Roslyn Estates proposes expansion of noise ordinance violations

Roslyn Estates proposes expansion of noise ordinance violations
The Village of Roslyn Estates is considering an amendment to its noise ordinance to expand noise offense enforcement. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. License:

The Village of Roslyn Estates is proposing an amendment to its noise ordinances to include a broader range of  violations such as loud music and barking dogs.

The Board of Trustees held a public hearing Monday night to discuss the amendment, which was adjourned to its August meeting.

The amendment is proposing to include “​​normal sensitivities” as a further qualification of a noise offense in the village code.

The Village is proposing a list of what qualifies as a normal sensitivity, which includes loud music and barking dogs, but Village Attorney Christopher Prior said it is not a finite list. Rather the list serves as examples of potential noise issues the Village would anticipate and therefore explicitly prohibit. Other noises not included in the list may qualify as a violation of “normal sensitivities” and decisions for violations would be subject to review by the Village Court.

Mayor Paul Peters said the Village wants to achieve a balance of generality and directiveness in the noise section of its code to allow incidents to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The proposed amendment to the Village’s noise ordinance was suggested by residents who cited disturbances caused by their neighbor’s barking dogs and loud music. They asked the Village to address the issue.

One resident in attendance suggested the board include a prohibition against gas leaf blowers at certain times of the year in the noise ordinance as well, which the board said it would consider adding to the amendment. The resident’s concern was over the loud noise generated by the gas-powered leaf blowers and the environmental impacts.

Prior also suggested that the penalties for noise violations be altered as well. Currently, all violations are $1,000 or 15 days in prison. Prior suggested that penalties could be based on the number of offenses by an individual, implementing a tiered penalty basis instead.

Since the bill’s introduction and Monday’s public hearing, board members provided comments on the contents of the bill and Prior said he made many revisions in drafting the bill’s language. Some of those revisions had been drafted on the day of the public hearing.

Because of the ongoing revisions to the bill, Prior suggested the board delay its vote to review the changes further. He said the board should have a near-final version of the bill seven days before they act upon it, which they did not by Monday’s hearing.

The board will convene again at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 21. It is expected the board will continue its public hearing on the noise ordinance amendment at this time.

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