East Lyme selectmen pass noise ordinance

East Lyme — The Board of Selectmen voted Wednesday to adopt a townwide noise ordinance.

The ordinance specifies what decibel levels are acceptable but also provides exceptions for such things as emergency vehicles and trains.

The ordinance is set to become effective May 15 to allow time for training of police officers and the purchase of equipment to detect noise levels.

Many residents spoke out both in support of and in opposition to the ordinance at a previous public hearing. The hearing and earlier board meetings covered topics that ranged from how to enforce the proposed ordinance to whether or not existing laws could resolve situations of excessive noise.

The board decided Wednesday on an enforcement policy that would allow police officers to issue an infraction ticket according to state statute.

First Selectman Paul Formica, Rose Ann Hardy and Kevin Seery voted in favor of the ordinance. Holly Cheeseman opposed it, and Mark Nickerson abstained. Rob Wilson was absent.

Cheeseman said she sympathized with the resident, Bob Scheel, who brought the issue to the board’s attention, after he felt bothered by neighbors who he said were disruptive on their ATVs. But she said an additional ordinance would not stop someone intent on making noise.

Nickerson abstained because he said he could see both sides of the argument for and against the ordinance.

In support, Formica cited the ordinance’s intent to promote quality of life in town “through the reduction, control and prevention of excessive noise and vibration.”


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