DOGS will be allowed to roam free at a section of Edithvale beach as part of a trial of a possible 24-hour off-leash area.
Councillors at the 28 May public council meeting voted to allow dogs to walk off-leash along the Edithvale foreshore between Somme Lane and Bristol Avenue but are seeking community feedback on the plan.
South Ward councillor David Eden said people may completely back or oppose the move or be happy for it to proceed “with some modifications”.
He acknowledged “a compromise” between dog owners and non-pet owners is needed when deciding where dogs can walk off-leash on beaches.
“It’s something that a lot of people in the community are passionate about,” Cr Eden said at the meeting.
“When you’re talking about dogs, for a lot of people, you’re talking about their loved ones.”
Fellow South Ward councillor Georgina Oxley said councillors are comfortable considering other areas for dogs to be allowed to off-leash.
“None of the councillors are wedded to this area. We’re certainly happy to consider other areas.”
Council officers also flagged alternative areas in Chelsea and Carrum for potential off-leash designation in a report lodged at the council meeting.
Officers recommended an off-leash area to be introduced at Carrum beach since it “would be a better outcome in respect to a permanent dog off-leash area as this location is a quieter area of foreshore and would minimise conflict with competing users of the foreshore”.
That area, near Osprey Lane, is already an off-leash area at specific times of the year.
South Ward councillor Tamsin Bearsley noted: “We’ve had a lot of success with the Mentone dog off-leash 24-hour area … [but] Mentone is a long way off” for South Ward dog owners.
Council will advertise the proposed Edithvale off-leash area for community feedback before any final decision.
See kingston.vic.gov.au or call 1300 653 356 for more information.