No noise ordinance for Saugerties

noise SQThe Town Board has abandoned its proposed noise ordinance, saying it would be too difficult to enforce and would likely be abused.

That news disappointed Cherry Lane resident Warren Ferine, who has repeatedly called for town action to deal with what he calls unnecessarily amplified music coming from his neighbors, Angie and Raymond Minew.

“We had the workshop,” said Helsmoortel. “We had the visit to your neighborhood. And as you said, the noise levels were less than what the law would allow and so we’re pretty sure we’re not going to continue with it.”


The proposed law, a first for the town, would have limited sounds to 72 dB from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and 66 dB from 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. The village has a noise ordinance, but it is based on complaints and has no specific decibel limits.

Helsmoortel said one reason the town would not proceed with the noise ordinance is enforcement — the town has very dense and very rural areas, and the board could not devise an ordinance that would work everywhere.

On Nov. 3, Helsmoortel, several board members, Police Chief Joseph Sinagra and a lieutenant, measured the decibel level at the Ferine’s property line and found the levels to be between 59 dB and 64 dB, well below the limit. Inside, it was even lower —54 dB with a window open and 47 dB with it closed.

Ferine said the constant drumming from Raymond Minew’s band, 90 proof, is driving him crazy, but Angie Minew said the band only practices Monday nights for about two and a half hours.

Ferine said the band was on its best behavior when the town officials arrived and speculated the sound levels might return. But Angie Minew said the band was quieter because of changes in positioning of equipment and other accommodations made for Ferine.

“You can’t stop a noise ordinance because of one night,” Ferine told Helsmoortel at the meeting.

“And you can’t put a noise ordinance in for one night either,” replied Helsmoortel.

“What about all the other people in Saugerties that want the noise ordinance?” asked Ferine, referring to 165 signatures he had gathered in favor of a law.

“I think the time that we spent on this showed them that we did listen and we did respond,” Helsmoortel said.

“But you’re just going by one house, one night,” said Ferine. “What about all the other people that live in the town of Saugerties?”

Helsmoortel said the decision was made to scrap the ordinance because the alleged excessive noise seems to be a nonissue. He also thinks such a law could be used to fan the flames of ongoing neighbor disputes.

“I think it would be abused,” Helsmoortel said.