By Stephanie Lucero

(credit: Fiona Green)

(credit: Fiona Green)

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Dog lovers may soon have a new option when dining out in Plano. The city is considering changing the rules to let restaurants to apply for a variance that would permit dogs on outdoor patios. But not everybody in Plano is on board with the idea of having man’s best friend join the meal.

The issue is being spearheaded by a Plano restaurant owner, and the Plano City Council is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday night. If the proposal passes, restaurants would be allowed to open their patios to dogs. But they would first have to file for a permit.

There would be requirements. Dogs would have to remain on a leash at all times. Diners would not be allowed to feed the animals any table scraps. Patio areas would have to be hosed down before each shift. And any ‘mishaps’ would have to be cleaned up immediately.

Dogs are already allowed on restaurant patios in other Texas cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas.  Recently a specialty restaurant opened in Dallas’ Uptown called Mutt’s Canine Cantina.  It not only provides a pooch’s playground, it offers treats for people and pet alike, including a two dollar custard and peanut butter dog dessert.

Plano’s proposal has prompted a lot of comments on the city’s website, both for and against the idea of dogs on restaurant patios.

“I think it should be allowed. We love our dogs and it’s so difficult to find places in North Texas that allow dogs on their patio.”

“Gross. Poop is already not scooped at parks (as attested to by the new signs the city has been putting up), and I don’t want to see it or smell it while I’m eating, no matter how quickly it gets cleaned up.”

“I like dogs, but probably would avoid a dining patio with dogs or rowdy children. Dogs often shake their bodies when they stand and hair usually flies.”

“Plano is becoming a more urban city. Urban dwellers tend to be pet people and want to have the ability to go to their favorite patio with their pets.”

“Yes, but dog owners need to be held accountable to make sure their dogs are safe.”

“Good for business to allow this. Businesses should retain the right to ask ill-behaved dogs to leave.”

“Enjoy your dog at your home, at dog parks, all that stuff. Stop trying to bring them to people places.”

On Tuesday night, more than a hundred comments were in favor of allowing dogs, with less than 40 comments against it.

A public hearing is scheduled to take place at Tuesday night’s meeting, before the city council vote. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.

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