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Mamaroneck Goes to the Dogs

Board of Trustees moves forward with Dog Park at Harbor Island

At the January 9th meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board voted to create a dog park within Harbor Island Park. The Board voted to refer the matter to the Harbor Coastal Zone Management Commission (HCZMC) for an “advisory consistency opinion,” a process required by law.

However, the Board does not have to abide by the findings of the HCZMC and that was clear at the meeting when Trustee Young unsuccessfully attempted to direct the Village Manager to begin purchasing the fencing materials for the new dog park before the required review.

The proposed dog park will be located between the County sewage treatment plant and Boston Post Road. It requires at least one acre of land and as noted, will be fenced to keep our furry friends in. There was no mention of whether the surface would be paved but once dogs are allowed to run, the current grass will not survive, and an alternative will be required.

Prior to the meeting, the Village received numerous e-mails about the park with no clear consensus of community preference. Click here to see the emails Dog Park Dossier.

At the meeting, thirteen people commented on the plan – both pro and con. Most of the comments centered around dogs vs. soccer-playing children. One commenter, Richard Clifford, a member of the Ad-hoc Dog Park Committee, raised the issue of under-representation by Mamaroneck’s Hispanic community. Mr. Clifford lives close to the Park and frequently sees families who appear to have few other options to enjoy the outdoors using the Park for family activities such as picnics and play. Mr. Clifford expressed concern that their voices were not being heard.

There was consensus among the public and members of the Board that the Harbor Island site was “not perfect.” It appeared to become a question of whether or not there would be a dog park in the Village of Mamaroneck at all and the Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to proceed with the dog park. Trustee Lucas dissented and requested time for the Recreation and Parks Commission to complete an already-started Master Plan for the entire Park.


We’ve been discussing this for years –in 2017 the Recreation and Parks Commission looked at the Stanley Avenue and Warren Avenue Parks – which were both found to be too small – and the idea was dropped. Ongoing conversations continued about allowing dogs in Harbor Island (at one time to chase the multitude of geese who congregate there).

In October 2020 a subgroup of the Recreation and Parks Commission began exploring other sites including the Taylor’s Lane landfill, Rockridge Road, property on Greenhaven Road as well as three sites in Harbor Island Park. Each had its drawbacks. The Harbor Island Park site along the Boston Post Road between the Sewage Treatment Plant and the 1816 School House was chosen by process of elimination because it was level, had parking and could be quickly turned into a dog park.

The project languished because the appropriate laws were not followed – the process required a NYS SEQRA determination along with a coastal consistency recommendation by the Harbor Coastal Zone Management Commission (HCZMC). HCZMC tried to expedite review, but the Village failed to supply the information that they needed (and as required by law). During this delay the Recreation and Parks Commission learned that the proposed dog park site was used regularly by residents for informal play and recreation. The site is also used when fields are rotated out of play for repair.

At its September 2022 meeting the Recreation and Parks Commission voted to rescind its previous recommendation of the Harbor Island site in favor of an alternative site at Rushmore Avenue. This site is problematic for its lack of parking and neighborhood uproar.

On October 11 the Board of Trustees agreed to give an enlarged Ad Hoc Dog Park Subcommittee until January 4, 2023, to explore alternatives and make a final recommendation – Harbor Island, which they admit isn’t perfect and was a compromise among the members.


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