Larchmont's rules about noise.

As our world gets louder and louder, it might be a good time to review Larchmont's noise statutes. With particular emphasis on offensive sounds. Meaning anything from loud music to Joy Behar. 

So read on to see what laws have been created to stop the racket, the jackhammers and the leaf blowers. That have everyone on your street using sign language to communicate. So that you and your neighbors look like the road company of Children Of A Lesser God.

Here's what you need to know.

First, those offensive noises, which most people agree are very subjective. You might think an offensive noise is a motorcycle zooming down your street. I might say it's anything by Nickelback. What does Larchmont think it is?

An "Offensive Noise" is something of "such character, intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the health or life of an individual." As you might imagine, this applies not just to sounds but to people as well. Maybe this describes one of your in-Laws, for instance. So, this definition is very fluid.

Now, you might wonder, does Larchmont enumerate these offensive noises? I wasn't able to answer this until I looked up "enumerate." But now I can give an unqualified "yes!"

One of the more illegal sounds is, "the loading or unloading of vehicles." There is a big difference, by the way. Particularly when it's your car.

You can't use any instrument "with such volume" that it exceeds "sound pressure levels." And please, no more guitar solos in the vein of Yngwie Malmsteen. We just got the window of the bank fixed.

Also illegal is the "continuous barking of a dog." Actually, the site reads "harking." So, if you have a dog who actually does Shakespeare, we might cut you some slack. 

Of course, there are finally laws that apply to that .357 Magnum of gardening tools, the Leaf Blower.

They (and other internal combustion engines) may be used Mondays and Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and Sundays and holidays between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. These don't seem very tough. Even if it does say in parens, "If you do use a leaf blower on Sunday, woe unto you scribes and Pharisees." 

Which actually has had a chilling effect on people. And they've turned those things off and walked away.

Loudspeakers are, uh, addressed as well. You can't use them either, unless they're for Civil Defense drills or announcing sporting events. But, a warning. If you're calling a race, the horses better still be there when the authorities arrive. Otherwise, you will be fined. Not to mention you'll have to do 3 days observation.

If a dog "barks, whines, lows or makes any other noise continuously for 10 minutes"? He probably lives next to me.

Finally, if noises emanate from "parades and sirens and whistles used by the Fire or Police Departments," there will be exceptions made for these sounds. So, for you partiers, just make sure you get your guests into some kind of uniform before the cops get there. And they'll leave you alone. Or they may even join you. But either way? Party is so on!


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