In the News: East River Co-op’s Dog Policy Battle

Photo: East River Co-op website.

Photo: East River Co-op website.

Today the Times shines the spotlight on the East River Cooperative on Grand Street, where a dispute over a dog ban has been waging for several years.  Co-op management and its board of directors contend that three residents falsely claimed disabilities in order to keep their pets. More from the Times story:

…where the board saw chicanery, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development found discrimination. After a series of losses for the three residents in housing and state appeals courts over the past three years, they filed complaints last year with HUD, arguing that the building was violating their rights under the Fair Housing Act by discriminating on the basis of disability. The agency agreed and referred the cases to the Department of Justice, which sued the co-op in Manhattan federal court in December. Papers have been traded all winter and spring, and it looks as if there will be little resolution until pretrial hearings set for fall.

You can read the full article here.

  • Susan L

    I’m *livid* with everyone who either sneaked a dog in or who got one after moving in. One of the reasons why we bought at East River is because of the “no dogs” policy, and the Board interview very explicitly emphasized that rule. Further; I think it’s despicable that the three residents pursued their cases after the courts had already ruled against them. I also hope they’re forced to repay the legal fees that those of us *law-abiding* residents are currently stuck with. There’s a reason why we have laws and rules….btw; I’m a lifelong dog-lover, and I contribute to myriad animal rescue groups & humane societies. However, I do *not* want to live surrounded by barking dogs. If you want a dog, move to an apartment building that permits them!

  • Maria-LES

    Whiny and cranky old people are the only ones that complain about pets on the complex. There is by far more important issues people are facing. Like unemployment or barely having enough to eat. The ban of pets is a travesty, having pets improve the lives of people especially older tenants that need socialization.

  • jce

    and I am livid our board and mgmt. continues to spends $ for cases they have lost, will loose, will continue to loose forever and I would dearly love to sue members of the board PERSONALLY for their unbelievable stupidity (and corporate malfeasance for unlawfully using my money to defend what is not defensible) on this dog policy which they carry against common sense and legality. Simple: 1. have a dog policy that makes sense, e.g., limit dog size, delineate specific action for nuisance dogs, etc. 2. Register dogs. 3.. Charge monthly for dogs, 4. Actively pursue complaints ( see #1)

  • MarkBLES

    Wait let’s get this straight, old people are the only ones
    who complain about dogs yet you claim that old people are the prime
    beneficiaries of having dogs. If that was the case then why would old people be
    the only ones against dogs? Not that I bought into your massive generalizations
    for a second I’m just having a hard time comprehending your argument. Much like
    these delinquent dog owners are poor representatives for the overstated cause
    celebre of dog legalization in east river, you are a poor representative for logical, fact based debate.

    I’m fairly certain the only impetus to the building pursuing
    an illegal dog owner is a complaint stemming from a neighbor (thus explaining all the dogs who they let slide). This could be due to incessant barking or other incidents indicating a lack of proper training. This would then characterize the dog as a nuisance to its neighbors and warrant removal. In one of these cases the dog attacked another dog. If an incident such as that doesn’t give the building the right to remove the animal then what
    would? What if the dog mauled a child in the elevator, would that be enough or would
    they still claim discrimination then. These people are leeches on the co-op and
    have no interest in “cooperative living,” they’d rather bleed the co-op dry and
    stir controversy to defend their own indiscretions. Good riddance I can’t wait
    till they lose again, their entire defense is steeped in ambiguity.

  • MarkBLES

    Wait let’s get this straight, old people are the only ones
    who complain about dogs yet you claim that old people are the prime
    beneficiaries of having dogs. If that was the case then why would old people be
    the only ones against dogs? Not that I bought into your massive generalizations
    for a second I’m just having a hard time comprehending your argument.

    I’m fairly certain the only impetus to the building pursuing
    an illegal dog owner is a complaint stemming from a neighbor. This could be due
    to incessant barking or other incidents indicating a lack of proper training.
    This would then characterize the dog as a nuisance to its neighbors and warrant
    removal. In one of these cases the dog attacked another dog. If an incident
    such as that doesn’t give the building the right to remove the animal then what
    would? What if the dog mauled a child in the elevator, would that be enough or would
    they still claim discrimination then. These people are leeches on the co-op and
    have no interest in “cooperative living,” they’d rather bleed the co-op dry and
    stir controversy to defend their own indiscretions. Good riddance I can’t wait
    till they lose again, their entire defense is steeped in ambiguity.

  • MarkBLES

    Way to censor me Litvak, you’re a joke, you dont represent the LES you represent the interests of the real estate companies that bankroll your site and destroy the real LES.

  • MarkBLES

    Wait
    let’s get this straight, old people are the only ones who complain about dogs
    yet you claim that old people are the prime beneficiaries of having dogs. If
    that was the case then why would old people be the only ones against dogs? Not
    that I bought into your massive generalizations for a second I’m just having a
    hard time comprehending your argument.

  • MarkBLES

    Except East River won the case…. its the defendants that insist on perpetuating the legal battle, where’s the outrage at them? East River can’t help if they decide to continuously sue us however board and management do have an obligation to shareholders to address nuisance dogs, especially when they are reported by law abiding neighbors. I do agree that a monthly dog charge would be a good solution.

  • MarkBLES

    Further, even if a policy were implemented (even regulation is a highly divisive issue, some people just don’t want them) what would stop nuisance dog owners from suing the co-op in the EXACT same fashion by claiming some form of disability. This is the dangerous precedent to set.

  • Susan L

    I’m not whiny, cranky OR old. Further; how do unemployment and barely having enough to eat pertain to the East River Co-ops?! And, as I stated previously – but apparently your reading skills aren’t up to the task – there is a *written rule* for East River which states dogs aren’t allowed. What exactly do you not comprehend about that?

  • Susan L

    You don’t even *live* at East River, so why are you commenting on our co-op policies?!

  • david

    There has always been dogs at East River, it depends on the whims of current board members as to how much they want to peruse the issue. Management is only doing their job by responding, like they would w bed bugs or leaks. I do think some of this would be better handled by arbitration. For the most part dogs are not a problem. A few people do make poor choices and ruin it for everyone. Pitt bull case in point. Hopefully ER will do as it’s sister coops have done amend create a dog policy.

  • oh well

    I’ve lived on the Lower East Side all my life born and raised. I had a girlfriend in one of the buildings on Grand St. and she had a dog for many years no one ever bothered her or complained about the dog. As a matter of fact when you walk around the area all you see is dog owners and their pooches at the 7 eleven and they don’t seem to be bothered by the ban on dogs. All I hear is “I don’t want to hear the barking”. If that’s the case move, this is a city and noise is expected 24 hours a day. I think this is a rediculous battle over nothing.

  • oh well

    It’s hard to tell that you’re a dog lover… A dog person wouldn’t be so livid…Buy a home in the country where you can have all the peace and quiet that your heart desires. You live in a noisy city 24 hours a day someone or something is making a sound. I have yet to find a dog that barks 24 hours a day. And i’m so sure that you are not surrounded by barking dogs. Their are very few dogs in the coops and if a person is handicapped they deserve their service dog.

  • eastriverlife

    How is the quality of the lives of tenants improved when dog owners don’t keep their pets clean, (smelly elevator) pick up after them, or control the noise that they make.

  • eastriverlife

    Susan, thank you for saying it all for me :))