Public Hearing


08/04/2017 – Huntington Hearing on Park Access Goes Well

Dix Hills Park

Dix Hills Park Trail
Photo Credit: Irene Rabinowitz

July 11th Public Hearing on Proposal to Open Virtually All Huntington Parks to On-Leash Dog-Walking Goes Well

Town Board Vote May Come Tues., Aug. 15th

Please Continue to Show Your Support!

The Public Hearing on Tues., July 11th on a proposal to amend Huntington Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking in virtually all Town parks went very well. There were eight speakers at the public hearing including LI-DOG President Ginny Munger Kahn and six of those speakers spoke in favor of the resolution. Dog owners also have sent emails to the Town Board in support of the resolution. Thank you to everyone who attended the public hearing, spoke in favor of the proposal, and has sent emails on this change in the Town Code that will benefit so many people and dogs! (Read all about the Town’s proposal at Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs.)

In LI-DOG’s statement, we noted the proposed change will allow more people to enjoy the Town’s public parks. Not only is this an important quality of life issue, but increasing park use makes our parks safer. Providing more access to parks also incents more people to get out and walk their dogs, which is good not only for dogs’ health, but for people’s health, too. “Walking your dog in a beautiful park is one of life’s great pleasures,” said Ginny. “We are grateful to the Huntington Town Board and the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee (on which LI-DOG serves) for recommending this change that will benefit so many Huntington residents.” (To read LI-DOG’s statement, go to Support Local Law Adopting Uniform Park Standards for Leashed Dogs in Huntington Town Parks.)

Among other speakers in support of the change was Mike Kaplow, president of the Siberian Husky Club of Greater New York. Mike, who was accompanied at the meeting by his service dog Lola, urged the Town Board to pass this “canine-loving legacy legislation.” He noted that in his experience he has found the vast majority of both dogs and their human companions are well behaved and responsible and he invited any naysayers to join him and Lola for a walk in the park including an LI-DOG Pack Walk. “You will see some of the best behaved dogs and most responsible human companions on our Island,” he said. (To read Mike Kaplow’s statement, go to Huntington’s Expansion of Dog Walking Areas.)

The main exception to the proposed new policy is Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. Supporters of the Town Code change including LI-DOG urged the Town Board in the future to lift the restriction on leashed dogs in Heckscher Park. ”Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request we get from Huntington dog owners and we believe Heckscher would benefit greatly from the presence of leashed dogs in terms of deterring the geese that foul the lawns and paths there, “said Ginny. “We are hopeful that once this new policy is in place and has proved successful, we can revisit this issue with the Town.”

In an interview with The Long Islander, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said the Town would be monitoring the parks closely to make sure people are cleaning up after their dogs and keeping their dogs on-leash. If the policy change is successful, he said, town officials will consider expanding the policy to more areas in the future. (Read The Long Islander article Canine-Loving Change Mulled by Board.)

Newsday has also covered the story including LI-DOG’s support for the proposed change. Read the Newsday story Have a Dog and a Leash? Huntington May Open More Parks for Use.

LI-DOG is excited about the proposed change in the Town Code. Not only does the proposed change benefit many dog owners and their dogs, but it sets a great precedent for other Towns on Long Island that still ban dog owners and their dogs from public parks.

If you haven’t already done so, and you’re a Huntington resident, please email or call Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone—the sponsor of this resolution—and Huntington Town Board members to thank them and let them know what this means to you and your dog! Don’t forget to cc: lidog_news@yahoo.com so we can see your emails, too.

Supervisor Frank Petrone, email fpetrone@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3030

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, email mcuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3172

Councilwoman Susan Berland, email sberland@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3173

Councilman Eugene Cook, email ecook@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3174

Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, email tedwards@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3175

Make sure to send a copy of your email to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia at jraia@HuntingtonNY.gov, so that your message is entered into the public record in support of the resolution.

As soon as we find out when the Town Board will vote on this important resolution we will let everyone know.

Thank you for your support!

 

 


.07/05/2017 – Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs

 

Dix Hills ParkHuntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dog Walking! The Town Board will hold a public hearing on Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall on a resolution that will amend the Town Code. Please come show your support for access to Town parks! Read all about it at Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs.

 


07/05/2017 – Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dogs

Huntington Proposes Opening Almost All Town Parks to On-Leash Dog Walking!

Public Hearing Set for Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. at Town Hall

Please Come Show Your Support!

