Citizens fret that Central Park will probably the dogs

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Donna Gropper admits the girl likes dogs. But she also adores Central Park, especially when there are no dogs wandering through there.
“Central Park to me is very special, ” Gropper said. “ I like dogs, but I like that Central Area is dog-free. ”
Nancy Port Schwalb agrees. The Winter Area resident said she enjoys both Central Park and strolling down Park Avenue – but has experienced some problems with people who bring their dogs to both.
“ I have twice tripped more than this giant dog, ” the girl said. “The people who have these dogs have no respect for pedestrians. ”
Gropper and Schwalb were two Winter season Park residents who spoke out against a proposed city ordinance to allow City Manager Randy Dark night to grant exceptions for dogs to be in Central Park during special attractions. The ordinance was partly in response to a request by Brian Wettstein, who owns the Doggie Door present shop on Park Avenue and also wants access to Central park for the annual Halloween pet costume contest on Oct. 27.
“We’re asking for one Sunday afternoon, ” Wettstein told commissioners during Monday ‘s meeting. “We do cleanup after the events. ”
Commissioners, though, were divided over the ask for, while several residents spoke out against it.
“You’re thinking about an ordinance to allow what has been going on illegally, ” said Bonnie Jackson, who added that people walk their dogs in the park at all times, and the ban is not enforced.
“People ignored the signs and also the city did nothing, ” the girl said. “You either vote to allow the park to have dogs not really – no exemptions. ” # @@ # @!!
“ I feel like you’re opening a Pandora’s Box with this, ” Gropper added.
Knight agreed that “Currently, the ordinance prohibits dogs in Central Park. This arrived as a request from one of the vendors on Park Avenue, and it ’s here for your consideration. ”
City Attorney Usher Brown, who drafted the new ordinance, said anyone looking to bring dogs into Main Park for special events would initial have to give Knight 30 days move forward notice.
“The dogs have to be maintained on a leash, ” Brown said. “They have to keep the playground clean. He ( Knight ) can say, ‘No, you have unsatisfied me. ’ “
City Commissioner Steve Leary said he’d not have a problem with the new ordinance if the dog owners behave responsibly.
“ I want to be sure the playground is pristine after the event, ” Leary said. “ I have walked the park in the morning, and it has not been pristine, and I understand that people walk their dogs at five in the morning. ”
Leary said the city manager could still opt to impose conditions on any ask for made to him.
“If the city manager says ‘We’re going to restrict this to five dogs, ’ we can make that a condition of it, ” Leary said.
However other commissioners said they were not comfortable with the change.
Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel said she preferred that commissioners make the exemption, not the city manager.
“ I am sure Dont really want this, ” she told Knight, “because I’m giving you the task that I used to have. I don’t want dogs in the park. I’m not in favor of providing you my job. ”
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper said she has been worried someone might sue to obtain dogs in the park if they were refused permission after someone else was authorized.
“ I want to be sure we have legal discretion to say no, ” she said.
Sprinkel additionally echoed the views of the occupants who spoke against the new rule, saying “ I have a dog and I am crazy about dogs. But my own daughter is terrified of dogs because a large dog ran to her in a public area to play with her and knocked her over and it terrified her for years. I simply think it ’s okay to say Central Park is different. ” # @@ # @!!
Commissioners are expected to make a final decision on the ordinance during their next meeting on Sept. 23.

mwfreeman@sun-sentinel.com or even 407-420-5290.

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Originally posted 2013-09-11 00:00:00. Updated!