ITHACA, N.Y. — Dogs are now allowed on Ithaca restaurant patios so long as the owner permits them, thanks to a bill signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday night.

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The bill enables food facilities to allow people to bring a pet dog to outdoor dining areas if specified conditions are satisfied. It also permits cities and counties to prohibit the presence of dogs on patios.

Ithaca, however, will not be a doggie dismissive, one official said.

“If the restaurant opted in to provide those services, then they would be allowed,” City Clerk Julie Holcomb said. “This issue is truly more between the restaurant and New York State public health law.”

She said there are some caveats that restaurant would have to adhere to, such as keeping dogs off chairs and keeping them away from areas where food is being prepared.

“It’s restaurant-by-restaurant how they can manage that,” Holcomb said.

But despite the new legislation, the Ithaca Commons dog ban will not likely be changed any time soon.

“I think that Common Council pretty much spoke pretty loudly and clearly when we were adopting the Commons legislation,” she said.

The proposal to allow dogs on the Commons was unanimously rejected in a 9-0 vote in March.

Related: Reference to Greek myth proves unconvincing as Ithaca rejects dogs on Commons

Holcomb said she would be surprised if anyone from the Common Council brought up opposition to dogs on patios though, noting that dogs are only not allowed in two place within the city — Stewart Park and the primary Commons.

“We have very dog friendly community,” she said.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.