2006-11-17 / Front Page

Proposed Dog Run Faces Opposition

By Brian Magoolaghan

About 300 people have signed a petition saying they don't want a dog run at a proposed location on Shore Front Parkway, according to City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr.

Addabbo told The Wave that his office recently received a copy of the petition, which opposes a dog run at a defunct shuffleboard court between Beach 103 and 104 Streets on Shore Front Parkway. The location was the site of last month's "It's My Bark Day" event, which drew dozens of dog owners and families.

But opponents say the proposed site, which is near paddleball and basketball courts and other playgrounds, will create noise and could become a health hazard if not properly maintained. Most of the signatures are from residents of nearby apartment buildings that are taking a "not in my backyard" stance, Addabbo said. Freeway Park, located just north of the Hammel Houses, has also been named as a possible location, but the run may be established at another suitable location, if one is found.

"It's still up for discussion, nothing is set in stone," Addabbo said.

The councilman's office forwarded a copy of the petition to the Department of Parks and Recreation, the city agency with jurisdiction over both sites, but Addabbo said he still supports a dog run at the site - on a trial basis. In past talks about the dog run, Addabbo has called attention to his success with the Rockaway Skate Park, which he funded and later received complaints about until he funded additional noise-reduction measures, which virtually eliminated complaints.

Parks has said it remains interested in partnering with a dog-owner group that will take an active interest in a dog run, whether it is located on Shore Front Parkway, at Freeway Park or another location. Such a group has not yet come forward.

Sara Skalet, a local dog owner who in September helped lead the first public meeting on the dog run, declined to comment to The Wave this week.

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