Sunday, June 13, 2021


Focus on Noise Pollution

The Town of Old Saybrook Zoning Commission will consider the Smoke on the Water (SOTW) at Dock & Dine application for special exception in May. The public has voiced many concerns at numerous meetings. We want to focus on noise pollution.

Familiar decibel noise levels (dBA) are library, 35; home, 40; moderate rain, 50; conversation, 60; vacuum cleaner, 70; and power mower, 90. A noisy restaurant where it difficult to have a conversation would be approximately 85 decibels. Sound systems, bands, and rock concerts can range from 100 to 120 decibels.

With an indoor venue, these sounds are contained in the building. SOTW, however, has no walls or ceiling and would be located on a hard asphalt surface. Any noise will disperse to nearby residences and nature preserves.

The town code requires that noise from a commercial zone into an adjacent residential zone can’t exceed 55 decibels during the day or 45 decibels at night (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.). No person shall cause or allow the emission of noise exceeding 100 decibels at any time to any zone.

It’s our opinion that SOTW with as many as 300 guests along with recorded or live entertainment will be unable or have difficulty meeting these town code standards for noise levels. We strongly urge the Old Saybrook Zoning Commission to require the applicant to provide a sound analysis study that proves SOTW business operations ability to comply with the town code noise level standards. It is far better to deal with sound compliance in advance rather than neighborhood complaints and ongoing violations afterward.

Charles A. Wehrly III
Shelley-Gray Silk Wehrly
Old Saybrook