Dog Owners Ask Rosewood Beach to Lift Dog Ban for Off-Season
“It is sweater weather,” said Erica Weeder. “Can we please not enforce a bathing beach ordinance during the off-season?” Erica is one of the many Highland Park dog owners who, of course, are quite used to running and/or walking with their dogs at Rosewood Beach. However, following the Beach’s reopening (after quite a large renovation job), dog owners were surprised to discover that they had been banned by the Park District of Highland Park from walking their animals on the boardwalks.
According to the Park District of Highland Park website: “The new Rosewood Beach amenities are expected to increase the public’s use of the beach areas, and the presence of dogs and other pets creates a safety and sanitation concern. Therefore, for the safety and well-being of our beach visitors, dogs and other pets are not allowed at lower Rosewood beach including the boardwalk, bridges, and beach.” More specifically: In June, the park board voted in favor of amending the district’s animal and pet ordinance to restrict dogs and other domesticated animals to Rosewood’s upper park and to the ravine path that leads down to the beach.
Ellen Waldman, who is another Highland Park resident, gave a counter argument to this by stating that the dog owners who follow the rules with regard to keeping his or her pets on a leash and making sure their pets’ waste is cleaned up and disposed of properly should not be punished for the actions of a few who do not follow these rules. “These are domesticated, tamed, vaccinated and housebroken pets that can be controlled,” Waldman noted. “Do not let a few people who are disrespectful and don’t obey existing ordinances to ruin a good thing for everybody in all of Highland Park.” And Waldman certainly has a good point. Rules should not be made that punish everyone regarding the actions of only a few.
Michael Starkmen approached the problem from a different angle, noting that a dog provides a certain level of protection and security while walking along the beach. “This is a beach that is in large part isolated. What you have in the dog walkers is an opportunity to have extra sets of eyes and ears on the beach, people with cellphones who can report something that needs to be reported.”
All of these points are made with good intentions, but they do not seem to be reaching park officials at this time, or at least to a level where these officials will do anything about the issue. As of right now, the park officials do not seem to be taking the issue any further. Keep checking back in here with us at Lexus of Highland Park for more information.