County, State and Federal Laws in Effect at Santa Cruz County Beaches
The following laws apply to all residents and visitors to Santa Cruz County, and their dogs.
Santa Cruz County Jurisdiction Boundary
California Government Code, available at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=gov
The boundaries of Santa Cruz County are as follows:
Beginning at the southwest corner of San Mateo, at a point in the Pacific Ocean south 45 degrees W., three nautical miles from the intersection of the east line of Rancho Punta del Ano Nuevo with said ocean, forming the western corner; thence north, 45 degrees E., to said point of intersection; thence northerly, following the eastern line of said rancho, to its intersection with the south line of T. 8 S., R. 4 W., M. D. B. & M.; thence east to the southeast corner of said township; thence north to the northeast corner of Sec. 25 of said township; thence east to the northeast corner of Sec. 26, T. 8 S., R. 3 W.; thence north to a 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" tapered sandstone monument on the common boundary between San Mateo County and Santa Clara County and at the most northern point on Santa Cruz County, from which a 5" x 5" concrete monument at the corners of Sections 25, 26, 35 and 36, T-7-S, R-3-W, M.D.B.& M. bears North 0 01' 30" East 56. 40 feet distant; running thence from said point of beginning due EAST 20 feet, more or less, to the western boundary of the State Highway Route 55-A as shown and delineated on plans approved by the District Engineer on February 27, 1928; thence along said western boundary southerly to Saratoga Gap; thence continuing along the western boundary of State Highway Route 55-A, as shown and delineated on plans approved by the District Engineer on November 28, 1932, to a point just south of Black Road; thence crossing said State Highway 55-A easterly to the eastern side of State Highway 55-A; thence southeasterly to the eastern side of a road, 40 feet in width, known as Summit Road, adopted as a public highway on March 5, 1889 and on file in Volume 6 at Page 191 Supervisors Records of Santa Cruz County, also on file in the Office of County Surveyor of Santa Cruz County as Viewers Report Road #82; thence along the easterly side of said Summit Road in a southerly and easterly direction to the western side of State Highway #17 (5-B); thence southerly along the western side of said State Highway #17 (5-B) to a station due WEST from the intersection of the northeastern side of Summit Road, as declared a public highway on March 5, 1899, with the southeastern boundary of said State Highway #17 (5-B); thence due EAST to the northeastern side of the aforesaid Summit Road; thence southeasterly along the northeastern side of the aforesaid Summit Road, to the western boundary of the lands conveyed by Carmella A. Peacock to the Loma Prieta Civil Defense Fire Team by deed recorded August 28, 1968 in Volume 1901 at Page 168, Official Records of Santa Cruz County; thence along the western boundary of said last named lands northerly to a point on the southerly line of Summit Road, as shown and delineated on Plan and Profile of Federal Aide Secondary Project No. S-616 (2) approved June 25, 1951; thence along the southerly and southwesterly side of said Summit Road, as shown and delineated as aforesaid, to a station on the southeastern side of the old Santa Cruz-Los Gatos Highway known as Old State Route 55; thence northeasterly along said Old State Route 55 to the northeastern side of the aforesaid Summit Road F.A.S. Project No. S-616 (2); thence along the northeastern side of Summit Road, as aforesaid, and continuing along the northeastern side of Summit Road as shown and delineated on the Plan and Profile for Federal Aid Secondary Project 81-A as approved February 27, 1939 as Santa Cruz-Santa Clara Feeder Highway, in a southeasterly direction to the northwestern side of Loma Prieta Avenue, as said avenue was adopted as a public highway, 40 feet in width, in Viewers Report #122 and recorded April 7, 1891 in Book 7 Page 4 of Supervisors Records of Santa Cruz County (Note: This point will fall somewhere between Stations 2 and 3 as located by T. W. Wright, County Surveyor of Santa Cruz County, in his survey of November 1890 recorded in Viewer's Report #122); thence easterly and southerly along the northern and eastern side of said Loma Prieta Avenue to T. W. Wright's November 1890 Survey Station 90 which was Station 45 on what was known as the East Summit Road and adopted as a public highway 40 feet in width in Viewer's Report #122; thence southeasterly along the northeasterly side of said road to approximately Station 55 and a point on the northwestern boundary of the lands of Pellisi as shown and delineated on that record of survey map recorded August 26, 1964 in Book 42 of Maps Page 19, Records of Santa Cruz County and Book 184, Pages 30, 31 and 32 Records of Santa Clara County; thence leaving East Summit Road northeasterly along the northwestern boundary of the aforesaid lands of Pellisi to the most northern corner thereof; thence southeasterly along the northeastern boundary of the aforesaid lands of Pellisi and said line produced, and being the southwest boundary of lands of the San Jose Water Works to its intersection with the northwest boundary of Lot 1 of the Soquel Augmentation Rancho; thence southwesterly along the northwestern boundary of the aforesaid Lot 1 to the northeastern side of East Summit Road, a public highway 40.00 feet in width, near Sta 135 of T. W. Wright's survey of East Summit Road in November 1890; thence continuing southeasterly along the northeastern side of East Summit Road to a station north of T. W. Wright's 1890 Survey Station 248, the section corner common to Sections 1, 2, 11 and 12, T-10-S, R-1-E, M.D.B.