Town con­sid­ers rules deal­ing with noise

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

The Town Board is con­sid­er­ing how to give po­lice the abil­ity to deal with dis­putes aris­ing from noise that dis­turbs neigh­bors.

At a meet­ing Wed­nes­day, Su­per­vi­sor Fred Costello said noise com­plaints have in­creased with the rise in short-term rentals ar­ranged on­line.

“Over the course of the past 11 months, ... we’ve been solicited about noise com­plaints,” he said. “This year, I think, a lot of com­plaints have come due to peo­ple us­ing their prop­erty as a venue for rentals and for short-term va­ca­tion rentals.”

Among the is­sues be­ing con­sid­ered are whether deci­bel lev­els or an­noy­ance fac­tors in­volv­ing the type of sounds be­ing emit­ted should be reg­u­lated.

“A nui­sance pro­vi­sion would be an ad­di­tional tool for the Po­lice Depart­ment to use if gath­er­ings are in­volved with the excessive noise,” town at­tor­ney John Greco said. “There’s also a pro­vi­sion un­der the pe­nal law of pro­hibit­ing dis­or­derly con­duct, which is an­other tool the Po­lice Depart­ment could use.”

Greco said some mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have lost chal­lenges to noise or­di­nances be­cause reg­u­la­tions were not spe­cific enough about sound lev­els.

“The ques­tion with th­ese noise or­di­nances be­comes ... does it give ob­jec­tive stan­dards that a com­plainant or the po­lice can rely on in de­ter­min­ing whether or not a vi­o­la­tion has oc­curred,” he said. “What the courts do not tol­er­ate is a to­tally sub­jec­tive stan­dard, with no pre­ci­sion of what con­sti­tutes un­law­ful or un­rea­son­able or un­nec­es­sary noise.”

Of­fi­cials said the town or­di­nance should be con­sis­tent with ex­ist­ing vil­lage rules that could af­fect peo­ple on both sides of the vil­lage-town bound­ary.

“When we’ve been hear­ing from the cit­i­zens about Airbnb’s and par­ties just show­ing up in their neigh­bor­hood, the po­lice ac­tu­ally need some ... teeth to work with,” Coun­cil­man Michael MacIsaac said.

Board mem­bers re­quested that a noise law be drafted for re­view at a meet­ing in the near fu­ture.

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