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Town board hears earful on proposed noise ordinance and special events laws

— One month after the Cazenovia Town Board officially proposed new town laws to prevent and control excessive noise and to establish procedures and requirements to hold special events, numerous town residents and business owners attended a public hearing to voice their concerns and criticisms of the potential actions.

Although the new laws would affect the entire town of Cazenovia, the impetus for their creation arose from the controversy between Owera Vineyards and its East Lake Road neighbors last summer due to the winery’s summer events — about which the neighbors complained of excessive amplified music, among other things, and Owera received violation citations from the town.

The main public speakers at the June 16 public hearing were Owera Vineyards officials and the winery’s East Lake Road neighbors.

“These laws aren’t necessary, nor will they improve the quality of life for residents,” said Owera attorney Thomas J. Fucillo, of Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece law firm. It was “pretty clear” that the proposed laws were meant to address Owera’s 2013 issues, but the winery has been working to improve. “Give them time … more regulation now is not what we need,” he said.

On the other side of the issue, attorney Laurel Eveleigh, of Canastota, who represents Owera’s East Lake Road neighbors, said the laws were “a very good start and a very solid foundation,” although she and her clients still had questions and concerns.

Background

The two proposed local laws, which were officially presented by the town board in May, were designed to maintain the public health, safety and welfare in the municipality.

Proposed local law number 2, “A local law to enact a noise ordinance in the town of Cazenovia,” was created to “prevent unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise levels within the town.” The seven-page law generally prohibits the use of amplifiers, speaker or other machines or devices capable of reproducing sound from the premises, dwelling or building within the town as being “unreasonable noise.” It also sets 15 exceptions to the law that include items such as agricultural equipment, church bells, emergency services noise, homeowners’ light residential equipment and noise from municipally-sponsored events.

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