& M. bears South 23 20' East 363 links distant from said Station 248 and this being the end of the public highway adopted in Viewer's Report #122; thence crossing the end of the public highway East Summit Road in a southerly direction to a point 30.00 feet southwest of the average center line of an existing fire control road; thence continuing southeasterly on a line 30.00 feet southwest of the average center line of an existing fire control road approximately 4 miles to the southwest side of a road, 100.00 feet in width, called Summit Road, Right of Way Map Job No. 39-11 on file in the Office of the County Surveyor of Santa Cruz County under File No. E 405-2.1,.2,.3,.4; thence along the southwesterly side of said Summit Road southeasterly to Mount Madonna Road; thence on the produced southwesterly side line of Summit Road across Mount Madonna to the boundary of the lands conveyed by M. E. Thomas (a single woman) to the County of Santa Clara by deed dated April 3, 1930 and recorded in Volume 179 at Page 138 Official Records of Santa Cruz County, said lands being generally known as Mount Madonna Park; thence in a counter clockwise direction along the boundary of said lands conveyed by Thomas to County of Santa Clara, as aforesaid, until the southeastern boundary reaches the summit of the mountain; thence southerly along the summit of the mountain to the eastern side of Hecker Pass Road now known as State Highway 32-A; thence southerly along the eastern side of Hecker Pass Road 450 feet, more or less, to the northern side of a right of way, 24 feet wide, and known as Belle Vista Lane; thence easterly and southerly along the northern and eastern side of Bella Vista Lane to the northwestern boundary of lands conveyed by Ralph A. Robinson et ux to Frank L. Kellog, et ux, by deed recorded October 5, 1945 in Volume 506 at Page 412 Official Records of Santa Cruz County; thence northeasterly along the northwestern boundary of said lands of Kellog and the produced line thereof to the northeastern boundary of that certain strip of land 5.00 chains in width, described in the Decree Quieting Title, Case No. 36741 and recorded May 20, 1932 in Volume 225 at Page 358 Official Records of Santa Cruz County; thence continuing southerly along the easterly boundary of the last named strip of land, 5.00 chains in width, to the most southern end of said strip; thence southwesterly to the summit of the mountain; thence continuing southerly along the summit of the mountain along or through the lands of Fletcher, Chase, Marinovich, Kelly and Chamberlain Land Company to the southeasterly boundary of that certain 600 acres, plus or minus, parcel of land described on Pages 519, 520, and 521 in the deed from Joseph P. Chamberlain and Nan C. Chamberlain, his wife, to Chamberlain Land Company by deed dated November 8, 1956 and recorded in Book 3688, at Paged 519 to 533 Records of Santa Clara County; thence easterly along said last named boundary to the eastern boundary of the Salsipuedes Rancho; thence northerly along said rancho boundary to the intersection of the northern boundary of Section 34, T-11-S, R-3-E, M.D.B.& M.; thence southeasterly on a straight line to the western quarter corner of Section 35, T-11-S, R-3-E; thence southeasterly, on a straight line to the southern quarter corner of said Section 35 on the township line between T-11-S and T-12-S; thence easterly on said township line to the north quarter corner of Section 1, T-12-S, R-3-E; thence southerly, on a straight line to the quarter corner at the center of said Section 1; thence easterly on a straight line to the eastern quarter corner of the aforesaid Section 1 on the range line between R-3-E and R-4-E; thence southerly on said range line between R-3-E and R-4-E to the Pajaro River and the boundary of San Benito County; thence westerly along said river, on the northern line of San Benito and Monterey, to the Bay of Monterey, and three miles westerly into the ocean, forming the southwest corner; thence northwesterly along a course three nautical miles distant from the shore to the point of beginning.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY LEASH LAWS
Santa Cruz County Code is available at http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/santacruzcounty/
Leash laws in Santa Cruz County are specified in Title Six, Sections 6.04 to 6.24 in Santa Cruz County Code.
