The Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) Board of Directors has adopted an ordinance requiring that dogs on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve must be on leash.  The only location on the Ranch where dogs can be off leash is the Community Dog Park at the end of Rodeo Grounds Road.

     The CCSD Board deemed the County ordinance that had been posted on the Ranch as vague with too easily inferred exceptions.  The CCSD ordinance has no exceptions, differing from the County ordinance that had applied to dogs on the Ranch.  Effective on Monday, October 10, which is 30 days following adoption of the ordinance, dogs visiting the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve must be on leash at all times.  The adoption of the new ordinance is intended to mitigate decades-long incidences of off-leash dogs scaring and too often attacking other dogs, people, and wildlife that have increased in recent years.

     The CCSD operates park and recreation facilities including the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve in accordance with the authority in State Government Code Section 61100(e).  State Government Code Section 61060(b) provides the District with the authority “To adopt, by ordinance, and enforce rules and regulations for the administration, operation, and use and maintenance of the facilities and services.”

     Pursuant to State Government Codes, Chapter 3, Section A1 (Allowable Uses) of the Public Access and Resources Management Plan for the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (i.e,, Ranch Management Plan) provides that the Ranch Manager has the authority to require leashes on any trail for safety purposes.  Chapter 8, Section F.2 (User Conflicts) of the Ranch Management Plan provides that the Ranch Manager may restrict dogs to leashes or prohibit dogs on any or all of the Ranch trails.  The CCSD Board has amended the District’s Municipal Code Chapter 7.16 (Dogs on Fiscalini Ranch Preserve) specifically to read as follows:

     7.16.010 – Leashes Required.  A. Except at the Cambria Dog Park, located on Rodeo Grounds Road, no person shall allow a dog to run at large on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. All domestic dogs in the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve shall be restrained at all times on leashes not to exceed six feet in length and be under adequate control in accordance with the requirements of this section.  B. The Cambria Community Services District shall post signs at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve regarding the requirement that dogs be on a leash at all times and that any person failing to do so will be subject to citation/and or ejection under this ordinance. It is unlawful to damage, deface, destroy or alter any such sign posted at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

     The Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP) will coordinate with CCSD to replace and add signs citing the revised Municipal Code at all entrances to the Ranch.  In addition, FFRP will continue to discuss and inform local residents and visitors on the reasons and purposes for the requirement. The Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is a natural wonder for all to enjoy – safely and without fear.