Nova Scotia

No dogs allowed: Land owner restricts access to Cow Bay beach

A Cow Bay land owner is restricting access to Silver Sands Beach after becoming frustrated with dogs on the loose and dog waste along the path.

'This has been going on for years and I've just had enough of it'

Ross Rhyno put up this sign earlier this week to restrict dogs from a pathway that cuts through his property to Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A Cow Bay, N.S., man who owns the land that is used as a footpath to Silver Sands Beach has had enough.

He says dogs are regularly running loose and their owners have not been picking up the mess from the pathway and the beach.

Earlier this week, Ross Rhyno put up a large plywood sign where the path meets Silver Sands Beach Park, an HRM property. The sign states dogs are no longer allowed and their owners must find another way to the beach.

"This has been going on for years and I've just had enough of it," said Rhyno.

"Have your dog leashed, pick up your dog poo," he said. "And then there are people who take their dog down and actually do pick up after their dog but they leave the bag of dog poo down at the beach. That's pathetic."

Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Rhyno said dog owners are ignoring signs telling them to leash their dogs and pick up after them.

He said he is fine with his immediate neighbours taking their dogs down the pathway to the beach because he knows they are responsible. But he said people regularly come to the park and break the rules.

"People just come down and let their dogs go, they have a crap, the dog jumps back in their car and they're gone."

Sign surprises some visitors

The new sign came as a surprise to some people who visited the park this week.

"It just makes you feel unwelcome," said Lisa Adams, a frequent visitor to the beach. "It's an area where you are supposed to pass through. It's almost threatening."

The footpath has an easement on it.

HRM negotiated the easement with Rhyno several years ago so people could access the beach.

The sign Rhyno has put in place has municipal staff looking into the legalities around the easement.

"Our staff right now are currently looking into the easement to determine whether or not the property owner actually has the ability to limit dogs to that easement that was drawn up," said HRM Coun. Bill Karsten, who represents the area.

(Paul Palmeter/CBC )

When told municipal staff were looking into the legalities around the easement, Rhyno was defiant.

"If that's the case then I'll shut the whole easement down and no one will go down there," said Rhyno. "I'm paying taxes on this property. I own it. I want people to respect it and, if they don't, I'll close it off."

Karsten said he'll turn his attention to the matter next week and hopes to find an agreeable solution to put Rhyno's concerns at ease.

Silver Sands Beach Park has a large parking lot overlooking the shoreline and has vistas of Cow Bay. The statue of a moose, a popular local landmark, is in the parking lot.

The pathway to the beach is also used by surfers who frequent the area.

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