Title 6. Animals. Sections 6.04 to 6.24.090
6.12.020 Leash required for dogs off premises.
It is unlawful for the owner of any dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to permit or allow such dog to be away from the premises of its owner at any time if not under actual physical restraint or control, such as a leash, tether, or in the grasp of a person. (Ord. 4490 § 4, 1998: Ord. 3728 § 20, 1986: prior code § 8.05.401: Ord. 1371, 10/29/68; Ord. 1447, 7/25/72; Ord. 2170, 8/19/75)
6.12.080 Animal defecation prohibited where.
It is unlawful for the owner of any animal to allow or permit such animal to defecate on any public property or improved private property, other than that of the owner. It is the responsibility of the animal’s owner to properly dispose of any solid waste resulting from an act in violation of this section. (Ord. 4490 § 5, 1998: prior code § 8.05.420: Ord. 2170, 8/19/75)
6.12.100 Harassment, threat or injury by animals.
It is unlawful for the owner of any dog or animal to suffer or permit the same to annoy and harass, chase, threaten to inflict or inflict injury of any kind on any person. [Ord. 4490 § 6, 1998; Ord. 2170, 1975; prior code § 8.05.410].
County Code is very specific in not allowing dogs off-leash anywhere in the County, at any time. In order to allow off-leash dogs on County beaches, the County would have to amend Section 6.12 to provide for specific exceptions. Such an amendment would provide argument for weakening County Code to allow off-leash dogs to run throughout the County at any time. Organizers for off-leash dogs on beaches are already promoting this as just such a precedent. They are suggesting a general challenge to County off-leash laws.
Furthermore, Santa Cruz County beaches are part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and, as such, are under the jurisdiction of state and federal laws with regard to threatened and endangered species and wildlife harassment in United States Marine Sanctuaries.
Regulations for SantaCruz County Parks are contained in Santa Cruz County Code, Title 10, available at http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/santacruzcounty/
Chapter 10.04 COUNTY PARKS
10.04.100 Dogs and cats.
(A) Dogs shall be licensed in accordance with the animal ordinance (Chapter 6.08 SCCC). A person may bring and maintain in any park, exclusive of golf courses, a dog or cat, if such dog or cat is kept on a leash or chain not to exceed six feet in length and under immediate control of its owner or custodian, or upon written permission of the Director when required for authorized park programs, or when dogs are in special areas of parks designated and posted by the Park Director as dog exercise and training areas (dog parks) and so long as the regulations of the Park Director with respect to the use of such areas are followed.
(B) Any person owning or having control of any dog or cat which defecates upon property owned or managed by the Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services must immediately remove and dispose of the feces.[Ord. 4666 § 1, 2002; Ord. 4429 § 2, 1996; Ord. 2954, 1980; prior code § 8.60.040(h)].
Santa Cruz County Code, Title 16, Environmental and Resource Protection
SENSITIVE HABITAT PROTECTION
Sensitive Habitat. An area is defined as a sensitive habitat if it meets one or more of the following criteria.
(e) Areas which provide habitat for rare or endangered species which meet the definition of Section 15380 of the California Environmental Quality Act guidelines.
(f) Areas which provide habitat for rare, endangered or threatened species as designated by the State Fish and Game Commission, United States Fish and Wildlife Service or California Native Plant Society.
GENERAL PLAN AND LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM for the COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA, available at http://www.sccoplanning.com/PlanningHome/Long-RangePlanning/GeneralPlan.aspx
Objective 5.1 Biological Diversity
(LCP) To maintain the biological diversity of the County through an integrated program of open space acquisition and protection, identification and protection of plant habitat and wildlife corridors and habitats, low-intensity and resource compatible land uses in sensitive habitats and mitigations on projects and resource extraction to reduce impacts on plant and animal life.
5.1.1 Sensitive Habitat Designation
(LCP) Designate the following areas as sensitive habitats:
(a) areas shown on the County General Plan and LCP Resources and Constraints Maps;
(b) any undesignated areas which meet the criteria (policy 5.1.2) and which are identified through the biotic review process or other means; and
(c) areas of biotic concern as shown on the Resources and Constraints Maps which contain concentrations of rare, endangered, threatened or unique species.
5.1.2 Definition of Sensitive Habitat
(LCP) An area is defined as a sensitive habitat if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
(e) Areas which provide habitat for rare or endangered species which meet the definition of Section 15380 of the California Environmental Quality Act guidelines.
(f) Areas which provide habitat for rare, endangered or threatened species as designated by the State Fish and Game Commission, United States Fish and Wildlife Service or California Native Plant Society. 5.1.6 Development Within Sensitive Habitats
(LCP) Sensitive habitats shall be protected against any significant disruption of habitat values; and any proposed development within or adjacent to these areas must maintain or enhance the functional capacity of the habitat. Reduce in scale, redesign, or, if no other alternative exists, deny any project which cannot sufficiently mitigate significant adverse impacts on sensitive habitats unless approval of a project is legally necessary to allow a reasonable use of the land.
