To the Editor,
At the final Rye City Council hearing on rock chipping, council members seemed reluctant to pass legislation strong enough to restore our community’s peace and quiet. Instead, they seemed ready to favor the interests of builders over the interests of Rye residents. However, strong rules will protect all residents from deafening pounding, shaking and dust—and protect, not hinder those who are renovating or rebuilding their homes.
Take a Rye family we know who decided to tear down their house and replace it with their dream home. The builder they hired used a rock-chipping machine that was insufficiently powerful and a drill that was too small for the job, along with an operator who kept his eyes on his cellphone rather than his work. Consequently, the project took months longer tha necessary, and undoubtedly cost much more than the homeowners had been led to believe. Strong legislation would encourage builders to work efficiently, even when someone else is paying them by the hour.
Furthermore, we believe that duration-limiting legislation is not enough. A resident living next to a rock-chipping project could suffer permanent hearing loss after an afternoon of raking leaves.
This is unacceptable.
Mandatory noise mitigation must be part of the solution. This involves reducing sound by using equipment that is relatively new and efficient, muffling sound with barriers, or both.
Finally, extensions to the 30-calendar-day limit are necessary. As we said previously, no one wants gaping holes all over town. However, extensions should require stiff fees. This would incentivize builders to do due diligence, plan well and work efficiently—and when they fail to do so, it would provide the city with some compensation.
We urge the city council to quickly craft and pass legislation that will provide real protection for all Rye residents—those who want to rebuild their homes, as well as those who just want peace and quiet.
Democratic Rye City Council candidates