Dog owners and the city of New Rochelle have settled the lawsuit over the Ward Acres dog walking ordinance. After a year and a half of litigation which went up to the Appellate Division in Brooklyn and back, the city has agreed to eliminate the fees and special licensing required to walk a dog on a leash in Ward Acres' parkland.
The settlement grants the primary objective of the litigation and restores the 62 acre park to its rightful status as a free municipal park.
The city will continue to charge a fee for using the 3 acre dog run - just as the city can charge for use of facilities like a tennis court or a swimming pool. The city has agreed, however, to charge dog run fees on a household rather than per dog basis, so this change effects a fee reduction for anyone with more than one dog.
But this case was about more than just dogs. In these times of economic hardship when many towns might be tempted to charge fees for ordinary activities in their public parks, it is more important than ever to stand up for NY's honorable tradition of free public parks.
Read the full press release at http://www.welovewardacres.net
Jeff and Lulu