No extra dog areas

No extra dog areas

A group of residents launched a petition for more of the Shelley foreshore to be turned into an off-leash dog exercise area. Photograph - Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

The City of Canning council has been advised to deny an application to extend an off-leash dog area along the Canning River in Shelley.

At the city’s Ordinary Council Meeting of December 20, 2016, the council received a petition to extend the existing dog exercise area along the Shelley foreshore.

The petition proposed linking two separate off-leash areas already on the foreshore by permitting off-leash exercise between Beryl Avenue and Linkwater Street.

The petition also requested the existing dog exercise area at Linkwater Street be extended to run under the Shelley Bridge and terminate shortly after.

The petition received on December 20 was signed by 36 resident from 29 households who supported the change.

In addition to the 29 households, 17 respondents wrote to the city in support of the proposal.

The petition stated the current off-leash dog areas were “both restrictive and inconsistent, and deny any dog freedom to roam away from speeding cyclists in locations of natural interest to them.”

The petition stated, “current legal requirements of cleaning up after your dog, and control of unruly dogs, would apply” in the new area if the council approved.

In response the city wrote to 72 properties across the road from the proposed area.

Requests for comment were also published in a local newspaper and on the city’s website.

The city received feedback from 28 residents who opposed the change.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife said it did not support the extension.

“Extending the dog exercise area would have a negative impact on foreshore vegetation. If the proposal goes ahead it would be necessary to ensure foreshore vegetation is protected with a fence and allowing one or two ‘beach access’ locations for people and their dogs,” Department of Parks and Wildlife River Systems Management manager Mark Cugley said.

“The foreshore is an important habitat area for shorebirds where breeding and feeding occurs seasonally.”

Mr Cugley said there were potential conflicts with existing foreshore users such as cyclists and kayakers.

The Canning River Residents Environment Protection Association highlighted community concern about increased incidence of dog faeces being left behind by owners if the proposal were supported.

It also said an increase in cyclist-dog incidents was likely if the proposal were approved.

In light of the investigation the city Officer said because of the potential for increased danger of disruption to foreshore environment and wildlife city they did not support the proposal.