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Dogs Gone Wild at Coindre Hall

Owners ignore posted signs that say dogs "must be leashed and under owners control at all times."

Dogs barking aggressively. Dogs roaming in tandem. And all of them unleashed.

That was the sight Wednesday on the spacious grounds that surround historic Coindre Hall overlooking the Huntington Lighthouse.

It was a perfect day to get out and enjoy the sun. And Coindre Hall, an estate administered by the Suffolk Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, is a favorite spot for dogs owners.

Just one problem: Several signs prominently posted clearly state dogs "must be leashed and under owners control at all times." That wasn't case as owners flouted the law.

A quick walk of the grounds also found that pet owners left the pooper scooper at home.

Nearby West Hills County Park in Melville features a dog run.

But should dogs be allowed to run free elsewhere?

Is a crackdown needed on the grounds of the Huntington estate? Or should dogs be allowed to roam free? 

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edward April 12, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Brynn, can you pay for the fence? Keep you dog off his property, he pays his" criminal taxes"
Maury Muto April 12, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Ed: What makes you sure it is DOGS taking a wiz on your lawn? Are there any small children in your neighborhood ?
Gail April 12, 2013 at 04:19 PM
It was clear to me & I don't know either of them. Both Leah & Jason had the Patch Icons in their comment indicating they both work for the patch & she answered with an LOL indicating she was amused. No need to get personal, rather stick with the topic at hand.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 06:00 PM
@TSULL, I understand your concern about the dogs in the yard. however you concern about noise is unjust. If you live next to a playground would you write the town to put muzzles on the childer because they are having fun and playing, this is the same concept for the dog park. Dogs are out having fun and playing. Look we are on an island with not alot of places in huntington for people to socialize with their dogs to meet other people. This dog park allows people the oppurtunity to become a community and not a segregated area. I think Brynn's idea of a fence makes the most sense for keeping them out.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Ed why are you asuming Brynn's dog was on her property. This is a major concern with our society now a days. People always jump to conclusions without actually hearing the facts or knowing what they are talking about. Yes our taxes are criminal and if you disagree with Condire hall then why don't you come up with a solution to help people find a open space for dogs and people to roam free. Help fix the problem don't become it!
Mike April 12, 2013 at 06:08 PM
what ever happened to good old communication. If you see this happen just walk outside and ask them politely to avoid your lawn its not that hard and quite simple. Let me demonstrate. Ed could you please post something beneficial relating to the topic and not about your personal property or agenda. see polite and simple.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Jason how does one go about becoming a writer for the patch. You don't have to pay me and I can come up with catchy phrases much like you. Not sure why you started with aggressive in the first sentence. Home many times have you been to the park? Honestly? also if i would be able to report i could come up with good lines like this: "Aggressive reporters rip through small community and destory an areas credibility."
Pam Robinson (Editor) April 12, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Mike, we'd love to have you as a blogger: http://huntington.patch.com/blog/apply
Linda Otta April 12, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Actually the real story is the story behind the story. How about some real good old fashioned investigative reporting? Like how Suffolk County is paying (with our taxes) for the upkeep of Condre Hall BUT Lessings is operating a catering hall on the weekends and keeping all the profit. Talk about tax payer subsidized! http://www.lessings.com/location_home.aspx?uniid=3
Linda Otta April 12, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Suffolk County bought it in 1973. The real question is why are the tax payers subsidizing something that a private company (Lessings) is making a profit off of? http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Parks/HistoricServices/CoindreHall.aspx
Mike April 12, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Thank you for the oppurtunity Pam. I love what the patch has done to get people involved with their community. Especially when a community can get accurate and correct info on topics, it allows everyone to become well informed.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Linda, I like your style... These are the types of stories that should really be reported on... Maybe that will be my first piece. Can I add you to my by lines? :)
Mike April 12, 2013 at 08:04 PM
You know that the best thing about all of this is that it is legal to allow your dog to run unleashed at Coindre Hall. Please refer to Local Law 23-2007 Section 1, also known as Chapter 643. This is why people need to know their facts before reporting, (Insert finger pointing to the author of this post)
