Plans for a long-awaited animal shelter were greeted with a Bronx cheer in Co-op City.
After a raucous meeting Monday night, Community Board 10 voted against the city’s proposal to construct a new animal shelter at 2050 Bartow Ave. in the Bronx.
“This was not an acceptable site,” said Matthew Cruz, the district manager of Community Board 10. “Co-op City residents were against the site chosen by the mayor’s office, and our board voted accordingly.”
Among other concerns, Co-op City residents said the shelter would further congest an area that already suffers from heavy vehicle traffic.
Earlier this year, the city announced it would construct a $60 million Animal Care Centers of NYC facility with shelter, adoption and veterinary services on city-owned land in the Bronx. For more than a decade, advocates have complained about the lack of adequate facilities in Queens and the Bronx for stray and homeless animals.
The Bartow Avenue site is ideal for the shelter because it is near public transportation and has off-street parking, the city health department said in a statement.
“Additionally, the full-service shelter would also bring more than 100 permanent jobs,” the agency said. “The health department plans to work with Bronx residents and elected officials to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Roxanne Delgado, whose Bronx Animal Rights Electors group supports the shelter, said the borough is overdue for a full-service animal shelter.
“The Bronx has over 1.4 million residents and doesn’t have a full-service animal shelter,” said Delgado. “It’s a necessity in a civilized society.”
The community board’s vote on the shelter was just the first step in the city’s land use review process. The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will offer feedback on the plan next.
John DeSio, a spokesman for Diaz, said he has not yet weighed in on the issue.
“We look forward to hearing from the community,” DeSio said.
Then the City Planning Commission will review the proposal, and finally the City Council, which tends to defer to the local councilmember when voting on proposed developments.