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Noise Bylaw to Go Before Voters

Milford Selectmen voted 2-1 to put a noise bylaw banning certain loud and late-night noises before annual Town Meeting voters.

A noise bylaw that supporters say should relieve problems in congested neighborhoods — where neighbors keep each other awake with parties, barking dogs and other intrusive noises — will go to Annual Town Meeting for a vote.

Milford Selectmen voted 2-1 to put the bylaw, on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting. Specific exemptions are expected to be added to reflect any concerns from the town's police chief, whose officers would enforce the new rules.

Concerns have been raised about early-morning snowblowing being prohibited, for example, so an exemption could be made for homeowners trying to clear their drives and walkways.

"It's summertime now, and people want to be assured that we're moving in the right direction," said Dino DeBartolomeis, chairman.

If approved, Milford police would, for the first time, have the power to ticket people and businesses who disturb others with excessive noise. Penalties include a fine up to $300 for each violation. If the noise is made by renters, the landlord must be notified in writing that an offense has taken place.

The new bylaw is based on those used in other communities, and would:

  • Prevent people from playing radios, TVs, musical instruments and other devices at a volume that would disturb "the reasonable quiet, comfort or repose" of people living or working in the vicinity.
  • Ban yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, singing or any other such noise on public streets or in public spaces between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Prohibit owners from keeping animals or birds that make frequent or continued noise that disturbs others.
  • Give police officers the authority to make reasonable judgements about noise. The bylaw does not tie noise to a specific decibel level.
  • Prohibits noise generated by construction, and other businesses, including jack hammering, use of power tools and idling of diesel trucks, between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Selectman William Buckley voted against the motion to place the item on the warrant, saying he wasn't satisfied that Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin had had an opportunity to review the proposal and suggest changes.

"It is Chief O'Loughlin's department that has to enforce this," he said.

DeBartolomeis and Brian Murray, who supported it, said the details could be adjusted on the town meeting floor if need be. The noise bylaw had been expected to reach a special town meeting last October, but was shelved it could prohibit legitimate noises, including students practicing instruments, or homeowners trying to use snow clearing devices that make noise, early in the morning.

Many residents were disappointed the prohibitions didn't go forward. Murray read aloud a letter from one homeowner, who said his neighbor's frequent partying made it difficult for his young child to get to sleep on Friday nights.

"It was a mistake, Bill, not to go forward several months ago," DeBartolomeis said.

David Nolta March 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM
I hope the Town will finally do the right thing and go through with this. The noise levels, and the complete indifference of the noisemakers to their neighbors' peace and physical welfare, reached new and unbelievable heights (I should say lows, in moral and social terms) last summer, in my and other Milford neighborhoods. I'm talking about unnecessary flagrant noises; I'm not talking about snow blowers, but all night parties with horn blowing and fireworks and screeching cars hitting stop signs. It's absurd, and wrong. I will never vote for or support in any way a candidate for local office who does not support a strong response to these bad behaviors.
Jack March 20, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Well said Dave. Mr DeBartolomeis was right on the money. No reason this should not have gotten done the first the around. Home owners and families deserve this simple protection from the town.
Mike March 20, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Wow, even a simple article about a noise bylaw can't get by you without some type of comment about illegals or foreigners. You stated in previous comments that you don't "hate" but are only "exposing the things that they do" but someone who devotes as much time and energy exposing and seeking out has to have a deep seated hate. You don't see people who love illegals building websites showing pictures of them waiting around for day jobs? Let's get back to the article at hand. I think it's a good and much needed bylaw.
Mike March 20, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Someone actually gave you a cable show? Do people actually watch? Bad enough reading all your rants on illegals but to have to sit and watch has to be at least 100 times worse.
Mike March 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM
And where you think it's your job to make people aware I have no clue. People are smart enough to make their own decissions without having to listen to the one sided opinions like yours.
Jim Rizoli March 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Mike.....You can watch my shows on my website....Go to Weekly Shows and the other one, yes we have two! RizoliTV. Weekly show 131 was a beauty.....got some rave reviews already. Enjoy! Jim@ccfiile.com
Jack March 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
By the way the disturbances in my area of town have ZERO to do with any "illegals" just your average run of the mill knucklehead
Mary MacDonald (Editor) March 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Every time the noise bylaw comes up, I think of this police log entry, and how it should be directed at these folks: Tuesday, May 17 12:28 a.m.: For the fourth time in two days, police responded to a noise complaint about an apartment on Poplar Street. A neighbor called to report loud music coming from a first-floor apartment. According to the police narrative: “The people were spoken to and warned. It was very loud and a lot of yelling and singing was going on. They also told officers they were having another party tomorrow and we would be back, most likely.”
Milfordian March 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM
What about those damed motorcycles. If my car made that much noise i'd be arrested.
Milfordian March 21, 2012 at 10:52 PM
What about those damed motorcycles? If my car made that much noise i'd be arrested!
Michelle March 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I agree about the loud motorcycles, the noise some of them make is ridiculous. Sometimes I dread summer because of all the loud noises coming through my open windows!
Eleanor March 30, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I close my windows and my neighbors are completely disrespectful of us-and they barely speak English. I should be able to enjoy the summer but I can't even find peace in my house with the windows shut. I'm a musician and I teach and work in my house, so the whole situation is extra frustrating. If they are loud I have to cancel lessons.
Eleanor March 30, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I had a policeman here the other day and even he seemed to voice frustration in not being able to do more about it.
David Nolta March 30, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Still with you, Eleanor. I don't think it matters what language they speak, but your neighbors sound a lot like a lot of mine. I've learned not to ask them to turn the music down or to stop shouting, because then they turn it up and scream louder. I really hope that we can get some help with this.
Eleanor March 30, 2012 at 02:57 AM
So true David. I feel like I've almost hit moments of insanity when I just want to take the hose and spray them all down. We should never find ourselves in that frame of mind in our homes. Homes are supposed to bring us moments of sanity, not insanity!
Eleanor March 31, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Mary, I have a question for you. If this law is passed in May does it go into effect right away? I would love to have it in place over the summer!!
Mary MacDonald (Editor) March 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Hi Eleanor, I'm not sure. I would have to check with the town counsel. But I know that was the intention of selectmen in putting it before voters this spring.
Eleanor April 10, 2012 at 01:22 PM
HI Mary, Any idea (from the meeting last night) if we will have some sort of noise law in place soon?
Danielle Horn April 10, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Hi, Eleanor - Mary's on vacation but I covered the meeting last night. There is a noise bylaw on the warrant for town meeting, so depending on whether voters approve it, yes, it could be in place soon. I mentioned it in my story today. Here's the latest story Mary had on it: http://milford-ma.patch.com/articles/noise-bylaw-to-go-before-voters
Sandra Malkin August 23, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I am a Milford resident home owner living on Highland Street. I have a neighbor who lives directly across from me who has parties at all hours of the night with motorcycles revving at all hours of the night on weekends AND he starts his motorcycle up at 6:00am (sometimes earlier) each morning this summer and lets it idle for about 15 minutes (this bike is extremely loud) NO KIDDING it is so loud that I have to close my windows. Whichh I should NOT have to do!! This does not solve the noise problem either. I work at night and am wakened every day by this ungodly rev rev reving of this bikeand lengthy idling!!! I want the noise ordinance to be voted in and enforced PLEASE

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