J.N. from Middlesex County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Thanks for answering my question about town ordinances and dog walking (https://askmistercondo.com/town-ordinance-allows-for-dog-walking-on-condo-property/)! I live in Cromwell, and here’s a link to the ordinance in question in case you were interested: http://ecode360.com/8826014
It reads as follows: It shall be unlawful for any person owning, keeping, or walking or in control of any dog to permit such animal to defecate upon any private property owned by another person, the common elements of any condominium or other common interest ownership community (unless such area is designated and authorized for that purpose by the bylaws of such community) or public property, unless such person shall remove all feces so deposited by such animal before leaving the immediate area.
Our board of directors is planning to clarify the rules, stating that dogs are allowed to be walked anywhere on common property as long as they’re picked up after. The biggest issue is that the condo grounds extend more than 1/4 mile from the dog-walk area, which isn’t lit or shoveled in the winter. We believe it’s unreasonable to have to walk a dog to that area multiple times per day (since the complaining residents are against both dog poop and dog pee).
Mister Condo replies:
J.N., you are welcome for my previous answer and thank you for your follow-up and clarification. The town ordinance basically restricts all pet owners from allowing their pets to defecate on any property, private or public, without removing the feces. The ordinance does not allow for the general public to trespass upon your property for the purpose of walking their dogs. Your association-owned property is private property. You have the right to restrict non-owners from your common grounds. That would solve the problem quite quickly.
As for the rights of unit owners to disobey the rules of their own association, that is a sticky wicket at best. In this case, I do believe that the rules of the association would stand up in court and the dog owners would be forced to comply. However, it sounds like your Board is responding to you and your fellow dog owner’s requests that the restrictions be eased or lifted. That is community association democracy at work and is exactly how your association was intended to be governed. All the best to you and Fido!