Though substantial changes to Summit County's leash laws -- such as requiring a special off-leash tag -- have been suspended until more funding can be secured, County Council still considered and approved two measures related to dogs at Wednesday's weekly Council meeting at the Sheldon Richins Building.
The first was an approval of the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District's recommendation that a portion of the Kimball Junction open space be a designated as a two-mile-long off-leash dog trail. The open space is located west of State Route 224, north of Bear Hollow, and just east of the Utah Olympic Park.
During its leash law discussions, Council had requested that Basin Recreation explore options it may have to create an off-leash dog trail on any appropriate open space parcels or other Basin Recreation properties. Rena Jordan, district director, told Council that the trail was the best location for an off-leash area to accompany three off-leash areas already in the county.
Basin Recreation and the County acquired the Kimball Junction open space parcels as part of the Boyer Park City Heights development approval process and a larger land swap agreement with Park City Municipal and other parties, which occurred earlier this year, according to a staff report.
The area will have a minor trailhead with 10 parking stalls, and will remain fenced. Basin Recreation will build the trail, maintain the trail, and provide all necessary support for the area including trash receptacles, bag dispensers, as well as portable restrooms depending on the season.
Later in the meeting, Animal Control Director Brian Bellamy and Deputy County Attorney Helen Strachan presented to Council what Strachan called small but important amendments to the animal control ordinance. Recently, the Council and staff members discussed changing large portions of the entire animal control ordinance, and the amendments presented Wednesday were the first phase of amendments.
The most significant change was that the old, limited definition of "at-large-dogs" was scrapped in favor of new language that would expand the opportunities for dogs to be off-leash and the ability of people to recreate with their dogs off leash, Currently, the animal control code does not have language allowing dog owners to recreate off-leash within off-leash dog areas.
The new ordinance states that it shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog or puppy to allow such dog or puppy at any time to run at large A dog or puppy shall be considered under restraint of the owner and therefore not "at large" when:
- on a leash or lead
- the dog is under the control of its owner through the use of an electronic collar, provided that the owner maintains voice and sight control and carries a physical leash or lead with them at all times
- confined within a vehicle
- within the real property limits of the owner
- within the real property limits of another with the express permission of the property owner
- the dog is an agricultural dog actively working
- the dog is hunting with its owner, or
- the dog is within the boundaries of a designated off-leash dog area adopted by ordinance or otherwise formally approved by the County, municipality, a special service district, or the home owner's association within the jurisdiction of the division of animal control.
Council approved the amendments.