An apartment building on the Upper West Side has turned into a battleground between dog lovers and haters over a set of new restrictive rules, the likes of which haven't been seen since the Reign of Terror. Dog owners at One Lincoln Center, a 43-story condo tower across from Lincoln Center, are appalled at their condo board's attempts to ban certain breeds, and fine them $250 for breaking any of their rules. "There's a rush to impose these Draconian rules. They haven't been thought out. This is a form of prejudice. These people do not like dogs," said resident and dog owner Kevan Cleary.
Angry residents greeted board members last night after a three-hour secret meeting, in which the 10-member board, only one of whom owns a dog, may or may not have voted on the new rules. "It's an autocratic, dictatorial-like decision process," Nick Santino, 45, owner of a Staffordshire terrier, told the Daily News. The News explains that the board wants to:
- "Ban certain breeds, including Doberman Pinschers, pit bulls, Rottweilers and Presa Canarios.
- "Force residents who have dogs to take the service elevator.
- "Set a maximum number of hours (9) a dog can be left alone. If so, the management company can remove the dog.
- "Set steep fines ($250) for owners who violate these rules."
And to some residents, this can only be the start of something much worse: "I don't know, what could they say next, a certain age group can't live in this building? One can't have a child? I mean, where does it end, the rules?" resident Miriam Lifschitz-Daube told ABC.
Of course, not all the residents are gathering arms or preparing to storm the condo board just yet. "The building is better off with these rules. Dogs cannot have the run of the place. I applaud the board for having the courage to take up the issue. If these rules bother you, don't get a dog," said John Strupp, 41. "There are dogs bigger than kids in this building. This is about people's well-being," said Gary Hirshberg, 70. But well-being doesn't stop some residents from believing there's a conspiracy: dog owner Al Josephberg thinks that some board members believe "no dogs should be allowed in New York City...The dog haters are running the ship. It's a terrible set of rules."