dog owners to remove waste deposited by the dog and dispose of waste in a garbage disposal bin. The District will share education and messaging to remind users of these rules.