East Greenwich Town Council amends waterfront noise ordinance

West Bay

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Greenwich Town Council unanimously voted Thursday night to amend the noise ordinance by lowering the allowed maximum decibel level.

The Town Council decided it would allow a maximum of 60 dBA and 65 dBC.

Town Manager Andrew Nota said the current ordinance allows for 55 dBA and 65dBC for Monday and Tuesday and 65dBA and 75dBC Wednesday through Sunday.

Councilor Renu Englehart told Eyewitness News they also agreed that, on Wednesday nights, businesses will close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. He said hours for every other night of the week remain unchanged.

Town Council President Mark Schwager said a “step down” provision would also be put in place, which means an hour before closing, the volume must be lowered and live music must end.

A sound expert who conducted a study of the noise said there are several factors contributing to the noise level, such as cars, people and the nearby train.

Residents who live along the waterfront argue it’s the music that causes the most disruption, especially late at night.

“It’s in some ways a good problem to have. People want to live down there, businesses want to move down there. It’s really just mediating between competing considerations,” Schwager said.

The owners of BLU on the Water spoke at the meeting and claim that with the way the proposal is currently written, they wouldn’t be able to have live music at all.

“We are concerned about hurting businesses, but we hope that they can continue to be successful and have some ability to address the complaints of the residents,” Schwager said.

The Town Council also wants to make it clear that while this ordinance focuses on the waterfront, it stands for the entire town.

The proposal still needs to go before a third vote for final approval. Nota said that meeting will likely take place sometime in November.

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