"I've had a lot of complaints and I want to try to make it a little better for everyone," he said.
While there are several businesses within the downtown district and along the causeway that provide live entertainment, the fact that they are offering music is not necessarily the concern, Allen said.
The businesses are in a commercial area; but along the water, sound travels.
Allen said that in the winter when doors are closed and everyone is inside, there's not as big a problem. But during warm months in particular, when doors are open or music is outside, the sound carries along the waterfront and can be heard by residents a considerable distance away, he said.
When it goes on into the late hours, Allen said it becomes a nuisance to residents.
"They are hearing it at
The current noise ordinance states generally that it "shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to create or assist in creating any unreasonably loud, disturbing sound levels in the town, taking into consideration volume, duration, frequency and other characteristics of the sound."
In terms of live music or the use of electronic sound amplification, noise that would "unreasonably disturb" is prohibited, particularly from
Ritchie said he plans to have formal recommendations to the town board by September.
He said the ordinance now is very general and makes enforcement efforts very subjective. One of the issues he's looking at is incorporating a decibel level into the ordinance.
"Having a decibel level, the ordinance would be less subjective and give officers something definite to go by," he said.
Ritchie said the ordinance needs to be updated, but he believes it can be done to the satisfaction of residents and the business community.
"It needs to be tightened up a little bit so that there is a better understanding (of what is considered) a violation," he said.
Ritchie estimates the police department sees an average of 12 or so noise complaints during the summer; though that doesn't count complaints that may be lodged with other town officials.
The live music, he said, helps draw people downtown. Currently, they have live music inside the restaurant and noise hasn't been an issue; but once the town dock project opens, he'd like to have outdoor music on the dock on Friday nights.
Allen said he doesn't get any complaints about the SwanFest concert series as the performances are only held on Sunday evenings for two hours.
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