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Volusia County Council approves dog-friendly pilot program for the beach.

Tue, Jul 11, 2023 at 5:10PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News



In a significant decision made during their July 11 meeting, the Volusia County Council has given the green light to an 18-month pilot program that will permit dogs on a specific section of the county's public beach, beginning November 1. The program aims to provide an opportunity for dog owners to enjoy the beach while maintaining a balance with the needs of other beachgoers.

"This is a pilot program. If we see an issue or problem somewhere, we can come back and add further restrictions," stated County Chair Jeff Brower.

The designated area that has received approval stretches from the northern boundary of the right-of-way of Rockefeller Drive to Milsap Road in Ormond Beach (approximately 0.6 miles). Dogs will be allowed on this section from sunrise to sunset, providing ample time for dog owners to enjoy a beach outing with their furry companions.

"We are talking about 1 percent of our beach becoming dog friendly," said District 4 County Council Member Troy Kent.

Cleaning up after your pet will be mandatory, and dogs must not disturb or harm the dune areas or wildlife inhabiting the beach. Additionally, all dogs entering the beach area must have a current rabies vaccination, and visitors must adhere to the guidelines posted by the county regarding dogs on the beach.

The county maintains two off-beach parking lots within this stretch, including a 124-space lot at Cardinal Drive and a 33-space lot at Rockefeller Drive. Furthermore, visitors can utilize the 90 parking spaces available at Andy Romano Beachfront Park and the six public spaces at the Milsap ramp, with another public access point at River Beach Drive.

The county plans to install signage at each beach ramp marking the designated dog-friendly areas, with signs or flags mounted on posts at the northern and southern boundaries that will serve as visual indicators. Dog bag dispensers will be affixed to the trash and recycling bins within the permitted zone, ensuring dog owners have easy access to waste disposal facilities.

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