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Off-Leash Ordinance Passed!
On December 3, 2007 the Board of Alderman passed an off-leash pilot program 17 to 7. To read the new ordinance <<click here>>.
This is essentially enabling legislation, making it possible for there to be off-leash areas in Newton. There are still many steps before any areas can be designated for off-leash activity.
The first step is for an off-leash advisory committee to be appointed. If you are interested in serving on this committee please contact Alderman Susan Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the advisory committee is formed, citizen groups must come forward and present the committee with proposals to designate specific areas for off-leash activity. The advisory committee will review the proposals and work with the citizen groups to ensure the proposals are reasonable. The advisory committee will then present the proposal to either the Parks and Recreation Commission or the Conservation Commission, whichever is responsible for the proposed property. It will then be up to the Commission responsible for the property to determine whether to approve the proposal.
When developing this ordinance, the task force was concerned that designating only one or two areas for off-leash activity would be problematic in a city the size of Newton. Their intent was that the advisory committee would need to receive proposals for off-leash areas in a number of different wards or neighborhoods before they made a recommendation to either of the commissions, in order to avoid overuse of a limited number of legal areas. This means that before any off-leash areas are designated a number of citizen groups must come forward with proposals before any areas will be considered.
There is a two year sunset clause on the ordinance. Before the expiration date, the off-leash advisory committee must prepare a report on how well the program has worked and the Aldermen must vote to continue the program. If the Aldermen do not vote to extend or make permanent the ordinance before the end of two years then the ordinance becomes obsolete and the current laws are reinstated.
An interesting piece of trivia: the ordinance passed FOUR YEARS TO THE DAY of the big public hearing we held on December 3, 2003.
The read the most recent version of the report to accompany the draft ordinance <<click here>>.
CALENDAR & EVENTS
NEXT Off-leash Advisory Commitee Meeing
As of January the committee had not yet been appointed. Contact Alderman Susan Albright at email@example.com if interested..
Dog Licence Renewal
Dog license renewals are due at the end of March. If you did not recieve a renewal notice your dog is probably not licensed. <<click here>> for a dog license application or contact the City Clerk (617) 796-1200 and request an application.