Juniper group barks at stalled dog run plans

Juniper group barks at stalled dog run plans
Dogs, like this one that was up for adoption during an event at Juniper Valley Park last month, currently must be on leashes. Photo by Christina Santucci
By Jeremy Walsh

After a year of advocating for a permanent dog run, the Juniper Valley Park Dog Association is not pleased with Community Board , and its members do not plan on going away any time soon.

That was the message half a dozen of them delivered to the board at last week’s meeting, accusing members of delaying any action on the proposed dog run and trying to sweep it under the rug.

“I don’t think we’re any closer than we were when we first started,” said dog association member Joseph Pisano, who first started speaking at CB 5 meetings last November.

Since then, the board’s Parks Committee has held a meeting about the dog run and formed a subcommittee to deal with the issue. Dog owners were frustrated the subcommittee had not met yet, although it was announced at that meeting that the subcommittee’s first session would take place Nov. 30.

“We really feel like you could care less,” Pisano told the board. “You’re just going to put us off until we go away.”

Dog Association member Kate Beirne said people on the board told her the group “would never, ever get a dog park in Juniper.”

John Rowan, another dog owner, said they had heard nothing about a survey of the park the city Parks Department was slated to perform.

“We’ve submitted proposals, we’ve given areas we’re interested in, we’ve given ways to get it done without spending much money,” he said. “We just can’t seem to get any traction.”

The anger from dog owners was met with some frank talk from CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.

“Your first proposal was huge, in my opinion,” he said, “the equivalent of a football field. I honestly was shocked at the magnitude for this.”

Giordano also warned them against getting too optimistic about the project proceeding because of the subcommittee.

“I apologize that you feel like you’ve been given the roundabout,” he said. “Maybe something can be worked out, but I don’t think there’s much of a constituency among members of this community board who feel confident with a permanent dog run all day long between two baseball fields in Juniper Park.”

It was not immediately clear what had become of a suggestion from City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) that she procure funding to acquire a parcel of land at Eliot and Lutheran avenues about a block north of Juniper Valley Park to construct the dog run, but the dog owners appear to be adamant about the location.

“We don’t want CB 5 anywhere,” he said. “We want Juniper Valley Park.”

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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