by KYW’s David Madden
OCEAN CITY, NJ (CBS) — You may have heard stories in the last few weeks that Ocean City, New Jersey was about to adopt an ordinance that would allow dogs on the beach.
Not true, although one councilman pondered the idea for a couple of months.
Keith Hartzell brought up the idea in passing at a couple of council meetings. The idea went viral after appearing as a story in a local blog.
“I was shocked how many opinions came in,” Hartzell told KYW Newsradio. “Around 2100 opinions came in. So there was a lot for me to sift through.”
Those opinions came from tourists, homeowners, and year-round residents alike. He says even former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who owns property in Ocean City, chimed in. But by then, Hartzell says his mind was made up.
“There’s probably more people for it than against it. But it’s controversial,” he said. “And any time you have something controversial, you really want to err towards caution and not move forward.”
Truth be told, Hartzell never even drew up a bill, although some ideas did get a lot of play: selling doggie beach badges, restricting pooch access to evening hours, and big fines for owners who didn’t clean up.
But he makes this clear, all the discussion was just that. Ocean City beaches will remain pet free for the foreseeable future.