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Lindenhurst puts on hold effort to write a science-based noise law

The Village of Lindenhurst was founded by Thomas

The Village of Lindenhurst was founded by Thomas and Abbey Wellwood in 1870. Photo Credit: Alexi Knock, 2011

Lindenhurst Village officials are taking another look at a proposed noise law after some residents voiced concerns Tuesday at a public hearing.

The village proposed scrapping the existing noise law, which relies on a definition of "unreasonable" noise that is defined as "any excessive or unusually loud sound" that "annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities."

Instead, village officials proposed a law with scientific standards for measuring noise. Under the proposed legislation, the village "shall order an immediate halt to any sound which exposes any person . . . to continuous sound levels" in excess of decibel levels and time periods that range from 90 dB(A) for 24 hours to 108 dB(A) for 22 minutes. The proposed law includes subsections for specific types of noise, such as sounds from motor vehicles and air conditioning units. By comparison, noise from a vacuum cleaner is considered to be around 70 decibels, while a thunderclap or chain saw measures 120 decibels.

Several residents spoke at the hearing, questioning whether specific decibel readings were needed in the noise law. Civic leader John Lisi said the existing law gives the village "more latitude" in addressing noise complaints. "It gets a little confusing when you try to pin it down to these decibel levels," added resident Dunstan Bradley.

Residents said that they wanted to learn more about the specifics of the law and asked the village board to hold off on approving the legislation until more discussion takes place.

Mayor Tom Brennan agreed and the bill was not put up for a vote at the board meeting that followed the hearing. Village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the village will continue to receive written public comments on the proposed law -- a copy of which is available at village hall -- for at least the next two weeks.

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