Stonington task force to address noise limits

Stonington - The town has created a task force to develop a recommendation for a noise ordinance after town attorney Tom Londregan said noise limits currently in the town's zoning regulations cannot be used to stop a teenage dirt bike rider in Mystic.

Some residents of the Richmond Lane area complained this spring that a 15-year-old boy who rides his dirt bike on his property is disturbing the neighborhood. They also pointed out that the town's zoning regulations specify noise levels in residential areas.

But Londregan said a Superior Court decision involving the Berlin Planning and Zoning Commission found that state law intends towns to implement noise ordinances that are approved by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and meet state standards and not through the enactment of a zoning regulation. Based on that, he recommended the town not enforce the noise limits in the zoning regulations.

First Selectman Ed Haberek said Tuesday that in light of Londregan's opinion, a noise task force has been set up that includes himself or a member of the Board of Selectmen, Police Chief J. Darren Stewart, a resident at large and a resident of the Richmond Lane neighborhood. That task force would review ordinances in other communities and would make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.

Voters at a town meeting would have to approve any proposed ordinance, which would also need state approval. Haberek said the task force will try to come up with an ordinance that would not be detrimental to businesses and special events but protect the character of residential areas.

The town also has a nuisance ordinance that limits noise, but it applies only to noise made before 6 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m. on Sundays.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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