2022 Resident Petitioned
Construction Noise Ordinance
Although this amendment was not submitted by HollisWatch, we recommend its passage. Language below was provided by the first petitioner, Mr. Joshua Robey.
Summary of Proposed Amendment
Hollis Citizens Petition to Add a Construction Noise Limit to the Zoning Ordinance
Starting in the spring of 2020, construction began work on a road and a multi-house development on Keyes Hill Road. This project involved using heavy equipment, including jackhammers to penetrate granite, creating noise so loud it could be heard from halfway across our town. For those living nearer the project, the noise was unbearable and unescapable. This noise, often started before 7:00 a.m, went on six days per week and lasted for well over a year. When local residents complained to the Planning Board, the ultimate result was that, because the Town has no ordinance limiting construction noise, the Board was powerless to do anything. As a result of this experience, we realized that there is nothing to prevent future developers from working twenty-four hours a day. Therefore, we support this amendment to the Hollis zoning limiting the times that construction activities can create noise that impacts the surrounding residents.
We understand some of the concerns about a town-wide noise ordinance, and so, this proposal is worded only to cover construction noise and only for developments of three or more houses. Additionally, the ordinance does not prevent construction activity outside the specified times, but instead, limits activity that creates noise impacting nearby residents. We do understand that the proposed ordinance might extend the time that projects take to complete. However, since there are several projects in the works that would take years to complete, we feel an ordinance is necessary to protect the community as a whole during that time.
Proposed Amendment Language:
[Recent development projects have caused significant noise problems for the surrounding homeowners. However, without a noise ordinance, the planning board was powerless to do anything about the problems. This amendment is not intended to limit anyone’s ability to legally build, but it does intend to enforce courtesy and consideration of the surrounding community.]
Proposed Ordinance Amendment:
SECTION IX: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Any construction activity for a project that creates three or more structures, or three or more buildable lots, may not create noise that is audible on any abutting lot outside of the hours of 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Monday through Friday. The only exception would be in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days or less while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for periods of three days or less while the emergency continues.