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Oneida: Noise ordinance gets first nod

The city of Oneida will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Council Chambers regarding a proposition to change the law governing nuisance vehicles and traffic.

According to Mayor Leo Matzke, his offices have received numerous complaints about all-terrain vehicle traffic bothering residents late into the evening. The proposed amended law reads that people "shall not operate any off-road recreational vehicle so as to create a nuisance."

It further dictates that "No person shall operate a snowmobile, dirt bike, ATV, or other motorized recreational type vehicle on private property within the city of Oneida between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. if the operation of such vehicle can be heard from any neighboring property. No person shall operate a snowmobile, dirt bike, ATV, or other motorized recreational type vehicle on private property within the city of Oneida if the operation interferes with any neighbor's use or enjoyment of their property."

The ordinance defines interference with a neighbor's use or enjoyment of their property to include stirring up dirt or debris that blows or travels onto another's property; impairing someone's enjoyment of television, audio or sound reproductive devices while those devices are operated at a normal level; impairing conversation with others in a normal tone of voice; noise that can be clearly heard from inside a neighbor's house or any noise of repeated or long duration produced from the operation of such motorized recreational vehicle.

Snowmobile enthusiast Pete Hopkins expressed dissatisfaction with the amendment.

"I live in the flats, and I am a snowmobiler," Hopkins said. "I came to find out what the city plans to do if I'm out on my sled and on the way home after 9 p.m., do I have to park my sled at the city limits and walk home?"

Hopkins asked if the city owned a decibel meter and if the Common Council had considered evaluating decibel levels.

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