After months of debate, East Hampton Village officials are considering a plan that would require people to leash their dogs on village beaches if they are within 500 feet of the end of a road — an effort to keep dogs under better control and to make it easier for owners to clean up after their pets.
Currently, dogs are allowed to run free on village beaches in the off-season, and after the beaches close for the day in summer.
No dogs are allowed on village beaches between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from the second Sunday in May to Sept. 30, and that would not change under the proposed code change.
The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on April 19 when the village board meets at 11 a.m. in the Emergency Services building on Cedar Street.
The proposal has drawn strong community reaction, with some people arguing that laws governing their pets already are too restrictive. Others are calling for a total ban of dogs on village beaches.
Village officials said in their resolution that the proposal was an attempt “to strike a better balance by allowing dogs the same access to the beach, but adding a requirement that dogs be leashed within the more populated areas . . . ”