Arroyo Grande residents who don't pick up after pets would be cited under proposal

Pet owners in Arroyo Grande will be required to pick up their pets’ waste under new rules introduced at the Arroyo Grande City Council this week.

The ordinance, which comes back to the council on Jan. 24 for adoption, also prohibits anyone from feeding animals, including cats and birds, within 100 feet of the city’s creeks, retention basins or other bodies of water.

Enforcement of the ordinance will likely be complaint-driven. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor, and anyone who violates it could be cited, said Doug Perrin, director of recreation and maintenance services.

The new regulations will allow the city to meet its goals in a storm water management plan approved in 2009 by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The five-year plan outlines goals designed to reduce the volume of storm-water runoff into city creeks and streams and to stop pollutants from being discharged into the city’s storm-water collection system, according to Perrin.

Councilman Joe Costello said he doesn’t think the city should dedicate too much staff time to enforcing the requirements but added “it does permit us to educate people on how we can keep our water clean.”

If approved Jan. 24, the requirements would go into effect 30 days later.

The city already makes "mutt mitts" available at all city parks to dispose of pet waste. The Five Cities Dog Park Association provides the mutt mitts at the off-leash dog park on Elm Street.