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Feb 25, 2008


Angela Hunt

Rick, good points as always. However, I would point out that it is ILLEGAL for restaurants to have pets on patios. Any restaurants, anywhere in the State of Texas. The point of the city ordinance that I championed is to give residents the very choice that you mention, giving "restaurant owners the power to make their own decisions (and reap the economic rewards or losses)." Because of state health regulations, in order for any restaurant in Dallas to "break" the state law, the City of Dallas must develop specific health standards to maintain cleanliness and food safety. So to provide the choice you advocate -- which I wholely agree with -- the city MUST create a local regulating ordinance.

This issue came up after some restaurants in my district (in West Village) alerted me that they'd received tickets from the city for allowed dogs on patios. Although we don't own a dog, we frequent many restaurants in East Dallas and Uptown that are "pet-friendly," and never had a problem. I consulted with our city attorney and environmental health department, and they in turn worked with the Texas Health Department to come up with a possible solution to give restaurants choice. Now we're refining those requirements.

Jack Norris

You do understand that restaurant patrons with dogs on patios are currently getting tickets, right? (Especially at West Village and along Greenville.) It's illegal to have a dog on a restaurant patio unless the restaurant has a permit (that's a state law, not local).

The permits are too difficult to obtain right now, so the city's revamping the ordinance. (The reason the current ordinance is so strict is because its supporters had to assure wavering council members that the safety of patrons was being looked after. Despite its strict requirements, the ordinance was still opposed by Laura Miller, Mitchell Rasansky, Bill Blaydes, Leo Chaney, and Maxine Thornton-Reese.)

Aren Cambre

Being a dog owner, I don't understand why anyone thinks those slobbering, shedding, smelly, dumb beasts belong at a restaurant. At the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with Rick: let the restaurants take responsibility for their own decisions.

Isn't there a third option: Let the state enforce its own law? (I.e., Dallas declines to enforce the state law.) Is Dallas required to enforce laws it didn't enact?


I like that approach Aren, kinda like how the state's treat illegal immigration laws, just ignore them and say it's the Federal domain.

Great idea.


>"I don't understand why anyone thinks those slobbering, shedding, smelly, dumb beasts belong at a restaurant."

Haha. Replace the word "shedding" with "noisy" and this statement could go for children as well.

Seriously, I think it's great if there ends up being a place where I can take my dogs, but they're going to have to improve their manners before I'd actually do it. I only wish there were as many restrictions for kids in restaurants. I remember the good old days when if they were there, their parents made them sit quietly. I wish restaurants would designate a family section at least, preferably a walled-off one.

Norman Alston

The need to adjust the ordinance in order to get even a single restaurant to apply makes me wonder if any restaurant owners/operators were consulted when drafting the original ordinance. Some sort of committee of restaurateurs, health officials and dog advocates would have seemed like a logical step. At least now, if not then.

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