DISCLAIMER

 

PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE


08-035-O


ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING LICENSING OF UNLEASHED DOGS TO USE DESIGNATED AREAS AND TRAILS AMENDING SECTION 6-36 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED AND ADDING NEW SECTIONS 6-36.1, 6-36.2 AND 6-36.3 TO ARTICLE IV OF CHAPTER 6 THEREOF.

BY COUNCILORS STAUBER, GARDNER AND ANDERSON:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 6-36 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 6-36. Running at large prohibited.

     No person shall suffer or permit any animal owned or controlled by that person to run at large within the city. Except as authorized in this Article, Aan animal shall be considered to be at large if:

     (a)  The animal departs from the private property of the owner or other person caring for that animal and is not under physical control of the owner, a member of the immediate family or other responsible person caring for that animal. If the animal is under control by a leash, the leash must be of suitable strength not exceeding six feet in length. Persons controlling animals with leash devices capable of extending leash lengths greater than six feet shall retract the leash length so it shall not exceed six feet in length when being approached or approaching within ten feet of other persons and/or other animals;

     (b)  The animal remains on the private property of the owner or other person caring for that animal and the animal is not effectively contained within a fenced area (including an area surrounded with an underground electronic fencing system), or when the animal is on any unfenced area or lot abutting a street, alley, public park, school grounds or public place without being effectively restrained by a chain or metallic cable secured to a fixed object;

     (c)  An animal is not in violation of this Section if:

           (1)  Such animal remains on the private property of the owner or other person caring for that animal and a competent person is outside with the animal and that animal is immediately obedient to that person’s command;

           (2)  Such animal is picketed in accordance with this Chapter;

           (3)  Such animal is confined in a shipping receptacle or a closed vehicle;

           (4)  Such animal is actually participating in a bona fide field trial, animal show or exhibition, training school, obedience school or similar activity;

           (5)  Such animal is police animal engaged in activities by the city;

           (6)  Such animal is a tracking animal and is being used by or with the permission of the city;

           (7)  Such animal is a certified service animal serving a disabled person;

     (d)  Underground electronic fencing system;

           (1)  An underground electronic fencing system used to restrain an animal on private property shall keep an electronically restrained animal a minimum distance of ten feet from any adjacent public sidewalk, public alley or public street;

           (2)  The property owner or person in control of the property shall be required to erect and maintain a sign alerting the general public that an animal is contained on the posted property by an underground electronic fencing system. The sign shall not be smaller than six inches by nine inches in size and not larger than two feet by one foot. The written warning language on the sign shall not be smaller than three quarters of an inch in height. The sign shall be conspicuously placed as to clearly inform the approaching general public of the underground electronic fencing system;

           (3)  An animal designated as being a dangerous animal or a potentially dangerous animal under Article IX of this chapter and/or under Minnesota Statute 357.50 shall not be primarily restrained by an underground electronic fencing system;

           (4)  The property owner or person in control of the property operating an underground electronic fencing system for the purpose of restraining an animal shall be required to maintain the underground electronic fencing system in an effective and proper working order;

     (e)  A person using a fencing system as the primary means of restraint for an animal may not continue to use the fencing system as the primary means of restraint for that animal if that animal’s behavior results in:

           (1)  Two convictions within a 12-month period for violating any of the provisions set forth in Section 6-32, referencing 6-31(b)(3), 6-34(a), 6-35 and/or 6-36, of this Code; or

           (2)  One conviction for violating any of the provisions set forth in Section 6-32, referencing 6-31(b)(3), 6-34(a), 6-35, 6-36 or 6-92(a), of this Code and evidence the animal inflicted injury to a human or to another domestic animal.

     Section 2: That Article IV of Chapter 6 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to add Section 6-36.1 to read as follows:

Sec. 6-36.1.     Exception-–licensed dogs in permitted locations.

     Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6-36 above, a dog, otherwise running at large, which has been licensed under this Chapter, for which an off-leash license has been issued under this Section, which is at the time wearing a current tag or other means of identification issued by the city clerk evidencing the issuance of said off-leash license and which is located on an area or trail licensed pursuant to Section 6-36.2 or Section 6-36.3 below shall not be considered to be running at large;

     (a)  Any person owning a dog may, upon application therefor and payment of the fee established pursuant to Paragraph (b) below, be issued an off-leash license by the city clerk authorizing the owner’s dog to be unrestrained by chain or leash in an off-leash area or on an off-leash trail in conformance with the requirements of this Article except as hereinafter provided for. A single license shall be issued for each dog. Licenses issued under this paragraph shall be effective from the date of issuance through December 31 of the current year. The city clerk shall provide a highly visible tag or other means of identification with each license which shall be worn at all times by any dog using any off-leash area or any off-leash trail when said dog is off-leash;

     (b)  Fees to be charged to residents and nonresidents for the issuance of each off-leash license for each dog so licensed to use city-designated off-leash areas and off-leash trails shall be set in accordance with Section 31-6(a) of this Code;

     (c)  Such off-leash licenses shall be issued only upon proof that the dog to be licensed has received a rabies vaccination which is current;

     (d)  No such off-leash license shall be issued for any dog which is deemed to be a dangerous animal or a potentially dangerous animal under Article IX of this Chapter or which is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog as defined in Minnesota Statutes Section 347.50 or for which a license has been revoked within two years for violation of this Article;

