f:\atty\muni\laws\mjm\animalsamend-1.doc

City Council Meeting 8-3-04                                                                 Santa Monica, California

ORDINANCE NUMBER (CCS)

(City Council Series)

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
SANTA MONICA AMENDING SANTA MONICA MUNICIPAL CODE SECTIONS 4.04.150, 4.04.160, 4.04.170, 4.04.390 AND 4.04.410, ADDING SECTIONS 4.04.155, 4.04.166 AND 4.04.415 TO THE MUNICIPAL CODE, AND REPEALING SANTA MONICA MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 3.04.110 RESTRICTING ANIMALS AT LARGE, REGULATING DOGS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, PROHIBITING DOGS IN SPECIFIED AREAS AND FEEDING IN OFF-LEASH AREAS, AND MODIFYING PROVISIONS ON VICIOUS DOGS

 

WHEREAS, many Santa Monica residents enrich their lives by sharing their households with dogs, cats and other animal companions; and

WHEREAS, the City Council wishes to provide those residents with opportunities to use public space with their animal companions; and

WHEREAS, animals roving at large on public and private space pose risks to health, safety, and community quality of life; and

WHEREAS, the City Council wishes to protect against these risks and to strike the best possible balance between opportunities available to residents with animals, their neighbors, and the community as a whole,

WHEREAS, disbursing food to animals in public parks and public streets poses risks to safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, feeding dogs in dog parks can cause fights and otherwise threaten dogs’ health; and

WHEREAS, leaving food in the ground in public parks attracts rodents and diminishes park aesthetics,

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.  Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.04.150 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 4.04.150 Animals at large.

No person having control, charge or custody of any fowl, dog or other animal, shall permit the same animal to stray, or run, or be at large, in or upon any public street, or other public place within the City and such fowl, dog or other animals found at large in any such place shall be impounded as herein provided. Dogs which are properly licensed and tagged for the current calendar year, may be permitted on any public street, public park or other public place within the City not specifically prohibited in Section 4.04.160 hereof, if the dog is in the custody and control of a competent person and restrained by a chain or leash of a fixed length of six feet or less in length, attached to a collar or harness; or if confined within an automobile; or on any duly designated off-leash public park area, if the dog is duly licensed and tagged by the City of Santa Monica for the current calendar year, and if the dog is in the custody and control of a competent person. Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of an infraction, which shall be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars per violation. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of this Section is committed, continued or permitted by such person and shall by punished accordingly or run at large in or upon any private property of another, any unenclosed private property or any public property, except as authorized by this Chapter.  Any animal found straying or at large in or upon public property or private property may be impounded by the City.  Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of an infraction which shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50) per violation with each day or partial day of violation counting as a separate offense.

In addition to the penalties herein above provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be, by this City, summarily abated as such, and each day such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense.

SECTION 2.Section 4.04.155 is hereby added to the Santa Monica Municipal Code to read as follows:

Section 4.04.155.  Dogs on Public Property.

No person having control, charge or custody of any dog shall permit the dog to be upon any public property, unless the dog is:

(a)  in the custody and control of a competent person; and either

(b)  confined in an automobile or

(c)  restrained by a chain or leash six feet or less in fixed length.

Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of an infraction which shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50) per violation with each day or partial day of violation counting as a separate offense.

Notwithstanding the above, this Section shall not apply to dogs in any area designated by resolution of the City Council for use by dogs if the person having custody or control of the dog is in compliance with posted rules governing the use of the designated area.

SECTION 3.Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.04.160 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 4.04.160 Dogs--Restricted Prohibited Public areas.

Except as expressly permitted by this Chapter, no person having control, charge or custody of any dog shall permit the same dog to go be in or upon any school ground, recreational area or playground, or public park, including, but not limited to parkground, public buildings, tot lots, playing fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and other game courts, or upon the beach sands lying westerly of that street, commonly known as The Promenade Oceanfront Walk or upon the beach sands lying northerly of the westerly prolongation of the center line of California Avenue. Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of an infraction, which shall be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) per violation. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of this Section is committed, continued, or permitted by such person and shall be punished accordingly with each day or partial day of violation counting as a separate offense. In addition, any such dog found in any such prohibited place may be impounded as herein provided.

In addition to the penalties hereinabove provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be, by this City, summarily abated as such, and each day such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense.

The provisions of this Section shall not apply:

(1)    To dogs which are being used by disabled persons as guide or service dogs, while such dogs are being used for such purposes;

(2)    To dogs in any area designated by Resolution of the City Council for use by dogs if the person having custody or control of the dog is in compliance with posted rules governing the use of the designated area.

Notwithstanding the above, this Section shall not apply to:

(1)  dogs which are being used by disabled persons as guide or service dogs, while such dogs are being used for such purposes.

(2)  dogs in any area designated by resolution of the City Council for use by dogs if the person having custody or control of the dog is in compliance with posted rules governing the use of the designated area.

SECTION 4.Section 4.04.166 is hereby added to the Santa Monica Municipal Code to read as follows:

Section 4.04.166.  Exception for Permitted Community Events.

