“Inconsiderate” dog owners have been put on notice by the city of Laguna Beach, as the City Council on Thursday defined what qualifies as excessive barking and banned “walking” dogs while riding a bicycle or e-bike.
To clarify what a nuisance is, the council approved an ordinance that defines excessive barking as either 30 straight minutes or 60 minutes total over a 24-hour period, the Orange County Register reported.
The definition of nuisance was nebulous in the past, the council heard from Jim Beres, a Laguna Beach Police Department administrator overseeing animal control, who likened it to “having a speed limit with no defined speed limit.”
“It was based on how many people were complaining or willing to appear before a hearing officer to testify and provide evidence that a dog, at a certain location, is a nuisance,” he said. “That creates a different standard because what constitutes a violation at one location in North Laguna could be different in South Laguna. That’s what some people we’ve interacted with in the past have had an issue with.”
Not everyone was in support of the changes. Resident Michael Obrand said he and his wife have had to deal with disruptive dogs at neighboring homes, and while city intervention helped in one case, what he feels is a nuisance might not rise to the city’s definition.
“I’m not anti-dog. I’m anti-inconsiderate dog owners … This ordinance allows far too much barking,” resident Michael Obrand told the council.
The council decided to move forward with the new ordinance anyway, but not without an agreement to revisit the policy in six months to see if it’s working as intended.
The first citation costs $100, the second offense is $200 and a third offense and any thereafter is $500, the Register reported.