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Dirt bike noise to be evaluated based on Stonington zoning rules

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Published April 25. 2013 4:00AM

Mystic - A Richmond Lane resident told the Stonington Board of Selectmen Wednesday night that noise readings police have taken of a dirt bike that is ridden by the teenager who lives next door shows the noise level clearly violates what is allowed by zoning regulations.

Aaron Green said readings show a level that reached as high as 76 decibels, far louder than the 55 allowed in a residential zone. He said Zoning Officer Joe Larkin has indicated that if he has certified decibel readings, he would issue a notice of violation to the family of 15-year-old Mason Fusaro.

"So now that the readings have been taken, the town should either enforce the law or explain why they won't," he told the board.

First Selectman Ed Haberek said he would ask police to submit the readings to Larkin to decide if a violation should be issued. He said he would also ask the Stonington Board of Police Commissioners to weigh in on what laws are enforceable before the selectmen discuss the issue again.

During the public comment section of Wednesday night's selectmen's meeting, some neighbors said the noise was loud and relentless while a few others said it did not bother them and they barely noticed it. When two high school students who live in the neighborhood and were attending the meeting for their government class said they did not notice the noise, dirt bike opponents interrupted and heckled them.

One neighbor told selectmen that when she tries to sell her parents' Golden Road home, potential buyers will walk away because of the noise.

But Brooke Henry, who lives next door to Mason, said the noise did not bother her and she barely noticed it Wednesday when he was riding.

Karen Fusaro told selectmen she would not stop her son from riding.

"I bought him a quieter bike. I surveyed the property. I've limited his riding. I've tried to be respectful to my neighbors. What else am I supposed to do?" she asked.

Two weeks ago, several neighbors urged police and town officials to stop Mason from riding his dirt bike around his 2-acre property, saying the noise was making their lives miserable. They asked the Board of Police Commissioners to either charge Mason and his family with a crime or enact some type of ordinance to keep him from riding.

They also presented the board with a petition signed by 32 residents asking the town to address the problem. Police have said no crime was being committed, and the town's nuisance ordinance did not apply because it only prohibits nighttime noise.

Last week, police used a sound meter to measure the noise while Mason rode. They said it did not violate state motor vehicle standards, but those typically apply to vehicles being operated on public roads.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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