Town board introduces noise ordinance, special events law

Proposed laws a product of 2013 controversy between Owera Vineyards and East Lake Road neighbors

— After months of work, the Cazenovia Town Board last week proposed two new local laws designed to maintain the public health, safety and welfare in the municipality — one to prevent and control excessive noise and one to establish procedures and requirements to hold special events.

The impetus to create the two proposed laws 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 neighbors were concerned with the noise, mostly, at the winery and that their quality of life was suffering. They came to the board for relief, and this is the outgrowth of that,” said Town Supervisor Bill Zupan.

The new laws were officially presented to the public at the town board’s May 12 regular monthly meeting.

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 so as to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare and to foster convenience, peace and quiet within the town by the inhabitants and transients thereof,” according to the law.

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.

Standards for noise emissions are set in the law for certain days and time periods within those days, and include the maximum number of decibels within those allotted periods.

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