If you can’t hear the forest through the rock chipping going on in town, you’re not alone.
By Robin Jovanovich
If you can’t hear the forest through the rock chipping going on in town, you’re not alone. Indian Village residents have been covering their ears, keeping indoors, and appealing to the builder of a large home on Highland Road to end the rock chipping part of the construction, which began last summer.
Residents were so vocal in their complaints about the deafening noise that Mayor Sack appointed a seven-member rock chipping study committee last fall. The committee has met six times with the Mayor and Councilman Richard Slack and has completed their study. Among the recommendations is a 30-day maximum on chipping. (Mamaroneck has a limit of 15 days.)
While schools were closed the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and many working people took the day off, the rock chipping started up again on Highland, and was in full force this week. Several other new construction projects that involve rock chipping are set to begin in other parts of town.
While the City Code has a section on the permissible intensity of noise, which, for one, “prohibits the use of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance,” it doesn’t address rock chipping, which many residents describe as “an assault”, beyond restricting it to certain hours and days as with all construction work.
More and more residents have been vocal in their concerns that the long-term desires of the community are losing out to the short-term desires of builders, and they’d like to see the City help set a better balance of those interests.
“If we can pass a seasonal leaf blower ban, we should be able to pass a rock chipping regulation,” said one longtime resident who requested anonymity. “Developers shouldn’t have more rights than residents.”
A 30-day limit may reduce the number of egregious residential projects — in future, its unlikely that any applicant will be allowed to build a 9-foot basement that necessitates close to a year of rock chipping — is it enough, ask residents of Indian Village and other treasured neighborhoods.
At the June 10 City Council meeting, rock chipping is on the agenda. Whether the Council approves any “groundbreaking legislation”, as Mayor Sack has stated it is working on, or just a regulation with teeth, is up to the community.