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Meanwhile, over at Canine Corners...

La Mesans discuss raising dogs-per-household limit from 2 to 4

Dog owners aren't categorically onboard with upping the limit
Dog owners aren't categorically onboard with upping the limit

About four hours before the La Mesa City Council's May 26 discussion of a proposal to raise the number of dogs allowed in a home from two to four, people in Canine Corners dog park pondered the increase proposed by councilmembers Kristine Alessio and Bill Baber.

That's right, a parade on Saturday.

Canine Corners is located in Harry Griffen Park, and three fenced areas are designated for dogs of different sizes. Flyers on the chainlink fence urged visitors to "Join the Parade," and march in La Mesa's Flag Day parade. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30.

A group of people in the small-dog area hadn't heard about the dog-doubling proposal. It would require an amendment to the municipal code "allowing for a maximum of four dogs" per dwelling unit, according to the May 26 agenda.

Karen said, "It depends on the living situation," such as if someone lives in a house with a yard.

Lois serves on the board of a condominium complex that has a two-animal limit. "One cat and one dog are allowed in a unit," she said. "There's no weight limit.”

Initially, Greg Minton said, "Two dogs [per household] is reasonable." He came to the park with his mother, Ann Prince, and Bailey, a four-month old Labrador retriever mix. As Bailey enjoyed her first visit to Canine Corners, Minton offered another suggestion for the council: base the dog limit on the relationship of pounds of dog weight to the square footage of the home.

As I tried to photograph Bailey, the playful pup kept rushing up so I could pet her. This continued as Minton called her and I moved around. As I shot pictures, a woman handed me a paper and said, "A dog almost ate your [interview] notes."

Bailey

At the council meeting, there was no public comment on the dog limit, and the council voted 4-1 on Alessio and Baber's proposal to schedule a planning commission hearing on the issue. Vice mayor Ruth Sterling cast the "no" vote, saying, "Four dogs in a residence is almost like a small kennel."

Before the vote, Alessio said the issue was on the agenda because of a question from constituents. "People say why do we only allow two dogs when we allow two potbelly pigs and ten cats, which is fine with me." Alessio, a feline fan, said that she and Baber met with city staff and, "No one really knows why" the dog limit was set. "If people add a third dog, are neighbors going to report them to the dog police?"

Baber said staff research indicated the number of dogs allowed in other jurisdictions of San Diego County ranged from one to six. (According to the City of San Diego Code Enforcement department, "Having more than six dogs at a residence is considered a kennel and is not permitted in residential zones.")

Baber spoke about the benefits of licensing dogs and said he was concerned that people with more than two dogs wouldn't license them. He called for a higher limit, saying cats, backyard chickens, and potbelly pigs have had their day in terms of allowable limits. "Now it's time for dogs to have their day."

Sterling spoke about the effect on a dogless person living between two homes with four dogs in each residence. If four dogs bark on one side and four dogs bark on the other, it "degrades that person's quality of life."

Councilman Guy McWhirter said he thought other ordinances covered issues such as noise and smell complaints.

Before mayor Mark Arapostathis called for the vote, he said, "I think dogs are great; they serve a lot of purposes." He also noted the "top" problems residents complained about were "potholes, speeds, and barking dogs. People have complained about barking dogs since I was elected to the council in '06."

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Dog owners aren't categorically onboard with upping the limit
Dog owners aren't categorically onboard with upping the limit

About four hours before the La Mesa City Council's May 26 discussion of a proposal to raise the number of dogs allowed in a home from two to four, people in Canine Corners dog park pondered the increase proposed by councilmembers Kristine Alessio and Bill Baber.

That's right, a parade on Saturday.

Canine Corners is located in Harry Griffen Park, and three fenced areas are designated for dogs of different sizes. Flyers on the chainlink fence urged visitors to "Join the Parade," and march in La Mesa's Flag Day parade. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 30.

A group of people in the small-dog area hadn't heard about the dog-doubling proposal. It would require an amendment to the municipal code "allowing for a maximum of four dogs" per dwelling unit, according to the May 26 agenda.

Karen said, "It depends on the living situation," such as if someone lives in a house with a yard.

Lois serves on the board of a condominium complex that has a two-animal limit. "One cat and one dog are allowed in a unit," she said. "There's no weight limit.”

Initially, Greg Minton said, "Two dogs [per household] is reasonable." He came to the park with his mother, Ann Prince, and Bailey, a four-month old Labrador retriever mix. As Bailey enjoyed her first visit to Canine Corners, Minton offered another suggestion for the council: base the dog limit on the relationship of pounds of dog weight to the square footage of the home.

As I tried to photograph Bailey, the playful pup kept rushing up so I could pet her. This continued as Minton called her and I moved around. As I shot pictures, a woman handed me a paper and said, "A dog almost ate your [interview] notes."

Bailey

At the council meeting, there was no public comment on the dog limit, and the council voted 4-1 on Alessio and Baber's proposal to schedule a planning commission hearing on the issue. Vice mayor Ruth Sterling cast the "no" vote, saying, "Four dogs in a residence is almost like a small kennel."

Before the vote, Alessio said the issue was on the agenda because of a question from constituents. "People say why do we only allow two dogs when we allow two potbelly pigs and ten cats, which is fine with me." Alessio, a feline fan, said that she and Baber met with city staff and, "No one really knows why" the dog limit was set. "If people add a third dog, are neighbors going to report them to the dog police?"

Baber said staff research indicated the number of dogs allowed in other jurisdictions of San Diego County ranged from one to six. (According to the City of San Diego Code Enforcement department, "Having more than six dogs at a residence is considered a kennel and is not permitted in residential zones.")

Baber spoke about the benefits of licensing dogs and said he was concerned that people with more than two dogs wouldn't license them. He called for a higher limit, saying cats, backyard chickens, and potbelly pigs have had their day in terms of allowable limits. "Now it's time for dogs to have their day."

Sterling spoke about the effect on a dogless person living between two homes with four dogs in each residence. If four dogs bark on one side and four dogs bark on the other, it "degrades that person's quality of life."

Councilman Guy McWhirter said he thought other ordinances covered issues such as noise and smell complaints.

Before mayor Mark Arapostathis called for the vote, he said, "I think dogs are great; they serve a lot of purposes." He also noted the "top" problems residents complained about were "potholes, speeds, and barking dogs. People have complained about barking dogs since I was elected to the council in '06."

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Comments
2

There is a rule that applies to the owners of barking dogs. A barking dog is heard by everyone but the dog's owner.

May 30, 2015

"Sterling spoke about the effect on a dogless person living between two homes with four dogs in each residence. If four dogs bark on one side and four dogs bark on the other, it "degrades that person's quality of life."

If a person has four dogs who are well-behaved and do not bark excessively, is it better or worse than a person who has just one dog, but who sits at the fence and barks from the moment their owner leaves in the morning til they get home in the evening?

It's very interesting to see how our local government folks decide what we are and are not allowed to own.

June 1, 2015

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