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Danbury considers several proposals to beef up noise law enforcement

A number of proposals are being discussed in Danbury to preserve quality of life amid numerous complaints of noise.  Danbury has been inundated with phone calls about loud noise particularly at Rogers Park and Hatters Park.  Mayor Mark Boughton asked the City Council this month to strengthen the noise ordinance already on the books with extra enforcement options.


A committee of the City Council met last week about the matter. 


Currently, Danbury doesn't have decibel meters, and officials note that the ordinance is hard to enforce because violators often turn down the music when they see police coming.  He wants the Police Chief to look into the cost of purchasing a dozen decibel meters.  Boughton also asked that officers in the traffic division be more proactive in their enforcement.


Another proposal is to increase the fine from $25, which hasn't been looked at since the ordinance was enacted more than a decade ago.


Boughton wants a so-called Park Ranger, maybe a retired police officer or firefighter, to staff Rogers Park and Hatters Park during the summer in an effort to ensure the people who sign the field out are the ones who are using it.  They would also act as the first line of defense to against the noise issues.  He says it could cost about $30,000 for two part timers during the summer months.  Another proposal is that when people sign out fields, they also sign a document saying they understand the noise ordinance and quiet hours, and agree to abide by it.


The Mayor also wants the Council to look at allowing UNIT, the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team, to be able to issue a summons similar to other quality of life complaints. 


Boughton cited several specific incidents that prompted his request to toughen the law.  There was also an issue last year during the Memorial Day service where the music was so loud, the speakers at the Rose Garden ceremony couldn't be heard.  He recently had to tell people to turn down their music because people couldn't hear the announcements at the Westerner's game in Rogers Park.  Boughton also cited one cafe that they've been out to a dozen times in the last few years in the Park Avenue area.  UNIT and others have talked with the proprietor, who agrees to turn the music down, but then goes out and does it again the following weekend.

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