At the June 11, 2018 Regular Council meeting, resident Gail Hall asked the District about the Capital Region District Bylaw 4225 requiring leashing of dogs in CRD parks. Mrs. Hall stated that this means “Sooke has been hit hard by this bylaw.” Five of the 11 parks listed are in Sooke (see the list below, from the Pets in Parks CRD pamphlet).
The loss of off-leash access at the the potholes hits hard. Allowing a dog to run off-leash, besides giving them their much-needed exercise, also helps with their socialization. Mrs. Hall added that these dog walkers are often helping out tourists with directions and information, and on occasion are putting out abandoned fires.
On behalf of herself and other dog walkers, Mrs. Hall was asking that the district point out to the CRD the extent of the areas that have been removed for dog-owners. She was also asking for seasonal exceptions, seeing if it were possible that during the off-season, dog walkers can return to the potholes.
There was also discussion on a parameter, with Mayor Maja Tait noting that it made sense that dog walkers should have a point beyond which they are allowed to be off leash.
Councillor Kevin Pearson made a motion that CRD come to Sooke and give a presentation on their logic of the dog policy at the Potholes.
Councillor Kerrie Reay made the observation that some big off leash dogs have attacked individuals, and at the same time acknowledged that big dogs do need a place to run. She noted that the sweeping decision without speaking with the people of Sooke was unfortunate, as Ms. Hall raised a number of valid concerns.
Pearson’s motion carried unanimously.
Present: Mayor Maja Tait and Councillors Ebony Logins, Kevin Pearson, Brenda Parkinson, Bev Berger, Kerrie Reay,
Dogs-On-Leash Areas: Dogs are required to be on a leash at:
- Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve
- Brooks Point Regional Park – in the area designated as the Environmental Protection Zone
- E&N Rail Trail – Humpback Connector
- Francis/King Regional Park – Elsie King Trail
- Galloping Goose Regional Trail
- Island View Beach Regional Park – Campground
- Jordan River Regional Park – Campground
- Lochside Regional Trail
- Sea to Sea Regional Park
- Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park
- Sooke Potholes Regional Park
- Canada Day celebrations in Sooke
- Legal matters prevent Sooke council from providing information
- Sooke officials consider a bylaw that would allow float planes at the Prestige
- Sooke starts rezoning process for properties at Grant and Haywood
- Off-leash dog options are shrinking
- The District becomes a regular funding source for Canada Day celebrations
- Second public hearing for ViewPointe Estates