'Who do they serve?'

| 20 Jul 2017 | 05:22

    During the Village Planning Board meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2017, applicant John Christison and his representatives were asked about speakers and music on the outdoor 2,000-square foot decks of his proposed restaurant/bar at 16 Elm St.
    When asked if the proposed outdoor music plan would in any way disturb the surrounding neighborhood (and Committee Chair George Aulen’s residence at 148 West St., which he inquired about specifically), Mr. Christison and his team quickly responded that their solution for outdoor music volume would be to install small outdoor speakers.
    I have been in the music business since 1982, specifically in live music production all over the world and am constantly dealing with volume levels and local regulations for both indoor and outdoor sound restrictions.
    At the subsequent Village Board meeting on June 5, I offered to arrange a professional assessment study of the proposed outdoor sound plan for the bar, at my own expense, to be performed by industry experts.
    This was met with a positive response and I was encouraged by Mayor Newhard to pursue my interest in reviewing Mr. Christison’s outdoor music plans.
    I followed up on June 15 with a written request to everyone on the Planning Board for a copy of the proposed new construction showing placement locations for indoor and outdoor speakers.
    To date, I have had no response from anyone on the Planning Board or the Village, and have not received an acknowledgement or receipt of my request for plans or offer to provide a study.
    My request was delivered individually to the following:
    Warwick Planning Board:
    • George Aulen (Chairman)
    • William Olsen
    • James Patterson
    • Jesse Gallo
    • Ryan Denerly
    • Alternate: Raey Webster
    • Village Clerk Jo-Ann Rome
    • Mayor Michael Newhard
    Aside from Mr. Aulen’s interest in whether he would hear music from the bar at his own home, there has been shockingly little concern by the Planning Board about the impact of noise from the bar’s speakers in any residential neighborhood in the Village of Warwick.
    Why are Mr. Aulen and his fellow Planning Board members willing to accept Mr. Christison’s response that the environmental impact of sound on the neighborhood will be of no consequence, yet when a homeowner in the neighborhood raises concerns and is willing to conduct a sound study, the Planning Board and Mayor are not interested?
    I’m left wondering: Who does the Planning Board and our Mayor really serve?
    Gene Bowen
    Village of Warwick homeowner