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Noise Ordinance Town Meeting in Red Hook last night 10/24

 
PMH
 PMH
(@PMH)
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This was an interesting meeting held at 6pm. About 40 or 50 individuals attended as well as Senator Craig W. Barshinger moderated the meeting and the Deputy Chief of Police was there for questions and made some informative comments about the complaints from folks regarding bar establishment noise. The summary goes like this-- (you will be able to find the official story, once they have time to get it posted on on the VI senate website)

There were a handful of multi-unit apartment owners and possibly a few homeowners expressing their concerns with loud music spilling out of bars in Red Hook. There were also a representative number of bar and business owners expressing their concerns about their interests of drawing in the tourist dollar and needing to make some racket to do it. The crowd was reminded that yes, this is a tourist destination, and the particular folks complaining do live in a high density mostly commercial focused area so therefore noise is going to be a consideration when deciding to live or continue to live there or to continue to operate "their" business in Red Hook of renting out apartments.

There are ordinances in effect regarding noise pollution. Bill 27-0026 and Noise pollution control act 6930, if I read it right, basically it states that a business is not to produce noise exceeding 75db within 100 feet of their establishment between the hours of 11pm and 7 am. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

The problem, as presented by the Deputy Chief and the Senator is there is another small part to the law in a nutshell is --that in order to actually prove or prosecute the establishment in question is producing db of more than 75 at 100 feet is that the officer on call would need an actual decibel meter and be trained on how to use it. The code actually states that a decibel meter will be used to determine if there is an offense.

Now for the real problem: as explained by the Senator is the fact that the $100,000 appropriated for the purchase of decibel meters up and vanished... the funds are no where to be found, so no tools for the officers to work with to enforce alleged infractions in the noise pollution act.

My take on this very informative meeting is geesh, where do you draw the line-- I mean, where does it end? There are several other businesses of all sorts operating and producing decibels over 75 within a hundred feet at any given time of the day-- just stop and pay attention and then think about it for a second --if you are looking to have a ghost town down here then just keep up on making it difficult for the business that draw the tourist dollar down here.

I know for a fact that the real estate values in Red Hook have increased exponentially in the past decade, I would guess it has to do with more than just building or subletting a few more residential units out. I would guess it has to do with the bounties that the businesses in the area help create.

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Topic starter Posted : October 25, 2011 1:47 pm
VentoGT
(@VentoGT)
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Gee, I wonder whose pocket that $100K went into...gotta love it. I know several bar owners in the Red Hook area and there are several landlords up the hill from Red Hook that apparently have nothing better to do than to complain about the lifeblood of their island. Honestly, if you want peace and quiet, move to one of the other numerous areas on the island where there isn't a concentrated commercial area. There are few places here where there is any semblance of nightlife, and that is a necessity for this island to survive as a tourist destination. Being in the hospitality industry, one of the biggest consistent complaints by guests regarding the island is "lack of nightlife".

On another note related to Red Hook, I have seen fewer and fewer police officers around the area, particularly later at night...is it going to take a stabbing, robbery, or murder of a tourist or local to put a few cops down there at night? The drug dealers have a larger presence than anyone and are laughably obvious, sitting RIGHT NEXT TO THE STREET peddling weed and coke to every passerby they see. Visitors, in particular those paying Ritz-Carlton money to stay right down the street from Red Hook, are not going to bring their families out or let their kids go spend money in Red Hook when there are 20 drug dealers all over you and not a single police officer to be seen at night. Food for thought.

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Posted : October 25, 2011 2:01 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
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know several bar owners in the Red Hook area and there are several landlords up the hill from Red Hook that apparently have nothing better to do than to complain about the lifeblood of their island.

This is a problem attitude that some of the restaurants and bars have on stx. There is a simple solution. COMPROMISE! You don't have to play LOUD music all night to get customers. After 12pm take it down to just loud, the kind of loud where people can talk without screaming. Those landlords have just as much right to make an income. On stx it's the hotels that get affected by the loud bars downtown. And now it's hard for any band to get to play downtown late because a few numb skulls ruined it for everyone. You don't have to turn the music off, just down. Never understand why adults can't compromise, aren't we taught that in kindergarten?

