DRYDEN — A new noise ordinance will become a tool for residents in the Snyder Hill Road and Besemer Road area of Dryden to use in their neighborhood battle with a firing range.
“I live near this — I won’t call it a rifle range, it’s semiautomatic machine gun fire — and it destroys the ability of everybody within a mile to peacefully enjoy their own yard,” said Peter J. Davies of 755 Snyder Hill Road.
He and others previously commented on the noise ordinance during a public hearing in December. That hearing was extended to Thursday, when town board members voted unanimously to enact the ordinance.
“It’s a terrific resolution and I continue to support it very much,” said Martin Hatch, who had also commented during the December meetings.
However, town Supervisor Jason Leifer said the original idea for the noise ordinance didn’t stem from what was happening in the Snyder Hill Road area, but rather complaints from people regarding parties at short-term rental homes in the town.
The town of Dryden is now working to prevent unauthorized rentals being used for Airbnb or other short-term rental services after the town enacted regulations on short-term rentals earlier this month. More than 300 short-term rentals in Dryden are listed on Airbnb.
Discussions are ongoing with the board on whether to amend the ordinance to include renewal of permits for short-term rentals being denied due to noise ordinance violations.
The law would extend noise ordinance rules the town originally had in place for industrial and commercial properties to residential areas. The law would find someone had violated the ordinance if the noise was unreasonable.
A given example was that it’s reasonable to expect to hear gunshots during the day if someone is out hunting but not reasonable to hear such a thing at 10 p.m.
Davies said such noise from a semiautomatic gun is unreasonable in a residential setting and that the semiautomatic weapon is fired in multi-firing bursts, often over a period of 30 minutes to an hour at any time during daylight hours.
A sheriff’s deputy would respond to the complaint, determine whether the noise was unreasonable and issue a ticket for the person to appear in town court.
The fine ranges from up to $500 for the first offense, six months in jail or both to up to a $2,000 fine, six months in jail or both for a third offense in five years.