Doggie pooh stench makes vacant lot a stinker

Residents who live in condos behind a vacant lot owned by the city on Outlook Avenue (above) in Spencer Estate have to endure putrid odors from droppings that are not cleaned up by the dog owners. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Despite laws against not picking up after your dog, a small parcel of land owned by the city in Spencer Estate has become a dumping ground for those who do not curb their four-legged friends.

A location on Outlook Avenue, an empty lot that had been previously filled with weeds, was recently cleared by the Department of Sanitation.

However, the small area, which some believe is part of Griswold Avenue, has become a haven for area dog owners who are not cleaning up after their pets, causing health concerns at Villa Anna, a condominium complex adjacent to the vacant land.

“I have seen the DSNY in there cleaning, but now it is all clear and neighbors are walking their dogs and not cleaning up after them,” said Robert Menichino, who is president of the condo association at Villa Anna. “I tell all of the residents in my complex to take their dogs out to the front and bring a bag for cleanup, but today there were at least four people that I saw walking their dogs on the land.”

Menichino said that in the summer, when windows and doors are often open, the stench coming from the vacant parcel of land next door often becomes unbearable.

Menichino also said that he is not about to confront neighbors from his street and nearby blocks that are walking their dogs there, but only in making sure that the lot is clear of dog waste.

Among the ideas he is forwarding is if people still refuse to clean up after their four-legged friends is to close off the property all together.

“[At some point] I think they should close it off with a fence, and lock it up,” Menichino stated.

Menichino said that he plans on bringing the issue up at the next meeting of the Spencer Estate Civic Association.

SPCA president Al Carena expressed concern over the fate of the parcel, as some in the neighborhood are worried that the DOT or some other agency might request a street opening.

“They had installed a traffic barrier, and they did clean it out and it looks good,” Carena said of the property. “We had heard it was an unmapped street.”

One passerby at the site, who did not wish to be named, said that with parking on the block as bad as it already is, the neighborhood cannot afford to have any type of street there.

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