Officials considering noise ordinance

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NAUGATUCK — Manuel Santos usually enjoys his neighborhood in the Maple Hill area, except when his neighbor turns on his lawn mower.

Santos, who lives in a middle-to-upper-middle-class neighborhood on Alison Avenue, appreciates the fact that his neighbor cuts his grass. It is time of day his neighbor fires up his lawn mower and/or tractor that has Santos upset.

“It’s usually between 8:30 and 9 at night,” Santos explained at the Board of Mayor and Burgesses meeting Tuesday at Town Hall.

Now, he is trying to get some help from the borough.

For years, Santos said he tried to discuss the issue with his neighbor and get him to mow at an earlier time. When that didn’t work, Santos, who has a school-aged daughter, went looking for a town-wide noise ordinance. He found there is virtually nothing on the books to address his situation. Now he is proposing a change to the ordinance.

The current ordinance states, “no person shall utter any loud and indecent or loud and obscene language, or make any noise by outcry, or boisterous singing or shouting, or by blowing any horns, or using any megaphone, loudspeaker, or amplifier, whether electronically operated or otherwise, within any street or public place or adjoining the same, nor within hearing distance of any church or public meeting.”

Santos, who said he’s a police officer in another community, has investigated noise ordinances in other communities. On Tuesday, he handed officials a sample 12-page noise control ordinance.

The purpose of the proposed ordinance states, “it is recognized that people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound and vibration that may jeopardize their health or safety or welfare or degrade the quality of life. This chapter is enacted to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety, welfare and quality of life for the citizens of the Borough of Naugatuck through the reasonable reduction, control and prevention of noise.”

It defines everything from ambient noise to muffler sounds and domestic power equipment. It describes noise level measurement procedures in detail and states procedures for bringing violators into compliance. It states the penalty for violations shall be $100, with interest, and spells out an appeals process.

Burgess Robert Neth suggested the borough consider the audience and applauded Santos for his efforts.

Mayor Robert Mezzo said the board will consider it and would likely hold a hearing before taking any action.