2011-07-01 / Top Stories

Ulrich Sets Noise Abatement Bill


Councilmembers Eric A. Ulrich and James F. Gennaro, chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, during Monday’s hearing. Councilmembers Eric A. Ulrich and James F. Gennaro, chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, during Monday’s hearing. City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee held a hearing Monday on a bill proposed by Councilmember Eric A. Ulrich to strengthen the city’s noise code.

The new law would make it easier for the NYPD to issue tickets and confiscate sound equipment when dealing with residential noise disturbances, which continue to be the number one quality of life complaint among residents and currently often go unresolved when residents submit 311 complaints.

The hearing included testimony from several council members regarding excessive noise in the communities they represent. In addition, Betty Braton, chair of Queens Community Board 10, and Maria Thomson, president of the 102 Precinct Community Council, testified in person about the need to strengthen the noise code, and several community organizations submitted written statements (see below).

Following Monday’s oversight hearing, which was held to gather testimony and feedback on the proposed law, the Environmental Protection Committee will take the matter up again at a future meeting.

Ulrich said, “This is a very important issue, not only in my community, but throughout the city. Unlike other quality of life issues, excessive noise infiltrates homes and impacts people on a very personal level. This bill will give the NYPD the tools and resources it needs to ensure a reasonable level of peace and quiet in residential neighborhoods.

“Inordinate noise continues to be the leading NYPD-related quality of life complaint made by residents of Community Board 10. Our residents have been complaining vociferously about inordinate noise …for more than a decade. It is our opinion that [the bill’s] passage will add another tool to the NYPD that will assist in more effective enforcement,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10.

Peter Sammon, the president of the Neponsit Property Owners Association, said, “Noise problems in the city are a major quality of life issue and I commend you for you efforts to help reduce this problem. In many situations the noise problem is just the beginning of what leads to other more serious problems and even crimes against property and people.”

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