Juniper Valley dog run plans remain on hold Elmhurst Pk. may be best chance: Board

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It would appear the idea for a dog run in Juniper Valley Park will have to play dead for the foreseeable future.

After half a year of investigating and debating, a dog run subcommittee of Community Board 5 has decided the option with the best chance of success is to send a letter to Community Board 4, asking it to ask the city Parks Department to include one in the design of the new Elmhurst Park.

CB 4 covers Corona and Elmhurst, while CB 5 covers adjacent areas of Maspeth as well as Glendale, Middle Village and Ridgewood.

“There are a lot of pieces that don’t work right now, and finances are really not there,” said Kathy Masi, chairwoman of the Dog Run Subcommittee, in a presentation to CB 5 last week.

Although the possibility of a dog run in the park has been a hot button issue at the community board for a year, an informal poll of the members present showed 22 of them — the majority — wanted to see a dog run somewhere in the area.

But Masi said no consensus could be reached about where that would be. The three sites her group inspected earlier this year each had problems, she said.

“It was awful,” she said of the tour, noting a news report had alerted concerned parties that the tour was taking place. “We went from one site to the next and at each place there was opposition ... actually I was embarrassed by the behavior of all sides.”

CB 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri said he had talked with CB 4 District Manager Richard Italiano before the board met.

“His opinion was that he didn’t think there was a place in the ... Elmhurst Park, and that he thought that the Parks Department was against putting a dog run in Elmhurst Park,” Arcuri said. “But his board is willing to entertain any kind of proposal that someone might bring to them.”

But there were those in CB 5 who disapproved of this long-shot proposal.

“We don’t have anywhere for seniors to go and just be able to stroll or sit,” said Manny Caruana. “I can’t believe that we would choose to put dogs where we were looking to put people. There isn’t enough room for both in that park.”

But the proposal did get the thumbs-up from Joseph Pisano, one of the founders of the Juniper Park Dog Owners Association and the man who has been pushing the board for a dog run since November 2008.

“There’s a little life left in us,” he said of his group’s morale, noting they were encouraged to see that so many CB 5 members favored a dog run.

Pisano said he found the idea of a dog run in Elmhurst Park “acceptable.”

“Obviously, we would really love to have one in Juniper,” he said. “But let’s face it, I’m not going to bite off my nose to spite my face.”

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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