A proposed amendment to require dogs to be leashed within 500 feet of village beach entrances will be the subject of a public hearing on Friday.
Beach-goers can offer their support or speak out against the East Hampton Village Board's proposal.
The amendment would add a requirement that dogs be leashed within 500 feet of the road ends, considered the most popular areas of any beach.
According to the proposal, the leash mandate allows owners to better control their dogs during encounters with other beach-goers, as well as making them more aware and better able to pick up dog waste. Leashes are defined as not being anymore than six feet long.
The board took on the divisive issue of dogs on the beach, again, as a response to complaints that owners weren't picking up after their dogs.
After hearing about the proposal last month, Sara Davison, the executive director of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, said that overall she is comfortable with the proposal because she thinks it wise for dog owners to enter the beach and assess the situation first before letting their dog run lose. "I would prefer 300 feet," she said, however. "I think people feel there's a lot of other constraints on the beach and to do it at 500 feet is a hardship," she said.
But, the board has said it is trying to strike a better balance between all those who use the beaches.
The board previously discussed other possibilities, such as only allowing dogs on the beach east of Two Mile Hollow Beach and west of the westerly jetty on Georgica Beach.
As the law stands now, dogs are allowed to run free on any East Hampton Village beach, except between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from the second Sunday in May through Sept. 30. Those who don't pick up after their dog may be fined $250.
Do you support or oppose the proposed requirement? Will you attend the meeting on Friday? Tell us in the comments below.