Newstead residents gave their town leaders an earful Monday night about a proposed amendment that would set a limit on noise and times for special events.
The issue drew numerous residents who have complained about concerts at Braun’s Concert Cove. The venue has been a point of contention for nearby residents since the concerts began last year.
The public hearing, which lasted an hour, allowed citizens to comment on Local Law 4, which would amend the town’s Special Events Law.
Residents living in close proximity to Braun’s, especially in Quarry Hill Estates, have been driving the changes to the Special Events Law, based on the noise from concerts there.
The proposed law looks to set a limit of 95 decibels for special events in the town, which led Kelly Schultz, owner of The Great Pumpkin Farm, to ask if his pumpkin cannon and amusement rides could be shut down, if they are deemed to be too loud.
“I’m concerned, with the noise that stuff puts off, that someone could come around and measure it and say, ‘Wait a second, this is more than 95 decibels. You can’t shoot that pumpkin cannon anymore, and you can’t run those rides anymore,’ ” he said.
“I just don’t want someone to come along and say you can’t do it.”
Town Supervisor David Cummings said the law needed to be refined.
“If you’re shooting that cannon off for 10 hours straight, then we have an issue,” he said. “If you’re shooting it off for a half hour or so, we don’t have an issue. We need to clarify that.”
A contingent of residents who support Braun’s was also in attendance and voiced support for the venue.
“Braun’s promotes Main Street development,” said Newstead resident Michael Schilling. “Yeah, it can be a little noisy, but it’s something you have to deal with.”
Quarry Hill resident Dick Sutton thanked the board for bringing the proposal forward for a public hearing but was skeptical on the changes the law would make.
“If this goes through, am I still going to have to go through what I went through last summer?” he asked, referring to the noise from concerts at Braun’s.
At several points during the hearing, Cummings had to remind people to address the board and not other residents in attendance.
Braun’s business manager, Larry Altieri, said the bar and concert venue was working with the board as much as possible to alleviate residents’ concerns about the noise.
“We’re a business, a venue,” he said. “It’s not a malicious thing. We’re trying to work with people. We’ve controlled everything we could to be a good neighbor.”
Another public hearing on the proposed hearings will be held at a future date, taking into account all of the comments heard during the hearing, Cummings said.