CLEVELAND businesses fear their livelihoods are at risk from a Sunday dog ban on part of Bloomfield Street.
Redland City Council will give dog owners a three-week leeway on the prohibition – between 6am and 4pm on Sunday – after which fines up to $261 may be issued.
An emotional market organiser Claire Reid said she was scared that she was going to lose the business she had built up over nearly four years.
“It’s a real kick in the guts,” Ms Reid said.
“There has not been a single incident reported to market staff about dogs in three-and-a-half years since I have been running the market.”
However, a council spokesperson said council had received a number of complaints between January last year and September this year about dogs at the Cleveland markets.
These included dogs fighting, dogs causing market patrons to either step on dogs or almost fall over them, and market patrons concerned about large dogs being present in the marketplace.
BOQ Cleveland owner Brett Smith, who is treasurer of the Cleveland Village Traders Association – which owns the market permit – said if fewer people went to the market because of the ban some businesses might no longer be viable.
He said this was counter to council’s efforts to boost the Cleveland CBD.
“This could jeopardise local businesses and the market,” Mr Smith said.
“A lot of the businesses say they are busiest on a Sunday with some taking up to 50 per cent of their weekly earnings.”
Mr Smith said he had a stall at the market once a month and had only seen dogs well-managed by their owners.
“They are on a lead. I have never seen aggressive dogs.”
Creative Alice owner Alyson Ayliffe said Sunday was her busiest trading day.
“I am really annoyed that we weren’t spoken to about this,” Ms Ayliffe said.
Real estate agent Kylie Scott said she put out a dog bowl of water next to a sign saying thirsty dogs always welcome.
“I’m doggy friendly and often bring my dog into work,” Ms Scott said.
“For many people dogs are their family. On Sunday they want to be out with their dogs not leaving them cooped up at home.”
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David and Judy Belbin said they had taken their dog Zoe for a walk down Bloomfield Street every day since moving to Cleveland about a year ago.
On Sunday they have breakfast and buy treats for Zoe from a market stall.
“I am shocked,” Mrs Belbin said. “We enjoy it and it’s a ritual for us. We have never seen anyone having issues with dogs.”
Mayor Karen Williams said she would approach council to ask the community for its views through a local law amendment process.
“Ultimately, the community will be our guide through their feedback as part of this process,” Cr Williams said.
Ms Reid said when she took over the market nearly four years ago council told her a local law banning dogs on a Sunday had been removed but nine months ago she found it still existed.
A council spokesperson said the local law had been in place for the ban on Bloomfield Street, between Queen and Middle streets, since 1997.
“Council animal management officers may be attending Cleveland Markets over the next three Sundays to assist with public enquiries about dogs being prohibited at the marketplace,” the spokesperson said.
“Following this period, penalties may apply.”
An online petition calling for council to change the local law is at change.org/p/have-redland-city-council-remove-the-bylaw-regarding-no-dogs-in-bloomfield-st-cleveland.