VERO BEACH – The Vero Beach City Council is once again being asked to consider adopting rules that would allow restaurant owners to offer dog-friendly dining in their outdoor seating areas.
“This gives them another tool in their toolbox to help promote their businesses,” Vero Beach City Councilman Ken Daige said. “I think this would be a good thing to do.”
Olske Forbes, owner and operator of Greenhouse Café in downtown Vero Beach, brought the issue before the council this week, asking the members to consider passing a new rule that would give restaurant owners the option of allowing diners to bring their dogs.
She told the council that health inspectors twice have told her that the city would have to pass the rule before she’d be allowed to make such an offer to her guests.
Forbes has reviewed Melbourne’s ordinance and agrees with its requirements.
“It’s really common sense,” she told the council, saying that the city’s ordinance protects the health and safety of the public.
City Attorney Charlie Vitunac told Forbes that the city has considered enacting an ordinance, though it has yet to be passed.
“We have the ordinance written,” he said, adding he would provide a copy to each council member in time so that the council could review it prior to the next regular council meeting in July.
Councilman Brian Heady asked that the council put the ordinance on the agenda for the next regular meeting so that the ordinance could possibly be approved before the end of the off-season, when the restaurants need extra help getting people to come in.
“At least, let’s discuss it,” Heady said.
The issue might go before the city’s planning and zoning board prior to the next council meeting, Vitunac said.