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Council wants to hear about noise ordinance

GREENFIELD — A Town Council committee will ask for public input on Monday concerning an ordinance that would limit when residents, businesses and others could use power tools, have radios and televisions turned up loud enough to create a disturbance, or play drums or other musical instruments using amplifiers that would disturb neighbors late at night or early in the morning.

Appointments and Ordinances will hold a public hearing during its meeting, which begins Monday at 6:30 p.m. at 114 Main St.

The ordinance describes noise that would be unlawful as “any excessive, unnecessarily loud noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others ...”

The ordinance would prohibit the loading, unloading, opening or closing of boxes, crates, containers, building material, trash cans, Dumpsters and similar objects between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

It would also prohibit the use of power tools, including power saws, sanders, grinders, drills, lawn mowers and garden tools, or similar objects, between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The ordinance goes on to say that “It shall be unlawful to operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device that produces, reproduces or amplifies sound between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a real property line.”

The town currently does not have a noise ordinance.

Exemptions would include noise of safety signals, warning devices and emergency pressure relief valves, noise resulting from activities of temporary duration, which are permitted by right or licensed, unamplified human voice, parades and public gatherings that are permitted by the town, bells, chimes or carillon used for religious purposes, noise resulting from emergency or maintenance work by the town, state or a utility company, or noise caused by an authorized vehicle responding to an emergency.

The ordinance also offers a table, based on national guidelines for measuring noise levels over time, of noise level maximums for day and night. The table is recommended by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

One of the questions about the ordinance is who would enforce the new law. The fine for any violation would be $100.

All violations, according to the proposed ordinance, would be kept on record by the Greenfield Police Dept.

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