Doggie Dining Gets OK for County Consideration

The Pinellas County Local Planning Agency's approval means the county commission will vote on doggie dining for the rest of the county.

Clearwater doggy dining lovers may soon have some new options for eating out with their best friend.

Pinellas leaders will soon have a discussion at the county level on whether to allow dogs at restaurants. 

Although Clearwater already allows dogs in the outdoor seating areas at city permitted restaurants, Pinellas County and many unincorporated areas of the county do not yet have a permitting process in place.

A group that oversees planning and development throughout Pinellas County voted unanimously Feb. 14 to approve an amendment that would make some outdoor dinning locations dog friendly. 

Final approval of the code amendment would be decided by the Pinellas County Commission in March. 

"The primary purpose of the amendments is to set up a permitting process that authorizes the presence of patrons’ dogs in certain designated outdoor portions of state-licensed public food service establishments, as allowed by Florida statutes," according to county documents.

Eight communities currently allow doggie dining, and none reported ongoing problems after allowing dogs in restaurants. 

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