Guest Spot: New North Fork Soundtrack: Power Tools
For years, North Fork has been an oasis of calm and tranquility where people come to relax and revel in the serene splendor of the area. A beautiful semi-rural sanctuary that is just close enough to many luxuries, preventing you from feeling isolated from the world. However, in recent years, this area is becoming the suburban hellish landscape that many residents hoped to avoid, and the most destructive force is noise pollution from landscaping equipment such as snowblowers. leaf and gasoline chainsaws.
As a student, I returned home in March 2020. I had anticipated that there would be challenges in learning and working online. However, I had no idea that my once quiet neighborhood would look like the middle of an industrial construction site six or even seven days a week. I found myself under the daily onslaught of weeding, leaf blowing, chainsaw cutting, stump mulching and lawn mowers (designed for large fields, not quarter-round lots. acre) starting at 7 a.m. and running until sunset. The noise of these machines was sometimes so loud that we could feel our house shaking. At first I thought, maybe it’s just spring cleaning and the noise will be over soon. But then came summer, fall, winter and now the return to spring. The noise has not stopped!
We cannot continue to ignore the drastic increase in noise pollution caused by landscaping equipment, especially when so many people are spending more time living, working and learning at home due to the COVID pandemic. 19. People no longer mow their own lawns for an hour on a Saturday morning. We now have industrial landscaping equipment running chronically, excessively and for hours, destroying the ability of individuals to enjoy, work, learn or just exist peacefully in their own homes!
Ultimately, just as landscaping companies and landowners have the right to maintain their property as they see fit, they can no longer be allowed to do so at the expense of surrounding residents.
Southold Town’s board of directors recently heard from the landscaping community on this issue, but did not hear from the many other stakeholders affected by noise pollution generated by property maintenance. Page 154 of the recently adopted master plan explicitly states the city’s intention to reduce the impact of noise pollution in residential areas. This plan took 11 years to develop, with a significant contribution from our community, and city council now has the responsibility to implement its goals.
I believe we as a community must urge the Southold Town Board of Directors to take legislative action and restrict the use of gasoline leaf blowers. Many communities across the United States, including Southampton Village and East Hampton Town, have successfully implemented legislation to address noise pollution caused by leaf blowers and other lawn care equipment. I hope Southold Town will follow their lead and take action before we are taken over by the increasing suburbanization of North Fork. If we lose our calm and the symphony of our lives here becomes a constant onslaught of power tools, North Fork’s most magical component will be gone forever.
If you are concerned about this issue and would like to see a change, contact the Southold Town board members and voice your concerns. You can find their contact details online.
The author is a 2016 graduate of Greenport High School and a 2020 graduate of Union College, where she earned a degree in biology and music. While at Union College, she was selected as a University Innovation Fellow by Stanford University.