East Greenwich noise ordinance receives final approval

West Bay

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — After hours of hearings, testimony and changes, the East Greenwich Town Council gave its final approval to an amended noise ordinance Tuesday evening.

Amendments to the ordinance were proposed earlier this year after residents expressed concerns about “unbearable noise” and “rowdy crowds” coming from the town’s waterfront businesses.

“We’re basically turning down the volume, specifically the base volume, coming from the entertainment down on our waterfront,” Town Council President Mark Schwager said.

Businesses along the waterfront have spoken out against the proposed changes, claiming it would hurt their bottom lines.

During its first public hearing on the ordinance, the council decided to hire an engineer to conduct a sound study of the area.

The study showed there are a lot of other sounds contributing to the noise along the waterfront, including cars, people and the train track that runs nearby.

Despite these findings, residents who live along the waterfront argue that live music causes the most disruption, especially late at night.

Schwager said he hopes the amended ordinance will help the entire area in the long run.

“With the compromise, I think everybody is unhappy but I think it does address the biggest complaints of the residents and it also allows the entertainment to go into the evening,” he said. “We did not restrict the hours but we did cut back on the noise levels.”

Schwager also said the noise ordinance is still only a piece of the puzzle – adding that other issues along the waterfront include parking, crowd control and traffic.

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