UPDATED: Framingham City Council Approves Noise Ordinance With Fines

FRAMINGHAM – The 11-member Framingham City Council voted unanimously tonight, October 29 to approve a noise ordinance for the City of Framingham, effective January 1, 2020.

The purpose of the noise ordinance is to allow the City of Framingham “to establish reasonable guidelines, restrictions and limitations to maintain acceptable noise conditions within the City.”

The Framingham Environmental and Sustainability Subcommittee presented a proposed 13-page noise ordinance to City Council on Tuesday, October 15.

District 8 City Council Judith Grove, who chairs of the environmental subcommittee, wrote a majority of this document.

The first violation would result in the issuance of a written warning that includes the reason for the violation.

A second violation with a 12-month period will result in a $100 and a third violation within a 12-month period will result in a $300 fine. 

The law requires residents to keep noise to a reasonable limit between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. weekdays, and 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends.

The new law also defines words like heavy motor vehicle, demolition and emergency work. There are rules for leaf blowers and snow blowers too.

The idea for a noise ordinance came about after concerned citizens, including Sean Farragher and Steve Reiter, dealt with uncontrollable noise situations near their homes.

Farragher lives by Samba Steak House on Route 9. On the weekends, the restaurant acts as a nightclub and performances often spill over into the parking lot after the business closes for the night. With devices such as microphones and amplifiers, musicians and individuals can amplify everything. The music, therefore, becomes so loud it disrupts residential abutters trying to sleep or have a quiet night. 

Steve Reiter submitted a 21-page draft of a proposed noise ordinance to the city councilors in June of 2018. From there, the ordinance passed on to several city officials who create a seven-page document. However, it was determined that this version was too vague.

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Framingham Police Department will enforce the rules and determine if an individual is in violation of creating a nuisance noise.

The City of Framingham will need to purchase noise meters, which will be used by Framingham Police or the Department of Public Works

There are exceptions to the noise bylaw:

• Transportation Systems – planes, trains, buses

• City Service Crews Emergency Repairs

• Emergency Response Vehicles

• Public Entertainment granted a permit

• City Snow Clearance

• Public snow removal equipment in severe weather

• City Street Sweeping

Below is a copy of the 13-page noise ordinance as proposed.

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SOURCE intern Shauna Golden, a Boston University graduate student, contributed to this report.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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