Jim R. April 12, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Yes, Maury because I see little children peeing on people's lawns all the time. What color is the sky in your world?
Jason Molinet April 12, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Thanks for the comments. Photos don't lie. Photo No. 2 clearly shows one of several signs posted.
Pam Robinson (Editor) April 12, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Mike, the law you cite says this (and yes, I'm a dog owner who has used this park in a way that could probably have earned me a ticket): Under "PROHIBITED ACTS": No person in a County park shall: (5) Bring in or permit any horses, cattle, livestock or domestic animals of any kind in or on any parkland, except that a dog or cat may be permitted to use County parkland on a leash, in areas designated for such use. No dogs shall be permitted off leash outside of an authorized dog run area that is fenced in, bordered by natural boundaries or otherwise segregated from other park users. Horses may be permitted on approved trails, and special permits must be obtained from the Commissioner for any events involving horses, dogs, etc. No animals shall be allowed at large except as provided in this section.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Not sure where you are pulling your info from Pam but this is part of Chapter 643 attachment 1which used to be chapter 378. There have been no other provisions since this. Therefore any of these changes have not been adopted by the legislative. http://ecode360.com/documents/SU0867/SU0867-643a%20Uncod%20LL%20Pro.pdf
Mike April 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Really? So you think that just because a sign is posted and you take a picture of it, it now becomes law, or that this sign can't be incorrect. Where is you research where is your proof that this sign is correct. Give some factual info.
Mike April 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Pam you read the original version, you left out the part where it says Amended 6-26-2007 by L.L. No. 23-2007
Pam Robinson (Editor) April 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM
OK, I'm not a lawyer but I read the amendment four times and it seems to refer to dog runs, which are not constructed. I know this issue has gone back and forth many times; I know there was some moratorium on enforcement at one point, and the LI-DOG people were very very involved in arguing for off-leash use at Coindre. The last I heard, there was simply nothing going on to enforce it. So I stand by what Jason said: the signs are unambiguous that people not following the rules risk a fine. If they aren't correct, they should come down. Every time I've gone there, there's been discussion of a crackdown and an eye kept out for uniforms. So if the law is out of date, the signs should be removed. We'll check on it next week. The most recent mention I can find, from February 2012, find says this, though I can't attest to its accuracy OR inaccuracy. http://www.examiner.com/review/a-review-of-coindre-hall-s-dog-friendly-grounds "Officially and somewhat controversially, the grounds are on-leash, though there once was a time when off-leash dogs were permitted. If you choose to allow your dog off-leash on the grounds—or any area in Long Island where dogs are not allowed off-leash—you risk getting a fine." Candidate statements from 2011 indicate that the park was NOT open to off-leash use.
Bill April 13, 2013 at 05:24 AM
When I had a dog, we went to Coindre Hall each weekend for doggy play. There were no problems and no objections. There were no posted signs relating to dogs at Coindre Hall and dogs played and owners and dogs had great times. Suddenly, signs went up. Those signs should never have been placed there. There was NO REASON. Perhaps, some jealous people objected to dogs and people enjoying themselves.
Mike April 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I think that there is one thing that we can all take away from this blog. Coindre hall is setup as a dog area and this is obvious because at some point some recognized it and put signs up. Also it has been stating in the parks system to be such a place. So therefore it isn't going anywhere. The other thing is that obviously there are a few concerns by some and these concerns need to be used in a manner to support people and the outdoors systems we have. Take the issues you are having and work with town to build a system that works. I think the amount of money that we pay in taxes should allow for a decent dog run area for people's dogs. With that said I think and have no objection to the town putting up some nice fencing to keep dogs at bay. And the best way is to fence the perimeter of the back area, not just create this tiny area that is impossible for dogs to actually run in. I was part of a community in California at created a two acre dog run area and there was never once an issue because those who go respect the rules and govern he space so that it doesn't become and issue. I'm more than happy to assist in meeting with the town or helping devise a strategy that works. Lets make our community something that people can enjoy.
Justin Thyme April 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Okay... best lines are in the two entries above me... 1. "it is you DUTY" hahaha you said doody 2. Pam's response "Keep it clean" Thx, I'm outahere