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Posted : October 25, 2011 2:31 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
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I have a free App on my iPhone that is a decibel meter. Did I say free? I check all the time. Maybe someone can get to Craig and have those with smart phones get the decibel App?

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Posted : October 25, 2011 4:21 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I used to be one of those landlords up the hill in Red Hook. I also lived up there. To be honest, we never really had a concern with the music at night. This was several years ago, and maybe now there are more bars, but it used to pretty much just be Duffy's that we could really hear.

What we did have a serious problem with was the preacher on Saturday morning, starting about 6:00, with hugh speakers in the back of a pick up truck, facing the hill. That went on for years. I think finally he got shut down.

How does $100,000 fanish? Wouldn't there have to be a paper trail, if someone really knew how to look? If anyone hears a more detailed explanation of that, please share it.

BTW, what ever happed with the raid on the legislature? I don't read the paper everyday, but I would think it would be big news.

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Posted : October 25, 2011 5:13 pm
VentoGT
(@VentoGT)
Advanced Member

know several bar owners in the Red Hook area and there are several landlords up the hill from Red Hook that apparently have nothing better to do than to complain about the lifeblood of their island.

This is a problem attitude that some of the restaurants and bars have on stx. There is a simple solution. COMPROMISE! You don't have to play LOUD music all night to get customers. After 12pm take it down to just loud, the kind of loud where people can talk without screaming. Those landlords have just as much right to make an income...Never understand why adults can't compromise, aren't we taught that in kindergarten?

I couldn't agree more. However, I was actually at Fatboys when one of the officers came to serve a noise complaint, at approximately 10:30PM, and it was 2 guys playing acoustic/electric guitars which were quiet enough for me to have a conversation with the person across the table on the deck 10 feet away from them. I don't think the landlords are interested in compromise but punishment and whining

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Posted : October 25, 2011 5:24 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
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I remember that preacher. Oh he was irritating!

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Posted : October 25, 2011 5:36 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
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I have one every Saturday from 5:30 to 7 Pm. Bad enough they have loudspeakers but they scream in Spanish and then another translates to English. Where they do it, by the Market, is like a bowl and the sound travels up the hill. Don't they know that God can hear them without the loudspeakers?

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Posted : October 27, 2011 12:16 am
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Saw Craig tonight. Showed him the app on my phone. Hopefully it set of a spark in his head.

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Posted : October 27, 2011 2:59 am
PMH
 PMH
(@PMH)
Advanced Member

Ronnie, with all due respect, Senator Craig mentioned and showed the crowd his APP on his personal phone at the meeting....it would seem to me that the root of the real revelation would be.... where did the hundred grand go that was appropriated to buy the official issue DB meters???? I would be certain that if an officer would use his own, personal smart phone to determine and infraction, such evidence would easily be thrown out on a technically, so whats the use in the idea of using a personal APP on a personal phone?

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Topic starter Posted : October 27, 2011 6:48 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Perhaps that app could pass muster. With smart phone technology being as advanced as it is, maybe it could be passed as acceptable (after some testing) that the app would hold up in court. Sure worth looking into

Of course....what are the chances the officer will actually be able to get a signal!.

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Posted : October 27, 2011 11:12 am
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

Juanita,

Don't need a signal to use an app like that!

jb

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Posted : October 27, 2011 12:56 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

He didn't tell me that he had it. He asked me how to get it. Strange. I suppose a true decibel meter may give you a reading with a time and date stamp, but as a lawyer would probably ask, location? It would have to include a location and possibly a recorded visual. Guess the law may not be too specific. If an officer can show someone how much above the decibel level they are, they may tune it down. I know, in a perfect world, hopeful I guess.

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Posted : October 27, 2011 3:05 pm
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