Community residents testified in Manhattan on Monday to support Councilman Eric Ulrich’s proposed “noise” bill, which increases fines and eases NYPD procedures for issuing tickets and confiscating sound equipment.
“Inordinate noise continues to be the leading NYPD-related quality of life complaint made by residents of Community Board 10,” said Betty Braton, chair of the board. “It is our opinion that [the bill’s] passage will add another tool to the NYPD that will assist in more effective enforcement.”
Some residents testified that noise complaints, besides being a nuisance, lead to other quality of life issues.
“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,” said Peter Sammon, president of the Neponsit Property Owners Association in the Rockaways.
Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, detailed how loud parties without consequences can lead to tragic results. In a written testimony, Wendell said “inconsiderate hosts” brazenly advertise parties with Twitter messages such as “Party all night!” One such party held in March, which was publicized on Facebook, led to the death of Anthony Collao, who was beaten by several party crashers.
Many Woodhaven residents sent e-mails to Wendell to support his testimony. “A person’s home and backyard should be their haven … not a place to barricade yourself in, with windows and doors shut tight. Even doing that doesn’t shut out the invasive noise,” one resident said.
There was strong support for the bill throughout many of the neighborhoods Ulrich represents.
“This is a working class community where people work all hours of the day. There must be stronger laws passed and enforced so that people may enjoy their homes free of inordinate noise from their neighbors,” said Margaret Finnerty, president of the Richmond Hill South Civic Association.
Ulrich said he hopes the bill will help solve residents’ complaints about noise and enforcement.
“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,” Ulrich said. “This bill will give the NYPD the tools and resources it needs to ensure a reasonable level of peace and quiet in residential neighborhoods.”
by Eric Yun