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City Clarifies Rules Regarding Dogs in Birmingham Parks

Dogs are allowed, an updated set of rules says, as long they're on a leash.

City Clarifies Rules Regarding Dogs in Birmingham Parks

Have you ever wondered whether Fido or Spot were actually allowed at city parks?

Now you don't have to worry: at the April 23 meeting of the Birmingham City Commission, commissioners voted to clarify the rules regarding dogs in parks, noting all dogs are allowed in public parks (with a few exceptions) as long as they're on a leash.

Under the revised rules, dogs need to be restrained by a leash or chain that can be, at max, six feet long. The dog must also be under "reasonable control" and everyone — including dogs and their walkers — must comply with city ordinances.

Keeping some restrictions in place, however, was important, director Lauren Wood noted. The updated rules also include a list of areas where dogs are not allowed, including:

  • Areas under or immediately adjacent to play structures and play equipment
  • Sandboxes
  • The playing surface of ball fields
  • Soccer fields
  • Tennis courts
  • Outdoor ice rinks
  • Golf courses
  • Sledding hills
  • Fountains
  • Pavilions and stages (when such areas are in use)
  • Areas designated by the city during special events

All restricted areas will be designated by the Department of Public Services, Wood noted.

The rules, updated by the city's Parks and Recreation committee, will now be distributed to the various homeowners' associations. Should things get out of hand — such as if dogs are found without a leash — Mayor Mark Nickita was quick to note the city will adjust if necessary.

"When other people have their dogs off leash, it's a problem," he said. "We're going to have to regulate and monitor this. If people obey the guidelines and rules, we won't have problems."

"We want to make sure the rules are simple and understandable and enforceable," Wood added.

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