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Noise restrictions in Antis Township create a stir with some residents

What is considered noise? Is there one good definition to explain what is considered noise, that is accepted by all?
The public comment session at this month’s Antis Township meeting asked those very questions as several citizens expressed their concerns regarding the township’s noise ordinance.
Ruth Carr attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of herself and her 84-year-old sister.
Carr explained that her sister has opened her garage for a group of local teenagers to use as a practice area for their band.
According to Carr, she went to the post office to pick up her sister’s mail, and there she found a registered letter from the township, complaining about the noise coming from her sister’s property. She said nobody had previously complained to the family in person.
“I learned something,” said Carr, “I guess you’re never too old to learn.
“I learned that music is noise, I never heard of such a thing.”
Carr’s concern was about this group of kids who, in her opinion, are doing something productive and making money.
“They’re good kids,” she said, “how is this a problem?”
Supervisor Charles Taylor agreed with Carr, saying, “I’m having a hard time finding anything to disagree with you on.”
Deb Greiner, mother of one of the band members asked, “When can these guys practice? Nobody can give me an answer.”
She went on to explain that the band practices so they are able to play at parties and different functions. She said they have also played benefit concerts, donating all the proceeds to different causes.
According to Greiner, the kids are not trying to create any problems. She said one day a neighbor came to the house and asked if the boys would not practice on a certain day because they were holding a wedding reception. The band had no problem granting this request.
Greiner said, “That’s a good neighbor.”
She said nobody had ever approached the family about the noise in the neighborhood.
“I would appreciate it more if the person would just come to us,” added band member, Steven Danfelt. “We’ve tried everything we can to try to cut down on the noise.”
“We’ve tried several different things,” said Greiner. “We put the doors up, put the doors down, used fans. There’s always going to be some noise.”
According to Greiner, she even drove around the neighborhood while the boys practiced. She listened as they tried different ways to lessen the noise.
Greiner told the supervisors she doesn’t even like the music the band plays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to practice.
“I just want an answer,” said Greiner, “What time can the band practice? But, nobody can give me that answer.”
According to her, the boys are not practicing in the middle of the night.
“We try to be accommodating to the neighbors, but nobody has come to us.”
Another citizen, James Moser suggested a possible solution if the supervisors would reexamine the noise ordinance.
“Perhaps a compromise could be added to the ordinance, a time limit, decibel levels that may not be exceeded or maximum decibel level during certain periods.”
Greiner pointed out that according to the township’s noise ordinance, there are people, groups and organizations in violation nearly every night.
“I did a little research,” said Greiner. She looked at several of the activities planned within the township and pointed out that these events would also be in violation of the ordinance.
“What about the Splash Hop, held at the pool?” she asked.
Greiner stressed that she is not against these events, but said the ordinance just isn’t clear and needs to be reexamined. She also mentioned other activities including the Fourth of July fireworks display and summer concerts held at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
Supervisor Taylor suggested that Greiner write a letter to formally request the board look at the ordinance again.