Holmdel Township Committee members adopt rules for new off-leash dog area

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HOLMDEL – The Holmdel Township Committee has adopted an ordinance that establishes rules and regulations for a new off-leash dog area at Bayonet Farms.

The ordinance was adopted during the committee’s April 13 meeting. Mayor Greg Buontempo, Deputy Mayor Cathy Weber, Committeeman Prakash Santhana, Committeeman Tom Critelli and Committeeman D.J. Luccarelli voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance.

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No member of the public commented on the ordinance when given the opportunity to do so.

Generally, dogs in Holmdel must be kept on a leash, however, an off-leash area named the Alexander Ching Memorial Dog Park has been established by the township at Bayonet Farms in honor of late township resident Alexander Ching.

The naming recognizes the donation of the facility that was made in honor of Ching.

Township Administrator Cherron Rountree said the off-leash dog area is not complete yet, but should be finished in the near future. The facility is expected to have what Rountree described as a “soft opening,” with a formal dedication expected to be scheduled at a later date.

According to the ordinance the committee adopted, the facility may only be accessed and used by individuals who own or control a dog that is actively using the facility at that time; children under 8 years old are not permitted in the facility; children between 8 and 14 years old must be closely supervised by an adult; and all users of the facility must be responsible at all times for the control, actions, behavior and safety of their dog, and must be considerate of other patrons.

The following dogs are prohibited from accessing the facility: dogs with a history of dangerous or aggressive behavior; puppies under 4 months old; dogs over 6 months old that are not spayed or neutered; dogs without current vaccinations; and dogs without proper municipal licenses.

To use the facility, dogs must wear a collar that displays proper municipal licenses at all times; dogs must be leashed while entering and exiting the facility; and owners must remain within the facility and supervise their dog at all times with a leash readily available.

If an owner’s dog plays inappropriately, the owner must interrupt their dog. If an owner’s dog continues to play inappropriately or becomes aggressive, the owner must immediately leash the dog and remove it from the facility, according to the proposed regulations.

The facility is divided into two separate fenced-in areas. Dogs that weigh 30 pounds or less must use the designated small dog area. Dogs that weigh more than 30 pounds must use the designated large dog area.

Penalities will apply for violations of the rules, according to the ordinance.

And, the committee adopted an ordinance which amends the existing parks and recreational facilities ordinance. The proposed change was recommended by the Holmdel Recreation Department.

Buontempo, Weber, Santhana, Critelli and Luccarelli voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance on April 13.

Previously, a group of 20 more individuals had to apply for a group use permit to occupy or use certain areas of a municipal park. The amendment revises that standard to a group of 10 people which must secure a group use permit to occupy or use certain areas of a municipal park.

The permit must be obtained from the Recreation Department not later than seven days before the proposed date of use. The granting or denial of a permit will be based on rules, regulations and standards set forth by the Township Committee.

Group use will be limited to designated areas and adult supervision of children’s groups will be required at all times, according to the ordinance.

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