OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Advocates for a pilot dog beach program are rallying for community support ahead of the Oceanside City Council’s second vote on the intuitive.
Voices like Moss Rosen’s, co-founder of Oceanside Dog Beach Inc., are calling on local leaders to explore the feasibility of such a program, which he and many others believe will bring great benefit to North County’s growing tourist city.
Rosen explained that though Visit Oceanside notes online the community is a dog-friendly destination, the tourism organization later informs potential visitors their “pets are not allowed to join you on O’side beaches.” Tourists are then directed to take their four-legged friends to neighboring beach cities, where they are allowed in the sand.
Rosen argues sending potential visitors to competing cities is not good for Oceanside businesses or the local community in general.
“We hear all the time from families, the elderly, veterans and disabled members of our community, many who need comfort or service animals, that they simply can not make the journey to Del Mar, nor do they want to,” Rosen stated.
One member of the community told Rosen he would rather get a ticket walking his pup on O’side beaches than go to Del Mar, saying “at least the revenue will stay in our city.”
The pilot dog beach program initiative would open up about 500 feet of Oceanside beaches to be shared during limited hours, Rosen explained. This equates to about 6% of the city’s beaches.
Oceanside Dog Beach Inc. has proposed the area between the North Jetty to Tower 18, citing its natural boundaries, access to bathrooms and water, parking availability and the fact that it’s not a residential area as reasons for this location. This area located on the northernmost stretch of Harbor Beach.
Rosen said the area will need to be controlled and monitored for success as safety and environmental concerns are paramount to make this work. He said volunteers within his organization will need the city’s help to make this happen.
The Oceanside City Council is set to vote on the measure for a second time on Nov. 2. Rosen said a majority ‘yes’ vote would direct staff to explore strategies for the pilot dog beach program, including potential options for limiting the days and hours of usage.
During the last vote, councilmembers voted 3-2 in favor of a study with one councilmember being the swing vote.
“There have been several attempts by the community members to get a dog beach started, every 10 years or so, last in 2009,” Rosen said. “They have all been shut down due to the political pressure.”
Rosen said the next step is securing another ‘yes’ majority vote from the city council.
Call to action
Oceanside Dog Beach Inc. has collected over 8,500 petition signatures in favor of establishing a dog beach for the community and tourist. Rosen said the organization also has the support of around 300 businesses in the area.
Rosen said they will present a list of names and signatures to the Oceanside city council ahead of the upcoming vote in hopes of their approval of this initiative. Residents and supporters can sign the petition here.
“Oceanside Dog Beach Inc. is going the distance for our community,” Rosen said. “We are organized, talking and aligning with the right people, and using more modern tools like amazing volunteers, social media and marketing to get ahead of this.”