     (e)  No dog licensed under this Section shall be permitted to use or be in any off-leash area or any off-leash trail in violation of any rules applicable to the use of said area or trail promulgated in conformance with the requirements of this Article;

     (f)  All dogs using or located in any off-leash area or any off-leash trail shall be under the control of the owner or of a person authorized by the owner to be in control of said dog. No more than three dogs licensed under this Section shall be permitted to be unleashed on any off-leash area or off-leash trail under the control of any one person;

     (g)  No dog in heat shall be allowed to be unrestrained by chain or leash in any off-leash area or off-leash trail;

     (h)  Upon the direction of any peace officer, any animal control officer, or any other person duly authorized by the city, the owner or person authorized by the owner to be in control of any dog located in or on any off-leash area or off-leash trail shall restrain said dog by chain or leash and shall remove said dog from said area or trail.

     (i)  The off-leash license issued for any dog may be revoked by the chief administrative officer upon proof that it was improvidently issued in violation of this Article or upon proof that any owner or any person authorized by the owner to be in control of such dog has violated the requirements of this Article more than once in any 12 month period. The clerk shall mail notice of any revocation to the owner for the affected dog’s license at the owner’s address as it appears on the owner’s application. Within ten days of mailing of such notice of revocation, the applicant therefor can appeal said revocation by delivering to the city clerk in writing a notice of appeal to the animal humane board. The decision of the animal humane board shall be final.

     Section 3. That Article IV of Chapter 6 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to add Section 6-36.2 to read as follows:

Sec. 6-36.2.     Designation of off-leash trails or off-leash areas on public property.

     The city council, by resolution, may designate trails or areas on public property it deems appropriate for such designation as off-leash trails or off-leash areas upon such terms and conditions as it deems to be in the public interest. Dogs having a current off-leash license may use said trails without being restrained by chain or leash.

     (a)  The city council may by resolution designate any public trail or area as an off-leash trail or off-leash area. Said resolution shall be accompanied by a map showing the location of said trail or area.

     (b)  The council may by resolution establish rules and regulations applicable to the use of any trail or area designated as an off-leash trail or off-leash area, said rules and regulations to be effective upon adoption.

     (c)  The council may by resolution amend or modify any rules or regulations established pursuant to paragraph (b) above as it shall from time to time deem appropriate in the public interest.

     (d)  The city shall post and maintain copies of the current rules and regulations applicable to any such trail on waterproof materials or in waterproof, transparent containers at all natural entry points to said trail.

     Section 4. That Article IV of Chapter 6 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, is hereby amended to add Section 6-36.3 to read as follows:

Sec. 6-36.3.     Designation of off-leash areas on private property.

     The city council, by resolution, may designate areas it deems appropriate for such designation as off-leash areas on private property upon such terms and conditions as it deems to be in the public interest. Upon consent of the property owners of the designated off-leash areas, dogs having a current off-leash license may use said areas without being restrained by chain or leash.

     (a)  Applications for the approval of any area as an off-leash area shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a scaled drawing referencing lot lines, streets or other identifiable monuments allowing the area affected to be established with certainty and by the application fee provided for in paragraph (b) below. If any of the property affected by the application is owned by any person other than the applicant, the application shall be accompanied by the written consent of the owner or owners of the property in recordable form. All applications shall be referred to the city assessor for a determination that this requirement has been fulfilled, based on the evidence in the county auditor’s records;

     (b)  Fees to be charged for the issuance of each off-leash area designation shall be set in accordance with Section 31-6(a) of this Code;

     (c)  The council by resolution may establish rules and regulations applicable to the use of any area designated as an off-leash area and the resolution so designating any such area shall only be effective if and when the applicant acknowledges receipt of a copy of such rules and regulations and has executed a written commitment to conform the use of the off-leash area to the terms of said rules and regulations and as the same may, from time to time, be amended;

     (d)  The council may, by resolution, amend or modify any rules or regulations established pursuant to paragraph (c) above as it shall from time to time deem appropriate in the public interest. Upon approval of any such amended rules or regulations, the city clerk shall mail notice of such amended rules and regulations to the applicant for such off-leash area at applicant’s address as it appears on the applicant’s application. Said amended or modified rules and regulations shall be effective 30 days after they are so mailed to said applicant;

     (e)  The applicant for any such off-leash area designation shall post and maintain copies of the current rules and regulations applicable to any such area on waterproof materials or in waterproof, transparent containers at all natural entry points to said area and every 300 feet around the perimeter of said area;

     (f)  The city council may revoke the designation of any designated off-leash area if it determines that by the nature or location of the area or by reason of its operation, it poses an unreasonable danger or nuisance to the public. Any such revocation shall be accompanied by findings of fact upon which the determination of unreasonable danger or nuisance are based.

     Section 5. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


COUNCIL REQ/ATTY


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  The purpose of this ordinance is to allow the designation of certain areas and trails in the city for use of dogs unrestrained by leashes or chains and to provide for licensing of dogs that are allowed to use such areas without such restraint.


The ordinance provides for licensing individual dogs to utilize off-leash areas and off-leash trails, provides for establishing of licensing fees, and provides for certain restrictions and limitations on area or trail use. It also provides for license revocation if appropriate.


The ordinance also allows for various areas and trails to be authorized for use by such licensed dogs and authorizes rules for use of those areas and trails.