City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
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File #: 59294    Version: 1 Name: Dogs on City property
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 1/28/2020 In control: BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS
On agenda: 3/3/2020 Final action: 3/3/2020
Enactment date: 3/13/2020 Enactment #: ORD-20-00030
Title: Creating Sec. 8.195 and amending Sections 8.19, 23.32 and 1.08 of the Madison General Ordinances to create Dog Recreation Areas and to reorganize and recreate a unified ordinance relating to dogs on City property and dog recreation areas.
Sponsors: Paul E. Skidmore, Patrick W. Heck, Grant Foster, Samba Baldeh, Zachary Henak, Sheri Carter, Syed Abbas
Attachments: 1. Body, 2. Statement of Policy and Guidelines, 3. Public Comments

Fiscal Note

The proposed ordinance change creates Dog Recreation Areas and reorganizes and recreates a unified ordinance relating to dogs on City property and dog recreation areas. No significant costs are anticipated due to the changes and any expenses will be absorbed within existing budgets.

 

Title

Creating Sec. 8.195 and amending Sections 8.19, 23.32 and 1.08 of the Madison General Ordinances to create Dog Recreation Areas and to reorganize and recreate a unified ordinance relating to dogs on City property and dog recreation areas.

Body

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This ordinance will reorganize and recreate the City’s patchwork of ordinances that address on- and off-leash dog use of City property, consistent with the Board of Park Commissioners October 2, 2019 approval of the Statement of Policy and Guidelines for On-leash Dog Access to the Madison Park System (Legistar File No. 57578), which document was prepared following extensive public input and discussion. 

 

Current ordinances (Sections 8.19 and 23.32) prohibit dogs generally from City parks and any City-occupied buildings, while also allowing for 26 specific on-leash dog parks and 9 specific off-leash dog parks.  As part of this ordinance, dogs will generally continue to be prohibited from City buildings, but City agencies will now be able to designate whether any other City property under their control (such as City golf courses, Forest Hill Cemetery, the Public Market, Monona Terrace, etc.) should be dog-free, and under what conditions. 

 

In addition, under the ordinance change, all City parks and greenways (stormwater properties) will now, except where specifically designated as dog-free, allow for leashed dogs.  Greenways are already treated like park open space by many, so creating a mechanism to regulate the use of these open spaces, and treating them like parks for the purposes of this ordinance, is appropriate.  The current off-leash dog park list will remain, but temporary dog recreation areas will be allowed as well-which will give the City some flexibility in testing and establishing other areas where regulated use by dogs may be appropriate. 

 

Finally, the definition of “service dog” is being updated to align with the current usage under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

 

Of note, the main effect of these combined changes are that all parks will now allow leashed dogs except where otherwise specified, which is different than the existing status where dogs are banned unless allowed.

 

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The Common Council of the City of Madison do hereby ordain as follows:

                     Please see "Body" in Attachments.