Pennington Council to continue discussion on noise, light ordinances in December


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New ordinances regulating noise and lighting in Pennington will continue to be the subject of Pennington Council discussions when the governing body convenes for its December meeting.

Council President Kit Chandler, who is spearheading the creation of the noise ordinance, and Councilwoman Kati Angarone, who is leading the creation of the lighting ordinance, briefed fellow council members and the public on the progress of the draft ordinances at the Council’s Nov. 7 meeting.

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“You can see in the draft light ordinance there are a lot of open questions there,” Angarone said. “I’m not sure how it meshes, because I used a community out in California. There are a couple things we really need to dig into before it is ready for primetime.”

Both ordinances will be part of Council discussion at the next Council meeting on Dec. 5. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

“As I mentioned before there are two directions with the noise ordinance,” Chandler said. “There is the decibel direction, where you set certain decibel levels that are acceptable or there is the time allotment that certain noises or certain activities are allowed within time zones.”

The decibel level regulation option was not feasible due to a lack of resources of a noise officer and decibel equipment, she said, which left the allowable hour’s ordinance.

Chandler noted the current noise ordinance is “very old and very short.” The ordinance she has led to put together “has a lot more definitions and describes more.”

The draft noise ordinance allows for certain noises during time periods through each day of the week.

“When we are writing a noise ordinance or any ordinance, we cannot have one set of rules that applies to landscapers and one set of rules that applies to homeowners. We can only have one ordinance that fits for everybody,” she said.

The draft ordinance discussed at the meeting had time periods of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and shorter times on New Years Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, for landscaping and leaf blowers, according to Chandler.

“This ordinance is very similar language used by Hopewell Borough and Princeton. I don’t think the hours limited are much different than what is in our current noise ordinance,” she said. “It is just more specific to what the noise is.”

Councilman Charles Marciante asked whether electric leaf blowers are covered under the ordinance.

Chandler said she “does not differentiate between gas and electric. It just says lawn mowers and leaf blowers.”

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