Dog owners in Peachtree City will now have to keep their dogs leashed at all times when off their property.
The option of “voice control” was eliminated
by unanimous vote of the City Council Thursday night in an effort to improve safety particularly on the cart paths. The change also improves the possibility of enforcement, as violation of the now-sacked voice control option was impossible to enforce in court.
At the last minute, council agreed to allow dog owners to be allowed to have their dogs unleashed but under voice control at one specific location: Drake Field and Lake Peachtree, so dogs may be allowed to swim in the lake.
Signage will be used at Drake Field to designate the voice control option there for dogs. The city will also use its website and weekly email notices to citizens to advertise the new regulation.
Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark promised there would not be many leash citations written, and that the department was hoping to educate the public for compliance.
The main goal, Clark added, “is to make sure everyone feels safe on the golf cart paths.”
While some concern was expressed on the negative affect the change would have on responsible dog owners, it was noted that a number of citizens have reported to council about occasions on which they were accosted by a dog while on the cart paths.
Mayor Don Haddix said the ability to allow dogs under voice control at Drake Field and the lake could be taken away if problems occur.
“This goes out to the populace: keeping this right is on the dog owner’s heads and if they can’t control their animals we’ll pull it,” Haddix said sternly. “I know it sounds like a threat because it is.”
Councilmember Kim Learnard said she would take this direction as an opportunity to work toward establishing an even larger passive dog park for the city in which dogs would be allowed to roam unleashed. The city already has a dog park located at the city’s Shakerag recreation complex off McIntosh Trail and the park is preparing an upcoming event to celebrate its recent expansion.
The Peachtree City Dog Park is staffed by volunteers but users are required to pay for a membership with the PTC Dog Park Association or pay a fee per use. The dog park is supposed to be offering “free play” days for those who aren’t members but none are currently advertised on the association’s website: www.ptcdogpark.com.
The changes will also be reviewed by council at the annual spring retreat for council.