Leash-Optional Areas Pilot
Starting April 1, 2019, Skyline and Chelsea Parks will host one-year pilots of leash-optional areas – unfenced park spaces shared by the general public and residents with off-leash dogs.
The project is intended to address public demand for more off-leash areas and follows extensive community consultation in 2018. Port Coquitlam also has two fenced dog parks.
A year-long online survey was conducted about the project, which was based on public demand and extensive community consultation.
Rules for Use
Signs with the rules for use will be posted along the boundaries.
Given that the leash-optional areas are unfenced shared spaces, owners must:
- Remain on-site
- Keep their dogs under control at all times
- Clean up after their dogs
- Ensure their dogs are not violent or aggressive
The city is ramping up bylaw enforcement to educate users and enforce the rules.
Dog waste bags and bins will be provided at both locations.
Chelsea Park, 1277 Chelsea Ave
The north section of Chelsea Park will be leash-optional during the pilot project.
Skyline Park, 1300-block Eastern and Western Dr
The entirety of Skyline Park will be leash-optional during the pilot project.
The city began investigating additional off-leash areas last year to address growing demand. Port Coquitlam has about 8,000 registered dogs and two fenced dog parks: the larger Shaughnessy Park Dog Off-leash Area on the north side, and the smaller Downtown Dog Off-leash Area on the south side.
However, the dog parks can be busy during peak times and many dog owners are not within walking distance to them. Off-leash dogs are regularly seen in city parks and trails, raising concerns about safety, dog waste, and damage to sports fields and ecological areas.
The leash-optional concept – already implemented successfully in communities such as Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam and Abbotsford – received support when the city sought public feedback in late summer 2018 through an online survey, social media polls, and staff attendance at community events and dog parks.
- More than 1,600 responses were received over a four-week period
- 77 per cent of survey respondents and about 64 per cent of social media respondents supporting shared, unfenced off-leash areas.
- Skyline and Chelsea Park had the highest level of support among the suggested locations.
- About 77 per cent of survey respondents were current or future dog owners.