Incline beach reopened for use by dog owners

INCLINE VILLAGE - The improvement district manager lifted the ban on dogs at Ski Beach after an overflow crowd of dog owners voiced their opposition.

Incline Village General Improvement District General Manager Bill Horn told told the packed IVGID boardroom Friday that he would open the beach if there were no further incidents.

Horn closed the beach March 10 after receiving several complaints from people about out-of-control dogs and dog owners.

"Since this was first publicized in the (North Lake Tahoe) Bonanza, I have had 18 complaints of unruly or unattended dogs," Horn said at the meeting. "I felt that I had no choice from a liability standpoint."

The point of the meeting, according to Horn, was to find long- and short-term solutions to the problem. The beach opened on Saturday.

Horn started the meeting by telling the audience how difficult it was for him to close the beaches. It was not a decision made in a vacuum," Horn said, "I discussed it with board members and other people in the community, before coming to this conclusion."

Several audience members aired their grievances.

Complaints ranged from aggressive dogs to cleaning up after them to whether dog urine was a health hazard.

Ideas like electronic monitoring of the beaches and dog registration were discussed.

When the idea of manning the beaches with IVGID staff was suggested, Horn said, "The problem is, that would cost about $175,000 a year, which would tack on an increase to the recreation fee."

For a long-term solution, it was suggested that Burnt Cedar Beach might be a better area for dogs because of parking and a larger sand area.

In the meantime, dog owners using Ski Beach must park across the street so boat owners have ample parking and access to the launching ramp.

Resident Art Berliner was applauded when he said, "This is not a dog problem, this is a people problem."

Horn said that if the deal to buy the Ponderosa Ranch goes through, that area could be developed for dogs.


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