Plaza’s developer settles with Howell resident over noise complaint


HOWELL – A Castle Court resident who has been dealing with the effect of sounds coming from a nearby movie theater has settled his complaint with the developer of the Greenleaf at Howell plaza, Route 9 North and Lanes Mill Road.

Castle Court is behind the plaza off Lanes Mill Road.

Resident Marc Parisi has been living with the situation since May 2016. He has previously informed Howell officials that sound coming from movies that are being shown at the Xscape Theatres Howell 14 is audible at his home.

Parisi recently settled a complaint in state Superior Court with the property manager and AAM Mill, LLC, which developed the plaza, for $125,000, according to the settlement, a copy of which was obtained by the Tri-Town News.

The issue has come before several municipal bodies since Parisi initially identified the movie theaters as the source of the sound.

In August 2017, by a margin of one vote, the Howell Zoning Board of Adjustment upheld the township zoning officer’s determination that the theater was not causing a noise disturbance at a neighboring residence.

In October 2017, Township Council members adopted a new noise ordinance that was more in line with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s model noise ordinance.

In March 2018, Parisi spoke at a council meeting about there being no shared services agreement with Monmouth County and no way to enforce the noise ordinance. Howell did not have a noise control officer who was trained and certified to state standards.

In May 2018, Howell’s municipal court judge dismissed a complaint Parisi had filed. Parisi said then that the judge dismissed the complaint because an individual he identified as the property owner was in fact a property manager at the Greenleaf plaza.

When Parisi filed complaints in August 2017, he filed them against the Xscape Theatres Howell 14 and the Greenleaf plaza, but the judge only signed one complaint against that individual in December 2017.

“When I originally filed complaints against Sun Equity Partners and Xscape Theatres Howell 14 on Aug. 29, 2017, the court clerk told me I had to name individuals, so I named the property manager and the owner of theater.

“It turns out that (information) was not true. Complaints can be issued against corporations and not name an individual. It is so crazy how everyone in this town is trying to do all they can to thwart my efforts for (code) enforcement and justice,” Parisi said at the time.

Earlier this year, in March, Parisi told council members the noise from the theaters was still an issue.

“It sounds like thunder. If you did not look outside to see if it was cloudy or not, your first inclination would be there is a thunderstorm approaching, but that is what we have lived with since the theater opened in May 2016,” Parisi said at the time.

He said he appreciated the response from the township attorney and the council members, but admitted he was annoyed.

“You guys (council members) can understand how I am a little bit annoyed that at this point the ordinance is on the books, but it is not enforceable. There is a difference between filing a citizen’s complaint in municipal court and filing a complaint with the code enforcement office, which has the jurisdiction to go out and actually issue a violation notice,” Parisi said in March.

Howell officials still have no way of enforcing the township’s noise ordinance.