This year, the Town created a committee to research and draft a proposed Noise Bylaw. The hope is to have something that Town Meeting can vote on this spring.
As part of that effort, they are seeking input from the public on what a bylaw should/shouldn’t include. A hearing will be held this Wednesday night and interested members of the public are encouraged to participate:
The Town of Southborough is currently engaged in the process of creating a Noise Bylaw to ensure that Southborough continues to be a healthy and enjoyable community for all our residents. At the 2021 Town Meeting, a proposed Noise bylaw was discussed by residents, after being postponed for vote, the Select Board created Noise Bylaw ad hoc Committee to address the uncovered concerns and begin creating a bylaw for consideration at the 2022 Town Meeting.
The committee has been gathering information on surrounding Massachusetts town bylaws, and we are now seeking public opinion on sources of noise and noise control guidelines to begin developing the bylaw.
Please join the public hearing to discuss the Noise Bylaw and provide your feedback to help the committee create guidelines for consideration at the 2022 Town Meeting.
The Noise Bylaw initiative is in response to public interest voiced at the last Annual Town Meeting. Two of the nine members on the ad-hoc committee had put forward a Citizen’s Petition Article for a bylaw. Many who spoke at the meeting had concerns about specific language/restrictions in the bylaw, like restrictions on noise levels allowed for commercial landscapers’ equipment. But plenty, including those with concerns, advocated that some kind of law on the issue was badly needed.
Select Board members told voters that they heard them. They recommended voting against the Article and promised to follow up to work on a more manageable version. The Article was indefinitely postponed.**
On September 8th*, the board appointed seven volunteers. Members include the two main proponents of the original Article, a retired Westborough police sergeant who had experience dealing with noise complaints, and an employee at a landscaping company. [Full disclosure, they also include my husband, who argued at Town Meeting that a simpler, less restrictive version of the bylaw should be created.]
Also serving on the committee as ex-officio members are the Southborough Police Chief and a designee of the Board of Health (the Public Health Director).
Updated (12/14/21 12:37 pm): I realized that while the headline listed the date, the body of the story didn’t.
*Updated (12/14/21 2:06 pm): I initially referred to the appointment as being in the summer. While that is accurate, I do also sometimes refer to September as fall. (The seasonal calendar which identifies summer as ending September 20th is different than the school year calendar which tells us summer ends in August.) I’ve replaced that with the actual date. The committee’s first meeting was on November 4th.
Updated (12/15/21 11:21 am): A commenter objected to my initial characterization of the Citizen’s Petition Article as having failed. The clear majority of voters voted to indefinitely postpone the Article against the wishes of proponents. I considered that a failure, but others may consider it a postponement.
Updated (12/15/21 3:48 pm): I accidentally listed the time as 7:00 pm. It’s 7:30 pm.