3 hearings, back to back

The countdown is running on a series of public hearings on noise, deer fences and parking in Southold Town.

Three hearings are set for Tuesday, Oct. 5, beginning just after 7:30 p.m. The first, and perhaps the most controversial, will be on the Town Board’s proposal for the first-ever Southold noise ordinance.

The proposal would limit noise to 65 decibels at the noise-maker’s property line between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Noise outside those hours would not be allowed to exceed 50 decibels.

Aimed at curbing loud amplified music, the law would exempt construction noise, church bells, snowblowers, outdoor residential equipment, agricultural equipment, non-amplified noise from athletic events, legal fireworks displays and fire engines responding to calls.

Violators would pay a fine not to exceed $500 after conviction on a first offense, and a fine not to exceed $5,000 after conviction for a third violation within 18 months.

Some residents have expressed concern over the past several weeks that the penalties could be negotiated down from the fees listed in the law, while others have said that the law would be too restrictive for live music events.

The second public hearing, immediately after the noise law hearing is concluded, will be on a law that would allow eight-foot deer fences on residential and commercial properties. Currently, the town allows deer fences only on agricultural properties, but as the deer population has exploded, many people have found that the animals are ruining their gardens and landscaping as well as leaving behind disease-carrying ticks.

The proposal would require that fences be made of woven wire fence fabric instead of wood or other materials that are more visually obstructive. It would allow fences only along the side and rear yards of properties and across side yards at the rear of houses to create backyard enclosures.

The third hearing will be on a proposal to limit parking at the end of Mill Lane, on the west side of Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic, after a summer in which nearby residents say their streets were overflowing with cars on sunny days. They belonged to people who do not have town beach parking stickers and so cannot park in the town lot at the end of the road.

If adopted, the law would require town permits for cars parked between the road end at the beach and Second Avenue. No parking would be allowed between Second and Miami avenues.

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