By Kristina Houck
Man’s best friend may soon have access to Solana Beach’s sandy shores.
Although leashed dogs are permitted at Fletcher Cove Park to the top of the beach access ramp, the city currently prohibits dogs on its beaches. In a 4-1 vote, the Solana Beach City Council on July 10 authorized an environmental study to determine whether rules should change.
Dogs are permitted on neighboring beaches. Leashed dogs are allowed at Cardiff State Beach. Del Mar also allows leashed dogs on much of its beaches year-round and allows unleashed dogs north of 29th Street from the day after Labor Day until June 15.
“I’m just here to support that we allow dogs and their owners to walk on the beach like our neighbors in Del Mar and our neighbors in Encinitas,” said Charlene Letourneau, who has lived in Solana Beach for 23 years.
Resident Ira Opper added, “Let’s try to make Solana Beach more dog friendly.”
With the council’s vote, $17,000 from undesignated reserves will be used to study the city’s options. Recommendations will be presented to the City Council at an unspecified date.
“I’ll vote for it because I love dogs, but I’m a little disappointed this is costing so much and it’s required,” said Councilwoman Lesa Heebner.
Casting the sole dissenting vote, Deputy Mayor Thomas Campbell said he couldn’t approve the study without knowing how new rules would be enforced.
“I support the concept, but I think approving it without having a better understanding of the enforcement issues at this point is not something that I can support,” he said.