Dog beach

Kelowna residents Andrew and Marla O’Brien visit the Lake Avenue beach access with Coco in this file photo from 2017. City staff told council on Monday that the doggy beach, implemented on a trial basis, should be made permanent.

Having gone to the dogs on a trial basis, a Kelowna beach should stay there, city council heard Monday.

The Lake Avenue beach access, sometimes called Mushroom Beach for its historical association with illicit drug use, should be made a permanent off-leash dog park, city staff say.

A public survey has found strong support for the continuation of the doggy beach, implemented on a trial basis in 2017, city officials say.

Having the beach designated as an area where hot dogs could cool off on a summer’s day brought more people to the neighbourhood, and diminished reports of undesirable behaviour like vagrancy and drug use.

“The (RCMP) corporal who was familiar with the area spoke very favourably of the dog park,” reads part of a report to council.

“She said that since the dog park was introduced, she found that the park was not a problem,” the report states.

Regular testing of Okanagan Lake at the site did not indicate any problems with dogs fouling the water, the report says.

Of 67 people who gave their views on a city survey about the doggy beach, 44 were supportive, 21 were supportive with conditions like better fencing and/or signage, and only two were opposed.

During the two-year doggy beach trial, there were nine calls to the city from people who actually live in the area. Four calls were from people supporting the dog beach with conditions, and four calls of opposition were from the same person.