Lori K April 13, 2013 at 01:38 PM
For the uninformed - this is an amazing stretch of ground leading down to the waterfront. Hard to believe its mainly for the extreme joy of our dogs. So much so, I chose to bring my late dog back to the place she loved so much. Memories of her ears flopping as she ran freely are far more important than a few inconsiderate people who chose to think they don't have to follow the "rules". There are block heads everywhere - supermarket, on the road, etc. Sit and watch the dogs for 15 minutes and tell me it doesn't make you wish you were so carefree.
Bob Feller April 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Dogs drool, cats rule!! South Shore represent!!
Gmvaca April 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I love coindre hall ! It's the reason we moved to huntington from park slope... ! Hopefully this article doesn't ruin the wonderful dog friendly community that huntington is..
Mike O'Hara April 13, 2013 at 06:26 PM
I moved from Canada to be with my wife here on Long Island and while I do love it here, the laws about dogs are ridiculous and sad. A lot of people own dogs here and there need to be reasonable rules about when and where you can go to take your dog off-leash. For example, it is completely stupid that I can't take my dog to the beach in the middle of January early in the morning. What possible reason could there be for this? In Manhattan, I used to take my dogs to Central Park off-leash every morning until 9 AM. Hundreds of off-leash dogs and no problems. It's wonderful. What they need to do is designate off-leash hours at Coindre Hall and ask people to pay for a permit. I would gladly pay to build fences to keep the dogs off of the neighbor's property and put in some more garbage cans. The woods there are full of junk and garbage, maybe we can clean that up too. Oh and the author of this article should be ashamed for writing such hysterical nonsense. I've spent a fair bit of time at Coindre Hall in the past six months and the people there are very friendly and the dogs are highly socialized and well-behaved. Go on a weekend morning sometime, it's all regulars who know each other.
Peter Gollon April 13, 2013 at 08:44 PM
I live withing walking distance of Coindre Hall, and will stroll down there on a nice day. For many of the people bringing their dogs there, the dog is "family." Perhaps they are senior citizens now living alone, except for a dog with whom they can interact. THose dogs need exercise just the way youngsters need to run around to stay healthy, and Coindre Hall allows them a place to do so. The dog owners coming there know each other, and will usually take an errant dog owner to task if that's called for. They all have an interest in using the space in a way that doesn't jeopardize their access, or impede its use by non dog owners.
Concerned Long Term Huntingtonian April 14, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I am not a dog person but my best friend is and I have been to Coindre Hall many times with her and her dog. The day to day dog owner scene there has created its own societal rules in a very civilized way. Some folks bring folding chairs and a cup of coffee along with their plastic bags. Others just have their used veggie bags in their pockets so they can pick up after their dogs. If you are not picking up after your pooch you will quickly be reminded to do so by the other dog owners who will gladly escort you to your dog's offense and hand you a bag, if you claim ignorance. This is truly a group dedicated to keeping the park clean. Yes, dog pee is another story, but that is the case in any park that permits dogs. In terms of aggressive dog; some dogs are typical older giant beasts that lumber about minding their own business looking fierce but after a quick tour of the perimeter they will return to near the people find a comfy spot and lay down and watch the younger yippier dogs bounce around hoping for a stick or frisbee to chase or some other young dogs to zip around with. They all seen as civilized as their owners in terms of co-existing in this seemingly peaceful environment. ...con't
Concerned Long Term Huntingtonian April 14, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Every so often a well leashed dog and owner will show up and remain so, which is perfectly cool too, some just prefer it that way. Every so often a dog will be snarly and disgruntled; some owners can be extremely grouchy too. Somehow the natural ebb & flow of this group manages to get the message across, perhaps in the secret language of dogs; "knock it off, it not OK here, keep the peace" Speaking of the ebb & flow there is the lower level at the waterline that has similar rules but typically much more active dogs. Here you will find the serious runners trotting up and down the tide line waiting for a stick to be thrown, hopefully into the water to give them an excuse to swim out to get it. Some dogs just live to swim, always a frightening prospect for fancy poodle owners who are among the most prolific swimmers of all. All in all, the entire dog/dog owner scene at Coindre Hall is extremely positive, very civilized and represents the very best of our community. I only wish that other aspects of our lives could be this nice, fair and mature.

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