Fido is officially not welcome here in any of the city's 10 parks.
The City Council approved a new ordinance last week that specifically prohibits dogs from entering any Layton park. The only exceptions are seeing-eye dogs or dogs used by handicapped people.City Manager Alex Jensen said dogs have been strictly prohibited in only one park in the past - the Commons, next to City Hall. Signs are posted there outlining the restriction.
Parks and recreation director Dean Allen said while a combination of several city laws have technically prohibited dogs from other parks too for many years, there's been no firm law to refer to. The new law changes that.
Jensen said the reason for the stricter law is the city's new E.P. Ellison park at 2200 West Hill Field Road. The park is still under construction, but many people have ignored the closed signs this summer and walk the park anyway. Many also take their dogs.
"(Dog) deposits are all over," Jensen said.
Jensen said safety is another factor.
"Staff feels like kids and dogs aren't a good match," he said, explaining loose dogs can scare or even bite children. "Dogs don't need to be in parks."
Ellison Park contains many new playing fields and Allen believes it will attract a lot more young people than other parks.
Jensen said the appropriate signs will soon be posted in all city parks.
He admits the police likely won't give enforcement of the law a high priority, but believes they won't have to.
"We think most people will comply," he said.
City attorney Gary Crane said failure to comply with the new law is a Class B misdemeanor, subject to up to a $2,000 fine and/or six months in jail. However, he said, anyone cited for the law would likely end up with only a $50 to $100 fine from a judge.
"The intent here is compliance," he said.
Allen said he's also considering printing a flier that can be handed out to park users to help them understand the ban on dogs.
Mayor Jerry Stevenson joked that maybe the city could give them a sample of what dogs leave behind.