Hudson resident speaks up about noise

HUDSON – First his house started to vibrate and then Hal Kreider said he couldn’t even talk on the phone because the noise from a nearby development was so loud.

When work with a drill continued on Saturday and Sunday, he had enough.

Kreider, who lives on Kimball Hill Road, has proposed several changes to the noise ordinance that he hopes will prevent situations like his from occurring again.

Other than Kreider, the Community Development Department has not received any complaints about the construction, according to director Sean Sullivan.

The work at Hilltop Estates Two started on a Friday and continued through the weekend. Instead of blasting, the contractor was chipping away at rock with a heavy piece of equipment.

Kreider said he contacted the company when it continued working on a Sunday and was told the equipment was only available on the weekend.

Meanwhile, he said his whole house was shaking and small cracks appeared in some of the walls.

“It’s like 60 to 80 pounds per minute,” he said. “It just keeps going.”

The noise from the construction was like a constant little buzz throughout his house, Kreider said.

He contacted the Police Department, and an officer responded and even used one of the town’s noise meters to measure the volume of the sounds of construction.

Although they were over the maximum limits in the ordinance, Kreider said the officer told him that there was nothing that could be done because it was after 9 a.m.

The property owner has been contacted and informed of the noise violation, Sullivan said, and has made an effort to comply with the ordinance.

Since then, Kreider e-mailed a list of suggested changes to the town’s noise ordinance. The suggestions were forwarded to Sullivan, who will make recommendations to the selectmen.

“I will review his (recommendations),” Sullivan said. “I may not agree with each recommendation.”

While Kreider may be thinking of a specific instance, Sullivan said, he said he has to think about how any changes would apply to all situations.

The selectmen debated whether to change the noise ordinance last year after a group of residents submitted a petition complaining about a neighbor’s dirt-bike riding.

Neighbors said the noise disrupted the enjoyment of their property. After the owner added silencers to the bikes, however, noise levels observed on the property did not violate the town ordinance.

Instead of changing the ordinance,police and community development departments workers were trained to use.

Some selectmen praised Kreider for making suggestions.

“Often time we get calls regarding problems. It’s not often someone suggests concrete solutions,” Selectman Ken Massey said.

Among the suggestions he has made are prohibiting construction from 4 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Monday and on national holidays.

The Planning Board has placed restrictions on hours of construction with some developments. If there are complaints on the weekends, however, responding officers may not necessarily have access to the plans showing the restricted hours, Sullivan said.

Outside normal business hours, the only source of information they can look at is the town’s ordinances, he said.

“It’s a tool the responding official would be able to utilize,” he said.

The town should also provide contractors with noise-level information about their equipment and require officers to always take noise-meter readings when there is a complaint, according to an e-mail by Kreider.

Contractors may not realize how loud their equipment is, he said.

With pace of development not slowing, it’s time for the town to take another look at its noise ordinance, Kreider said. He said he is proposing the changes to help other residents.

In the upcoming years, contractors will be working in more crowded areas, he said.

“It’s an indication of what to expect in the future,” he said.