Wildwood proposes dog-friendly beach near Poplar Ave.

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File photo by Jen Marra. File photo by Jen Marra. WILDWOOD—Vacationers in Wildwood may not have to leave their dogs at home this summer, as the Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance Wednesday night that opens part of the beach to dogs. 

Under the city’s current code, dogs are allowed on the beach and boardwalk in the off-season, but are restricted from May 15 to Oct. 2. With the amendments introduced Wednesday, dogs could have year-round access at beaches near the north end of town at Poplar Avenue.

City officials say that the change could be a boost to tourism, and allow visitors with pets at home to book longer vacations in Wildwood.

“I think this is going to be great for tourism,” Commissioner Pete Byron, who oversees the department of beach services in the city, said. “Now we’re going to turn those one-day visitors into multi-day visitors.”

Under the proposed changes to the code, dogs will have to be leashed when crossing over the boardwalk to get to the pet-friendly beach. It will designate specific areas where dogs have to be leashed and unleashed as well. At that beach, dogs will also be allowed in the ocean.

Byron said that there will be lots of signs pointing out to visitors that they are entering a section of beach open to dogs, as well as water stations and stations with bags for visitors to clean up after their pets.

Ryan Troiano, who manages the city’s beach services department, told the public that he was working with the city’s beach patrol to organize patrolling the area also.

By allowing dogs on the beach, Troiano and Byron said the amendments are also trend. Many hotels are allowing vacationers to bring their pets, especially in other tourist areas, like Rehoboth Beach and Atlantic City.

“We want to create a new tourist attraction in the city of Wildwood and try to bring a different type of tourist to the island,” Troiano said.

A second reading, public hearing, and possible adoption of the ordinance is set for the May 14 Board of Commissioners meeting, 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.

Email Christie Rotondo at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or comment on this story at thewildwoodleader.com. 

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