A new animal control ordinance has been suspended in University Park after members of the University Park Pet Owners Association gathered enough signatures to put it to a referendum.

The ordinance, passed last month, is stricter than a Prince George's County law and requires that dogs be walked on leashes no longer than eight feet and that their owners clean up after them on town property.

Petitions with more than 300 names -- 220 were required to take it to referendum -- were presented to the town election supervisors last week, association President Ed McGehrin said. The law, scheduled to go into effect last Thursday, has been suspended until the signatures are verified and the issue is put to a town vote, town attorney Robert Levan said.

Pet owners have complained that the law is too strict. They told council members that they can control their animals on town property without leashes and would prefer more lenient cleanup restrictions in heavily wooded sections of the town park. Traffic Plan Amended The College Park City Council amended the traffic plan for the "old town" section of the city last week after residents complained about barriers that prevented shortcuts through a residential area.

The amended plan prohibits southbound traffic on Rhode Island Avenue from turning left onto Norwich Road and westbound traffic on Calvert Road from turning right on Norwich during rush hours. Stop signs will be removed at Knox and Norwich roads, and Dartmouth traffic between Knox and Calvert roads will be one-way southbound.

The previous traffic plan, in effect for 90 days, put a barrier at Rhode Island Avenue and Rossborough Drive and stopped motorists from taking a shortcut to Campus Drive through a residential area.

Some city residents complained at a public hearing last week that the barrier was a major inconvenience. But others disagreed, saying that the experimental barrier reduced the traffic flow and made the area safer for children.