Off leash dogs on the agenda

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A PROPOSED 24-hour off leash dog area at Edithvale Foreshore Reserve is set to face scrutiny at the next Kingston council meeting on 22 October.

A consultation session was held on 16 October to engage with residents about their thoughts on the proposal.

The matter was set to be discussed at the 24 September council meeting, but was deferred to make time for this consultation and to provide absent south ward councillors David Eden and Tamsin Bearsley a chance to contribute to discussion.

The initial officer recommendation for the proposal was to “note the submissions received in response to the consultation on the 24 hour dog off leash proposal along the Edithvale Foreshore” and “not proceed with the introduction of a 24 hour dog off leash area on the Edithvale foreshore based on community feedback.”

“We have 1,600 submissions that we have to this. We have groups that are for the proposal, we have groups that are against the proposal. There’s probably hundreds of emails that I’ve had from residents whether it’s for or against the proposal,” Cr Georgina Oxley said at the 24 September meeting.

“I do want to have it deferred so Cr Eden and Cr Bearsley do have an opportunity to have their input in this. We’ve certainly had discussion and I think we’ve come to something , and that’s something I’d like the three of us to discuss with councillors.”

The motion was carried and the matter deferred to the October meeting.

“There was lots of emails and lots of phone calls from people in the area. Some were heated, some weren’t. I understand there were emails from some who don’t live in the area, other municipalities even. If you narrow them down, the key residents who are effected by this are the locals,” Cr Ron Brownlees said.

Cr Geoff Gledhill said “it’s a bit disappointing this matter may be deferred tonight, but I can understand certainly that two ward councillors aren’t here for various reasons, and that’s unfortunate. There are a number of people I know who are very interested in how this progresses. To include [a deferral to seek community consultation] shows residents that as a council we do want to listen to them and have their feedback.”

“There has been a lot of distress. I’ve heard some people talk about selling their houses, and I think it would be a relief to the community to have it over and done with,” Cr West said before abstaining from the motion to defer.

The proposed area will cover a 300 metre stretch between Somme Lane and Bristol Avenue.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 17 October 2018

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