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Feb 23, 2010 5:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton plans public hearing on noise at the Surf Lodge

Feb 23, 2010 5:47 PM

Residents who have concerns about noise issues related to live music in the summer at the Surf Lodge in Montauk will have an opportunity to voice them at a hearing before the East Hampton Town Board when it holds a work session on Tuesday, March 9, at 10 a.m.

The lodge, a restaurant and inn that has a permit for live outdoor music, has raised the ire of neighbors who have complained about everything from the number of cars that park along Edgemere Street during the Surf Lodge’s free Sunday concerts to issues about whether the establishment’s cesspools, which are on the edge of Fort Pond Bay, can handle the waste produced from the large crowds that attend the shows, to the music itself, which neighbors say can be heard across the bay and east toward Montauk Manor.

The Surf Lodge is currently facing three noise violations in East Hampton Town Justice Court, and a section of the town code introduced two years ago allows the Town Board to hold a hearing on whether to “suspend, revoke, modify, or limit the music entertainment permit in any way” after the board is notified that an establishment has been cited for three violations.

In January, the Town Board held an informal hearing at a work session without announcing prior to the meeting that the Surf Lodge would be on the agenda. At that meeting, an attorney and sound engineer for the business presented a plan for an outdoor band shell to limit the noise coming from large musical events, but no one spoke in opposition at the time.

Soon afterward, the board began hearing from residents who wanted a say in the matter. The board scheduled the public hearing last Thursday night in response to the outcry, though some board members said that they have concerns about the way the hearing law was even drafted. They pointed out that the law requires the hearing to be held at a work session even though the board typically only holds hearings at its twice-monthly formal meetings. Board members also said that they were concerned about due process issues when they are hearing a case that is currently before a judge in town Justice Court.

The board has the option to require soundproofing to eliminate the noise issue. Other concerns from residents over parking and other issues are not currently up for discussion.

Written comments will be accepted as well until the date and time of the hearing.

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I think due process should be served before the board can allow a permit for the shell. Depending on the judges verdict, the board may have to have a hearing and decide whether to modify or limit the sound output on that site. Then approve the shell, or not.
I say crank it up...until dusk. Then kick it down a notch. As I have said before, the Surf people are going to have to expand their music schedule beyond sunday afternoons in order to get their money back.
By Ebby (75), Sag Harbor on Feb 24, 10 7:06 PM