Alexander Lemond of 94 Gardiners Bay Drive has a decision to make — either hire a sound engineer to develop a plan to mask noise from a generator or move the generator.
The Zoning Board of Appeals agreed at its April 9 work session to give Sam Case of Sherman Engineering time to consult with Mr. Lemond to determine how he wants to proceed before it hands down its decision on a requested area variance.
The ZBA had been expected to act at its April 23 meeting on Mr. Lemond’s application for variances needed to keep the generator and an air conditioning unit in place.
But a letter from neighbors Ida Marie and Edward Bottone asked for “a sound barrier that will blend with the beauty of our Island” if the ZBA approved the variances. Ms. Bottone complained to the ZBA in March that the generator, which sits behind a garage, but adjacent to the street and directly across from the Bottones’ property, disturbs the couple’s enjoyment of their porch.
Even though the generator runs only once a week for about 15 minutes as a test, unless there’s an electrical emergency forcing its use over a longer period of time, Ms. Bottone said it’s still disturbing.
The generator and an air conditioning unit had been installed on the property without a permit and contractor Andrew Clark said he did so because he hadn’t realized a variance was necessary. He had a building permit for the garage itself.
Members of the board and Mr. Case agreed they knew nothing about what kind of buffer would be needed to contain the generator noise and Mr. Case said he didn’t know if his client would be amenable to installing some kind of noise buffer.
He asked for time to consult with Mr. Lemond who will ultimately choose between hiring an engineer to install a buffer or having to move the generator to a part of his property where no variance would be needed. The ZBA said it would grant a variance for the air conditioning unit.
While the public hearing on the application was closed in March, the committee will allow additional information pertaining to noise abatement to be entered into the record at its May 23 work session and could hand down its final decision on Mr. Lemond’s application on May 28.