At its meeting on July 17, the TR City Council approved three ordinance amendments related to animals in general, animals on public properties and in City parks.
Keeping Your Animal Under Control
The first ordinance amendment clarifies requirements for how an animal is to be controlled.
On the property of the owner (or other private property, with that property owner’s permission), animals are to be kept inside a building or fenced area, confined to that premises by a leash, chain, rope or electronic barrier, or be within the “immediate control of its owner.”
With regard to that last option, it means yes, your dog, cat or other animal can be “loose” on your property, but you had better be present with the animal and he/she better not run off your property or you can be cited for allowing your animal to be “at large.”
On public property, including streets and sidewalks, or upon the premises of another without the property owner’s consent, the animal needs to be “effectively controlled” through use of a collar and a leash not exceeding six feet in length. Alternatively, the animal must be “effectively contained” in a cage or kennel/carrier.
These requirements apply not just to dogs and cats, but to your boa constrictor, duck, pot-bellied pig, hedgehog or other pet that you wish to take off your property.
Animals on Public Grounds and Inside City Buildings
The second ordinance amendment addresses dogs, cats and other animals on public. grounds.
It expands the scope of the existing ordinance to cover all animals, not just dogs and cats. It continues a prohibition of animals on “public grounds and cemeteries,” generally, including school grounds, and extended that prohibition to the interiors of municipal buildings. Exempt from these prohibitions, of course, are service animals and animals used by the Police Department or other City departments in the course of doing their jobs.
This ordinance also specifically exempts the grounds around City Hall, the Lester Public Library and the Hamilton Community House from the general prohibition contained in the ordinance.
Animals in City Parks—TR Parks Now Pet Friendly
This is where the biggest change comes.
The third ordinance amendment, to the City’s Parks Ordinance, lifts the general ban on animals in City parks, replacing it with language allowing animals in the parks, provided they are either leashed or “kenneled” in the manner required by the first ordinance amendment cited above.
The only exception: Dogs are still prohibited at Neshotah Beach, which the ordinance clearly defines as the area between the beach parking lots and the waters of Lake Michigan, from the northernmost edge of the parking lots to the southernmost. This prohibition will be in effect from May 1 through September 30 of each year.
This amendment does allow for leashed animals to cross the far south end of Neshotah Beach, to access the lakefront south of Neshotah, which is open to leashed pets.
Further, the amendment allows off-leash dogs at any designated dogs parks, of which there is currently one, at Zander Park. And it allows off-leash dogs at the Lake Michigan beaches along Memorial Drive, accessible via stairways from the waysides. (Granted, there is not much beach in that area today, due to high lake levels.)
While not addressed in the Parks ordinance, it should be noted that the Cemetery Ordinance prohibits animals in cemeteries. That ban remains in place.
(Again, service animals and animals “on official City business” are exempt from the bans at the beach and in the cemeteries.)
These are the high points of the animal ordinance changes. To review these amendments in detail, go to www.two-rivers.org. and see the related announcement. These changes will soon be incorporated into the City Code as displayed on that website.
Thanks to everyone who provided input on this issue.
Issue of Animals at Festivals to Get Further Review
The issue of animals at major festivals and events was not addressed in Monday’s City Council actions. There are currently no ordinance provisions barring or restricting animals at such events.
The Council will be reviewing this matter in the next month or so. Watch this column or the City Hall Facebook page for more info.
EVP Beach Volleyball, Kiwanis Fish Derby and Fishing Fantasy Parade This Weekend
A reminder that this weekend (July 21-23) is filled with activities on and near the water in Two Rivers.
The EVP Coolest Coast Pro-Am Volleyball Tournament takes center sand at the beach from Friday afternoon through Sunday. For more details, go to www.evptour.com, or to the Facebook pages for “EVP Coolest Coast,” “Two Rivers City Hall,” or “Manitowoc Area Visitor and Convention Bureau.”
Out on Lake Michigan and at Walsh Field, it’s Kiwanis Fish Derby Weekend. For more information, go to the Two Rivers Kiwanis, TR City Hall or MAVCB Facebook pages.
Saturday afternoon starting at 1:30 PM, it’s the 11th annual TR Optimists Fishing Fantasy Parade along the beach and “Great Bike Giveaway” at Walsh Field. For more details on this beachfront parade and the drawing to give away 120 bikes to kids 12 and under, go to Two Rivers Optimists or TR City Hall Facebook pages.
No need to travel far…a great summer weekend coming up in TR!
Give Us Feedback on Community Development Needs!
The on-line survey at www.polco.us remains available until noon next Monday, July 24.
If you have not done so already, go on-line and share your thoughts about the City’s development and redevelopment priorities. We want your input!
Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be contacted by calling 920-793-5532 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.