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Tag: residents

Keep your dog, lose your parking space

trumpvillageResidents who have snuck dogs into a no-dogs-allowed Brooklyn housing co-op are being told to get rid of their dogs, or face monthly $100 fines and the loss of their parking spaces.

The co-op board notified residents of  Trump Village of the new enforcement policy in a notice last month.

“I think it’s totally ridiculous,” Marylyn Langsdorf, 66, who lives with her 6-pound Yorkshire terrier, Chelsea, told the New York Daily News. “I think the whole point is to just get money from us.”

Langsdorf and other residents with dogs have already been fined, but they’ve yet to have their parking spaces revoked.

About 1,700 residents live in the three-building complex, and a dozen already have contacted a Manhattan attorney who specializes in pet-related tenant rights.

“It’s a way to extract money from these folks and scare the hell out of them to give up dogs they’ve had for years,” said attorney Maddy Tarnofsky.

Warren Hirsch, a spokesman for the Trump Village co-op board, said “a small number of residents have surreptitiously smuggled in dogs in defiance of the rules and regulations binding them. They have thumbed their noses at their fellow cooperators and dared the co-op to do something about it.”

(Photo: Langsdorf, left, with Chelsea, and another dog-owning resident; New York Daily News)

Dogs often scapegoats in gentrification wars

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It’s a familiar chain of events in many a city — a particular neighborhood, usually by virtue of its location, emerges as desirable. Young and affluent people move in. Real estate prices rise and, with them, taxes. The old neighborhood bars get upscaled. Mom and pop shops close down. Oldtimers start leaving. A Whole Foods opens. Then you step in dog poop.

The fancy word for it is gentrification — and while dogs are, for the most part, innocent bystanders (byrunners? bypoopers?) they often seem to surface as the issue around which gentrifications wars play out.

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between a recent story out of Venice, California, appearing in the Santa Monica Daily Press, and our situation right here in South Baltimore.

The  story looked at a growing conflict between long-time black and Latino members of a Venice neighborhood and affluent newcomers and their dogs. Long-time residents are complaining about the presence of off-leash dogs in the park.

“When families in the neighborhood see the blatant disregard for the law and there is signage throughout the park, it sends a message that they’re above the law and privileged,” said Lydia Ponce, who serves on the Oakwood Park Advisory Board, “It sets up a cultural divide.”

Dog owners, meanwhile, say they are simply seeking a place for their dogs to run — an activity that, properly monitored, impinges on no one’s rights or space. “We’re law-abiding citizens and we don’t want to get tickets for exercising dogs in the morning,” said Dr. Douglas Stockel, who has lived in Venice for five years.

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