Update 6/21/22: The Fanwood Council voted at a town council meeting Monday night to move the dogs-in-parks amendment forward to a public hearing phase next month, according to TAPinto Scotch Plains/Fanwood.

The amendment would change the 20-year law against dogs in borough parks and instead, allow them as long as they are leashed, licensed, and not aggressive.
According to the proposed amendment, dogs will not be permitted in the baseball fields, basketball courts, and children’s play areas. Any dog that is aggressive, a nuisance, or incessantly barking, would be removed from the public parks. Also, if a dog has had a documented incident of an attack shall be permanently barred from Fanwood parks.
No one objected at the meeting and the Council said it would take a vote on July 18.

Did you know dogs are prohibited in public parks in Fanwood?

There’s a story at NJ.com about this hot-button issue that has flamed debates in the Union County municipality for quite some time.

Enter a real-life Karen who is “biting back.”

Karen Schwaneberg’s home is next to LaGrande Park and she wants the law prohibiting dogs in the parks to remain in place. In fact, Schwaneberg has called the police more than 20 times in little over a year, making formal complaints whenever she sees a dog in or around the park, according to reporting by NJ.com.

In Fanwood, canine companions are prohibited in three public parks — LaGrande Park, Forest Road Park, and Carriage House Park. It’s been this way for 21 years.

According to the borough's official website, violators “may draw a summons or a fine.”

Some residents have been hoping for an amendment to the ordinance 118-23B, which reads:

“No dog, except a guide dog accompanying a blind or otherwise disabled person, is permitted in any public park of the Borough of Fanwood, regardless of whether such a dog is controlled by a leash.”

According to NJ.com, an amendment is expected to be introduced next week. If the introduction receives the required four votes, it would then move to a public hearing in July and be put up for a vote.

At a recent council meeting, one resident asked that the ordinance to state, “All leashed dogs allowed in all Fanwood parks at all times.”

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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