Notwithstanding the prohibitions contained in Municipal Code Sections 4.04.150, 4.04.155, and 4.04.160, animals may be present on public property in accordance with the terms and conditions of a Community Events Permit issued by the City.

SECTION 5.Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.04.170 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 4.04.170 Licensing of dogs.

Every person who harbors a dog within the City shall pay to the City an annual license tax in an amount to be established by resolution of the City Council. The City shall from time to time deliver to the person making such payment a license which shall describe the dog, together with a seal or metallic plate having thereon the number of such license, and figures indicating paid, provided the person making the payment has filed with the City a certificate indicating the dog has been vaccinated in accordance with this Chapter and state law; otherwise, a receipt for payment shall be issued. Duplicates shall be issued for lost tags for one dollar and fifty cents upon the filing of proof of such loss. Such metallic tags shall be attached to a collar or harness and such collar or harness with the attached tag shall be kept on such dog at all times, excepting as otherwise provided in the Code.

The license fee herein mentioned shall be due and payable on the 2nd day of January each year and shall expire on the 31st day of December next ensuing. Where a dog is acquired after the 2nd day of January, the license fee thereon shall be due on the date of acquisition of such dog for such calendar year and thereafter on the 2nd day of January of each succeeding year.

In the event that any person shall fail, neglect or refuse to pay the required license tax before the 1st day of April of each year, a penalty will be assessed, in addition to the prescribed license fee, in the amount of five dollars for every neutered male or spayed female dog and ten dollars for every un-neutered male or unspayed female dog.

The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:

(1)  Any dog not more than four months of age.

(2)  Owners of dogs certified as assistance dogs by the Animal Control Division pursuant to state law.

SECTION 6.Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.04.390 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 4.04.390  Restrictions upon Ffeeding of pigeons and other birds and animals and birds in specified areas.

(A)  No person shall, in the area described in Section 3.36.150 of this Code, do any of the following in or on any designated off-leash area, public street or sidewalk:

(1)    Feed any pigeon, or any other bird or animal upon any public street, sidewalk, mall or way, or

(2)    Disperse any food material or other matter edible by pigeons, or and other  any bird or animal so as to make such material or matter available to pigeons, other birds or animals for ingestion; or,

(3)(B)    No person shall leave Permit any food or other matter edible by pigeons, or any other bird or animals to remain on the ground after dispersing or dropping the same in or on any park, designated off-leash area, public street or sidewalk.

(4)(C)  Any person violating any of the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of an infraction. Any person convicted of an infraction under the provisions of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than five dollars and not more than twenty-five dollars. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every commission of any violation of any provision of this Section and shall be punished accordingly.

SECTION 7.Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 4.04.410 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 4.04.410 Vicious dogs.

(ba)    This Section shall apply to any dog for which the Animal Control Officer has issued, based upon the vicious or predatory nature of the dog, a written notice to the person owning or harboring such dog to keep the dog muzzled and leashed in accordance with this Section. A City Animal Control Officer may issue a written notice to a person owning or harboring a dog to keep the dog muzzled and leashed if the Animal Control Officer determines, based upon clear and convincing evidence, that the dog is vicious or predatory in nature.

(ab)    No person owning or harboring any pit bull or any other dog subject to this Section pursuant to subdivision (b) that has been determined to be vicious or predatory shall within the limits of the City allow or permit such dog, whether licensed or not, to be upon the public streets, public sidewalks, public parks, or any other public place within the City, or upon any private property which is not fully enclosed by fence or other barrier, except when muzzled and held under leash by an able bodied person.

(c)    For purposes of this Section, "pit bull" means any pit bull terrier of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or American Pit Bull Terrier as to be identified as partially of the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or American Pit Bull Terrier.

(c)  Any person violating any of the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of an infraction. Any person convicted of an infraction under the provisions of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than five dollars and not more than twenty-five dollars. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every commission of any violation of any provision of this Section and shall be punished accordingly.

SECTION 8.Section 4.04.415 is hereby added to the Santa Monica Municipal Code to read as follows:

Section 4.04.415.  Appeals.

Any animal owner who is aggrieved by a decision of the Animal Control Officer made pursuant to Municipal Code Section 4.04.280 or 4.04.410 may obtain review of that determination by filing a notice of appeal with the Chief of Police who shall, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard, render a final decision.

SECTION 9.Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 3.04.110 is hereby repealed in its entirety as follows:

Section 3.04.110  Dogs.

No person having control, charge or custody of any dog shall permit the same to go upon any public parking lot, by except within a vehicle. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to dogs which have been especially trained and used for blind persons to aid and guide them in their movements while such dogs are being used for such purposes; all other dogs found in any public parking lot shall be impounded.

SECTION 10.  Any provision of the Santa Monica Municipal Code or appendices thereto inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, to the extent of such inconsistencies and no further, is hereby repealed or modified to that extent necessary to effect the provisions of this Ordinance.

SECTION 11.  If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance.  The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion of the ordinance would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.

SECTION 12.  The Mayor shall sign and the City Clerk shall attest to the passage of this Ordinance.  The City Clerk shall cause the same to be published once in the official newspaper within 15 days after its adoption.   This Ordinance shall become effective 30 days from its adoption.

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

 

 

_________________________

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE

City Attorney