Can Dogs Run Free at Condos? Northville Considers Ordinance Change

Can Dogs Run Free at Condos? Northville Considers Ordinance Change

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 8, 2018)

Northville, MI- Should dog owners at condos have to keep their pooches on a leash?  This is the question prompting an ordinance change in the City of Northville.

According to a memo to City Council from Police Chief Michael Carlson:

During the November 7, 2016 council meeting, a City resident from North Lexington Condominium Association asked council whether or not the police have jurisdiction to  enforce laws at North Lexington Condominiums. This request stemmed from two dog at  large civil infraction charges that  were dismissed at court because the City’s Dog at Large ordinance (10- 2) does not prohibit dogs off leash on private property that is not open to the  public .

“Council  directed the Chief of Police  to investigate  with the Prosecutor and City  Attorney as to how  residents  of homeowners associations, who  have share d use of property,  can receive the same enforcement as other City residents in regards to dogs off leash.”

According to the Nov. 7, 2016 meeting minutes, an elderly woman was reportedly injured by an unleashed dog.

“The City Prosecutor was consulted on this matter and it was determined that rewording the  existing ordinance language in Ordinance 10 -2 would provide the protection needed for residents who share private property in common in the City. The City Attorney has reviewed the proposed ordinance language change of Section 10- 2 and has no issue with the change,” Carlson said in the memo introducing the change.

The first reading of the ordinance took place March 5 and was passed. There will be a second reading of the ordinance on March 19 where it could be adopted.   Violating the ordinance would be a civil infraction with a fine of $500 plus cost of prosecution. If passed on second reading, it would take effect 10 days after.

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