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Greenport Village extends public hearing on noise ordinance changes

Greenport Village officials have decided to extend a public hearing on proposed changes to the noise code until next month’s meeting.

Just three residents dialed into a virtual meeting Thursday to voice their concerns over noise in the village, an issue that became so contentious last summer it prompted the village board to consider changing aspects of its noise ordinance.

Last year, the owners of Claudio’s were hit with a series of noise complaints, though officials have noted that several other businesses and locations throughout the commercial are faced similar noise complaints.

“The noise that’s been coming from the nightclubs and bars is egregious and offensive,” said Flint Street resident Mike Osinski. “It’s nonsensical that people are allowed to make humongous amounts of noise at 2 in the morning, 1 in the morning. We need to sleep around here, you know. We’re working people.”

Mr. Osinski and other neighbors say excessive noise late at night disrupts their quality of life.

“The noise last year was shocking, really,” said Ellen Jaffe of Fourth Street. “Even with the windows closed, it was impossible to sleep.”

Ms. Jaffe said she understands businesses must prosper, but called for balance. She said 10 or 11 p.m. on weeknights is a reasonable time for loud music to end. “Maybe a little bit of a break on weekends, but this 2 a.m. business is really unfair to a residential community that values the peace and quiet.”

Sixth Street resident Randy Wade wrote a letter to the board in support of a stricter code. She wrote: “Businesses do not have a right to prevent residents from the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, especially when they blast loud music that keeps us from being able to sleep.”

Currently, the highest fine the village may impose is $250. The proposed change would increase the fine structure for repeat offenders to $250 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second and $2,500 for the third.

It would also prohibit music from being played outdoors, or indoors without sound buffers, between midnight and 7 a.m.

The hearing had been postponed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Mayor George Hubbard Jr. suggested the hearing remain open until next month’s meeting, which is expected to be held in person at the firehouse.

“I know the BID wanted to have some comments on this,” Mr. Hubbard said. “They were not prepared for that at this time just because of working on the parklets and everything else.”

The mayor said public comments will be taken again at the meeting July 30.