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Long Beach moves toward allowing dogs on restaurant patios

April 19, 2012 | 11:28 am

Long Beach considers allowing dogs on restaurant patios

The Long Beach City Council is taking steps to allow dog owners to bring their pets to outdoor restaurant patios, following in the lead of L.A. County.

After Councilman Robert Garcia called Long Beach a “very dog-friendly type of city,” council members Tuesday unanimously agreed to have officials craft a new policy within the next 90 days.   

“It’s pretty much a done deal,” Garcia said. “Essentially, it would give restaurant owners the ability to provide a dog-friendly patio if they like. It really gives business owners a choice.”

As a dog owner himself, Garcia said he introduced the recommendation in part because he already makes choices about where to eat based on patio and rail availability.

Garcia said some restaurant owners already skirt the current law that forbids dogs from sharing patio space with their masters. The new policy would put those restaurateurs above-board, although the law would not require them to allow canines on their premises.

“This will give them the ability to say ‘Sure, we’re welcoming to pets,’ ” Garcia said, adding it could mean more business for some restaurants.

L.A. County’s new rules went into effect in February but did not affect Long Beach, Pasadena and Vernon, which have their own public health agencies.

With its many dog parks, miles of dog beach and programs for pets, Long Beach is often included in magazines' Top 10 lists of most "dog-friendly" cities, the councilman said.

He said the new policy would be on the books in a matter of months.    

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-- Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Long Beach is taking steps to allow dogs on restaurant patios. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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