Tupper Lake reviews local noise ordinance

TUPPER LAKE – The village board is going to rethink how police handle noise complaints.

During Monday night’s board meeting, village resident Ron LaScala urged the board to consider taking a look at the Peace and Good Order ordinance.

“As it reads now, there’s no time limit,” LaScala told the board. “If your neighbor has a problem with you doing something in your yard before 10 o’clock, they call the police and the police show up at your house. I’ve had this happen twice now.”

LaScala told the board police showed up at his house at 9:45 p.m. Aug. 16 after a neighbor complained that he was using a power saw.

“I work a lot, and I’d like to be able to work on my property until 10 o’clock at night,” LaScala said. “The police were great, I just don’t want them showing up at my house because somebody has a problem with me cutting a board.”

LaScala said the law was poorly written, and added that it should be changed to reflect a quiet time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Police Chief Eric Proulx told the board the law requires police to respond to every noise complaint, regardless of the time. Establishing quiet hours could mean a decrease in the number of times police have to respond to such complaints.

“If I remember right, the ordinance was written that way because the majority of the population in Tupper Lake worked shift work, and a lot of people who worked straight nights were complaining about having to listen to people doing work during the day, when they were trying to sleep,” Proulx said. “When the ordinance was drawn up, I remember the conversation was that it was just going to be open-ended. If it’s bothering you, come and complain about it, and if you want to sign a statement that the person is making noise and it’s bothering you, that’s your right.”

Proulx added that the local law also states that the court has to consider the time of the offense, the duration of the offense and the type of offense, meaning someone arrested per the local ordinance could still be found not guilty by the court.

LaScala argued that residents shouldn’t have to face arrest for noise complaints that occur during the day.

Village Trustee Rick Donah, who owns P-2’s Irish Pub, sympathized with LaScala.

“It brings questions to my mind because of the business that I operate and the fact that people could easily call and complain about noise on a consistent basis,” Donah said. “I think we’re fortunate that people support our businesses endeavors down there, but there is no time cutoff, per se.”

Mayor Paul Maroun said the board will read over the law before deciding how to proceed.

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdaily