Bethlehem noise law support loud and clear

The task force created to assess Bethlehem's need for a noise ordinance unanimously voted to recommend a new noise law to the town board. The official recommendation is expected to be on Town Board meeting agenda in August.

The Town Board created the task force on Sept. 9 to complete an overview of the community's needs, to research the different aspects of a possible noise ordinance, and then, after public review, provide the Town Board with a proposed draft noise ordinance.

Councilman Sam Messina is the town board's liaison for the task force, which also included community representatives Jennifer DeFranco and Robert Jasinski; Bethlehem Deputy Police Chief Tim Beebe; and town code enforcer, Gil Boucher.

In a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, May 29, led by the task force, a few dozen people listened and gave feedback on the details of a possible town ordinance. Only two residents who attended the meeting said they were opposed to the town adopting a new noise law.

Messina said the task force has received 16 official comments, as well as at least 40 e-mails and letters.

Almost all of those were supportive of the noise ordinance, he said. "My feeling is that there is nothing left to do but to recommend this to the Town Board."

Only two residents out of a crowd of three in attendance spoke at the task force's Tuesday, July 15, meeting, where it voted to recommend the noise ordinance at the Town Board's next public meeting.

One resident spoke in favor of a new noise law and one spoke against it.

Elissa Zwiebach said she was against a town noise law and that the task force should take the different styles of housing throughout Bethlehem into account.

"I think there's really a fine line between where you're helping people and where you're limiting people's lives. It's [the proposal] something that's regulating people's lives," Zwieback said at the meeting. "Any kind of multiple dwelling, because of however it was constructed, there is going to be a certain amount of noise."

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