The Christchurch City Council has approved a developmental approach to its proposed Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.
This proactive approach option calls for several status changes to dog control in parks, beaches and public places: placing prohibition in some places, opening up others and aligning the time frames for dogs on beaches.
The ‘Development’ option proposes a larger number of new prohibited and restrained dog areas, which may entail extra funding to cover the cost of necessary enforcement and new control signage.
The chosen option also aligns itself with the upcoming Biodiversity Strategy to be considered by the Council this year.
"A number of the areas identified for tighter dog control measures (prohibited or restrained areas) in the ‘Development’ option correspond with those identified in the draft Biodiversity Strategy as being important habitats for biodiversity," says Alan Bywater, Programme Manager with the Council’s Strategy and Planning Group.
The proposed policy and bylaw is an amalgamation, and will replace the Christchurch City Dog Control Bylaw 1996 and the Banks Peninsula Dog Control Bylaw 2004. Banks Peninsula District was merged with Christchurch City in 2006. The amalgamated Policy and Bylaw will ensure consistency in intent, application and enforcement of dog controls across the region, says Mr Bywater.
"Also, there is a need to ensure that the controls for rural and urban dogs are appropriately addressed, as the amalgamation of Banks Peninsula District resulted in the inclusion of greater farming areas and thus working rural dogs, into the Christchurch City Council’s jurisdiction," he says.
The proposed Policy and Bylaw will also incorporates the Christchurch Dog Control Amendment Acts 2004 and 2006 which lay out an inventory of tools for the Council to use in addressing issues on unregistered dogs, roaming dogs, and irresponsible owners and to impose increased fines and penalties.
The Council approved a Special Consultative Process to gather public submissions on the ‘Development’ option. The special consultative procedure requires the Council:
to print and distribute the proposed bylaw and policy (including the rationale for the proposal) as widely as reasonably practicable along with information as to where the statement of proposal can be inspected and a copy obtained, and dates of the submissions period.
to give notice of the proposed policy to every owner of a dog.
to set up panels to hear from anyone who wishes to be heard, to consider the submissions made and then to resolve on the final form of the policy and the bylaw.
Public notification of the proposed policy and bylaw is on March 26, which starts a month-long submission period.