Dogs get 90 more minutes on the beach

The Newport Beach City Council has amended an ordinance to give dog owners 90 extra minutes to walk their dogs on the Balboa Peninsula.

Now, dogs are only banned from the sandy stretches between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ordinance immediately took effect, city officials said.

The change in hours was fashioned to give dog owners more daylight in which they could take their dogs for walks, coming on the heels of turning the clocks back last week.

Some senior citizens had expressed reservations of walking their dogs alone after dark, a concern that the council took into consideration.

The issue first went to the city's Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission, which unanimously signed off on the concept Oct. 6.

Laura Detweiler, director of the city's Recreation & Senior Services Department, said she thinks the ordinance is a "happy medium" that pleases all parties involved.

The change in ordinance was the third since 1989, Detweiler said.

Under the first change, in 1989, all dogs were banned from beaches during the summer months — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The second change came in 1996, when dogs were banned year-round between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Fines for violating the ordinance are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third, Detweiler said.

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