5.1.7 Site Design and Use Regulations
(LCP) Protect sensitive habitats against any significant disruption or degradation of habitat values in accordance with the Sensitive Habitat Protection ordinance. Utilize the following site design and use regulations on parcels containing these resources, excluding existing agricultural operations:
(d) Prohibit domestic animals where they threaten sensitive habitats.
5.1.10 Species Protection
(LCP) Recognize that habitat protection is only one aspect of maintaining biodiversity and that certain wildlife species, such as migratory birds, may not utilize specific habitats. Require protection of of these individual rare, endangered and threatened species and continue to update policies as new information becomes available.
Objective 5.3 Aquatic and Marine Habitats
(LCP) To identify, preserve and restore aquatic and marine habitats; to maximize scientific research and education which emphasizes comprehensive and coordinated management consistent with the mission of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; and to facilitate multiple use and recreation opportunities compatible with resource protection.
5.3.1 Support the Monterey Bay Sanctuary
(LCP) Support the mission of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to facilitate long-term management, protection, understanding and awareness of its resources and qualities.
5.3.2 Protecting Shorebird Nesting Sites
(LCP) Discourage all activities within 100 feet of shorebird nesting sites during nesting season (March-July). Prohibit dogs from beaches having nesting sites.
(LCP) f. Enforce leash laws to the fullest extent possible. (Responsibility: Board of Supervisors, law enforcement agencies.)
CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS
TITLE 14. NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION 3. DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL
§ 4312. Control of Animals.
(a) No person shall permit a dog to run loose, or turn loose any animal in any portion of a unit, except upon written authorization by the District Superintendent.
(b) No person shall keep an animal in any unit except under his/her immediate control.
(c) No person shall keep a noisy, vicious, or dangerous dog or animal or one which is disturbing to other persons, in any unit and remain therein after he/she has been asked by a peace officer to leave.
(e) No person shall bring a dog into, permit a dog to enter or remain, or possess a dog in units under control of Department of Parks and Recreation unless the dog is on leash of no more than six feet in length and under the immediate control of a person or confined in a vehicle.
(f) No person shall bring a dog into, permit a dog to enter or remain, or possess a dog:
1) beyond the limits of campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas, roads, structures or in posted portions of units except as provided elsewhere in this section.
2) on any beach adjacent to any body of water in any unit except in portions of units designated for dogs.
(h) Subsections e) and f) shall not apply to trained "seeing eye," "signal," or "service" dogs used to guide a physically impaired person there present, or dogs that are being trained to become "seeing eye," "signal," or "service" dogs.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL ACT
Section 30106 Development
"Development" means, on land, in or under water, the placement or erection of any solid material or structure; discharge or disposal of any dredged material or of any gaseous, liquid, solid, or thermal waste; grading, removing, dredging, mining, or extraction of any materials; change in the density or intensity of use of land, including, but not limited to, subdivision pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act (commencing with Section 66410 of the Government Code), and any other division of land, including lot splits, except where the land division is brought about in connection with the purchase of such land by a public agency for public recreational use; change in the intensity of use of water, or of access thereto; construction, reconstruction, demolition, or alteration of the size of any structure, including any facility of any private, public, or municipal utility; and the removal or harvesting of major vegetation other than for agricultural purposes, kelp harvesting, and timber operations which are in accordance with a timber harvesting plan submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (commencing with Section 4511).
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is regulated by the National Marine Sanctuary Act, http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/about/legislation/welcome.html
PART 922--NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS
Subpart M—Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
§922.132 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.
(5) Taking any marine mammal, sea turtle, or bird within or above the Sanctuary, except as authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as amended, (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., Endangered Species Act, as amended, (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as amend- ed, (MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq., or any regulation, as amended, promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA.
Take or taking means: (1) For any marine mammal, sea turtle, or seabird listed as either endangered or threatened pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect or injure, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct; (2) For any other marine mammal, sea turtle, or seabird, to harass, hunt, capture, kill, collect or injure, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. For the purposes of both (1) and (2) of this definition, this includes, but is not limited to, to collect any dead or injured marine mammal, sea turtle or seabird, or any part thereof; to restrain or detain any marine mammal, sea turtle or seabird, or any part thereof, no matter how temporarily; to tag any sea turtle, marine mammal or seabird; to operate a vessel or aircraft or to do any other act that results in the disturbance or molestation of any marine mammal, sea turtle or seabird.
Last Updated: April 29, 2014
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