Town considers rules dealing with noise
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.