Sounds of Silence : Councillors Set to Pass Noise Ordinance

October 4, 2012
By

City Councillor Ira Novoselsky (center) cuts the ceremonial ribbon on the new, completely finished Costa Park on Shirley Avenue Friday, Sept. 21st. The park was the result of an extensive community process, with local and out-of-town volunteers pitching together to fund and build the park over a one-year period. Novoselsky said there were more than 250 volunteers who pitched in to rebuild the park. Rachel Meketon of The Neighborhood Developers said that they hope the new park is just the start of an overall effort to refurbish the Shirley Avenue corridor, including the Revere Beach Train Station. Pictured from left to right are City Grant Writer Cate Blackford, Meketon, Councillor Bob Haas, House Speaker Bob DeLeo, Councillor Tony Zambuto and School Committeewoman Donna Wood Pruitt. The park is named after Pruitt’s father, Gabe Costa.

The music blares.

It’s 2 a.m.

The neighbors down the street have been partying and blasting music since early in the afternoon.

There seems to be no respite; nowhere to turn.

You can’t sleep.

Until now.

A much-strengthened City Noise Ordinance got a very positive review at the City Council’s Legislative Affairs Committee on Monday night, with residents and councillors agreeing it’s time for people all over the city to cut out the noise.

“These people crank the music up louder than one might believe is possible,” said Councillor Arthur Guinasso. “Not only can the people in the house hear the music, but also people five streets away can hear it. It’s completely unacceptable and why we tolerate it is beyond me. There are people out there that suffer through these negative experiences and they want the problem to go away. This is a great ordinance and I hope we adopt it quickly.”

That was the sentiment around the Council Monday night as the new, detailed law was discussed. The current law is quite vague, Police Sgt. Chris Giannino told the Council, and only calls for noise levels to be below 70 dB 24 hours a day.

Among other things, the new ordinance will lower the decibel levels at night and institute fines – as well as possibly giving every police cruiser sound meters to monitor compliance.

In cases where industrial noises or other bothersome noises are the problem, the Revere Health Department will also get involved.

The ordinance came to light through the trials of Emmanuel Street resident Joe DiNunzio – who suffered for years at the hands of an extremely loud air conditioner outside his bedroom window.

He helped craft the new ordinance based on the idea that excessive noise affects a person’s health.

“Excessive noise disrupts the peace, dignity and sanctity of everyone’s environment,” he said. “Any pretext of ignorance is unacceptable. Enough is enough.”

However, it was one young family that detailed the problem very soundly on Monday night.

Selma Mandzo-Preldzic of Patriots Parkway detailed her and her husband’s battle with a neighbor’s rock band. She said that the band practices in a garage very close to her home and noises inside the house can be over 80 dB – which she has tested with a meter.

All attempts at working out a solution with the neighbor, she said, have failed.

“We don’t feel comfortable in our own home,” she said. “The backyard is off limits for my baby to play in. People can’t come over for dinner because the noise inside is just too much. It’s frustrating and it does matter.”

The full Council is likely to take up the matter at the Oct. 15th meeting, and all indications are that it will easily pass.

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