Southold Town adopts first-ever noise ordinance

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Southold Town Board members voted on the municipality's first-ever noise code Tuesday afternoon.

Southold Town adopted its first-ever noise ordinance Tuesday afternoon in a unanimous vote, becoming the last town on Long Island to limit noise within its boundaries.

The new law will allow noise up to 65 decibels at the complainant’s property line between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. At other times, noise cannot be louder than 50 decibels.

The law targets amplified music, and provides exceptions for agricultural equipment, landscaping equipment, public celebrations, emergency personnel responding to calls, and other routine daily noise.

Fines “not to exceed $500” will be levied for the first offense and fines “not to exceed $2,500” will be levied for each subsequent offense. Town Board members have pointed out that subsequent citations can be written as soon as one hour after the first citation.

“The noise code is not going to be an all-encompassing code…this is about unreasonable noise at unreasonable levels at unreasonable hours,” said Town Supervisor Scott Russell after the unanimous vote. “It’s not about weed whackers and other things you hear every day.”