Dix Hills Park

Dix Hills Park Trail in Huntington Photo Credit: Irene Rabinowitz

The Huntington Town Board will hold a public hearing on Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. at Town Hall on a resolution to amend Town Code to allow on-leash dog walking in virtually all Town parks. Huntington owns parks covering several hundred acres of public land ranging from the historic Village Green in Huntington Village to newly opened Sweet Hollow Park in Melville. (For a complete list of parks in the Town of Huntington, get the Huntington Trails Guide.)

Specifically, the resolution amends Town Code by eliminating wording that prohibits dogs in most town parks and instead adopts uniform park standards with the following words: The Town Board has approved on-leash walking of dogs in town parks and trails. The resolution also requires that dogs be on leashes no longer than 6-feet in length and that dog waste be immediately picked up and disposed of properly.

The main exception to the proposed new policy is Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. LI-DOG has strongly recommended that on-leash dogs be permitted in Heckscher Park. Access to Heckscher Park is the most common request we hear from Huntington dogs owners and allowing on-leash dogs in the park would deter the geese who foul the lawns and paths in that park. However, Town officials have expressed concerns about potential conflicts at the park, especially during the day when the park is busy. LI-DOG is optimistic that once the new policy has been put in place and been successful, we can ask the Town to revisit this restriction.

LI-DOG is excited about the proposed change in the Town Code and supports the Town Board resolution. Opening virtually all the Town’s parks to on-leash dog walking will benefit tens of thousands of town residents and their dogs! Moreover, the change in policy will serve as a positive example to other Towns on Long Island that still ban dogs from public parks.

In introducing the resolution, the Town Board notes that adopting uniform standards for leashed dogs in town parks supports Huntington’s goal to be more dog-friendly “by allowing more Huntington residents to enjoy public parks with their canine companions.” The Town also notes that allowing more people with dogs into public parks promotes public safety by having more “eyes” on the parks.

The proposed Town Code change is the result of recommendations made by the Huntington Greenway Trails Committee on which LI-DOG serves. Currently, trails on which leashed dogs are allowed are recommended by the Committee on an individual park or trail basis. The process is the result of an initiative approved by the Town in June 2013. (To read about the initiative, go to Town Board Approves On-Leash Dog Walking in Designated Huntington Parks.)

In making its recommendation, the Trails Committee noted that 2013 initiative has worked well and that there have been no issues to date with on-leash dogs on trails in public parks. In lieu of individual site designations, the Committee noted that the adoption of uniform park standards will make it easier for people to understand the policy towards dogs in town parks and will help increase park and trail use. In addition, the Committee noted, the Town owns almost a dozen parks in conjunction with Suffolk County and those partnerships are likely to continue to grow. County policy, which takes precedence in these parks, allows leashed dogs in its parks and adopting uniform standards will align Town policies with the County.

Besides the exception of Heckscher Park, the resolution also restricts on-leash and off-leash dogs from: Betty Allen Nature Preserve, all playgrounds, picnic areas, active recreation areas like sports fields, town camp programs and town beaches. Significantly, on-leash dogs are permitted on paved areas and boardwalks at town beaches.

Again, LI-DOG is optimistic that once uniform park standards are adopted and the program proves successful, we will be able to ask the town to revisit the restrictions on Heckscher Park as well as access to beaches.

LI-DOG is asking dog owners to join us in support of this resolution that significantly expands access to parks in the Town of Huntington!

Join LI-DOG at the Public Hearing at the Town Board Meeting on Tues., July 11th at 2 p.m. While we view this resolution as a great benefit to town residents, there are always a few critics who will oppose the resolution. Come to the Town Board meeting on July 11th and show your support for access to parks!

If you can’t come to the Public Hearing, email or call Huntington Town Board members and let them know you support Local Law Introductory Number 31-2017 that will allow on-leash dogs in Town parks. Don’t forget to cc: lidog_news@yahoo.com so we can see your emails, too!

  • Supervisor Frank Petrone, email fpetrone@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3030
  • Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, email mcuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3172
  • Councilwoman Susan Berland, email sberland@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3173
  • Councilman Eugene Cook, email ecook@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3174
  • Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, email tedwards@HuntingtonNY.gov or call 631-351-3175
  • Make sure to send a copy of your email to Huntington Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia at jraia@HuntingtonNY.gov, so that your message is entered into the public record in support of the resolution.

The more emails the Town Board gets supporting their resolution, the more likely it will pass!

This is a great step forward for Huntington dog owners! Thank you for your support!