UPDATE: Dogs on the Beach
In 2015, there was a proposal to allow dogs on leashes there from sunrise to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to sunset on a 1.2-mile stretch of beach south of Cocoa Beach and north of Patrick Air Force Base, for a six-month trial period
Commissioners voted 3-2 against the plan April 2015.
Two years later, the argument is back on the table. Cocoa Beach City Commissioner Ed Martinez proposes to designate a dog beach for people who register their pets at City Hall.
On Thursday March 16, a city commission discussion on the topic took place at 7pm.
Mayor Ben Malik heard comments from residents – there were over 20 supporters and opponents – the mayor also stated he read through over 100 emails on the subject and apologized for not responding to each one.
“I’ve probably got 100 emails, and I apologize I just didn’t get back to everybody. It’s roughly 50-50. I think we have to do a little more due diligence before I’m ready to make a decision,” said Mayor Ben Malik.
Police Chief Scott Rosenfeld raised some valid concerns:
“We may have to increase the beach ranger staffing, adjust their hours. We have eight now. How can we overlap their shifts to enforce this?” Rosenfeld asked commissioners.
“I can tell you now, our response to an animal on the beach is going to be similar to our response to fireworks on the Fourth of July: We’ll get there when we get there,” Rosenfeld said.
The dog beach debate lasted nearly 1.5 hours and will continue to be researched and considered by city officials.