Councilmember Garcia And Others Propose Allowing Dogs on Patios at Restaurants
2012-04-17 · By Editor
Councilmember Robert Garcia, with the support of Vice-Mayor Lowenthal and Councilmember DeLong has introduced legislation to give restaurants the ability to allow pet dogs to accompany their owners dining on restaurant outdoor patios.
Currently, dogs other than service animals are legally prohibited from entering eating establishments in Long Beach, including outdoor restaurant patios. The new legislation would leave the decision up to individual businesses to allow dogs on their outdoor patios as long as certain conditions are met to ensure the health and safety of the public.
“Allowing pet dogs on outdoor restaurant patios creates community and a dining experience for all members of the family, including the four-legged ones,” said Garcia, whose First Council District includes parts of the downtown dining and entertainment area. “Changing the existing policy will encourage healthy living, promote business and build community.”
In December 2011, Los Angeles County approved a policy to allow pet dogs to dine with their owners on restaurant patios. The County of Los Angeles Environmental Health Department assessed the risk factors involved in the allowance of pet dogs in outdoor dining areas and after an extensive review of supporting data they made changes to allow pet dogs on outdoor patios. LA County restaurants now have the option to allow pet dogs on their outdoor patios. Long Beach has its own health department and must adopt any health policy changes independently.
The legislation is cosponsored by Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, whose Second District shares the downtown dining district, and Councilmember Gary DeLong, whose Third Council District includes the Belmont Shore neighborhood, which is home to many dining establishments.
“This is a common sense way to increase quality of life and economic activity ” said the Vice Mayor. “And it falls in line with our efforts to promote an active, outdoor lifestyle in Long Beach by enabling residents and their dogs to be together.”
“Many residents, particularly in Belmont Shore, have requested the ability to bring their dogs onto outdoor patios,” added Councilmember DeLong. “I look forward to trying out this concept and receiving feedback from local residents after it’s implemented.”
The Council motion directs the City Manager to “work with the Health Department to craft a policy that gives restaurant owners the flexibility to allow pet dogs on outdoor restaurant patios and return back to Council in 90 days with the proposed new policy”.
Restaurants would still be able to prohibit pets if they choose to, and they would be required to provide animal-free areas for dining for patrons who desired that.