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Mystic restaurant draws noise complaints from neighbors

As reported in the New London Day, noise complaints are at the center of a dispute between Chapter One, a restaurant in Mystic and the Groton police and town officials. Reportedly, neighbors near the restauarant located at 32 W, Main Street have complained about noise levels at the bistro. Police stated that the restaurant's managers were receptive to working toward a resolution of the matter.

The restaurant is to submit its permit application to the town so that they can better regulate the noise levels from the eatery. Once a permit is acquired, it would detail the number of outdoor seating units that are permitted. The permit also can authorize the hours that music is played, from either its outdoor speakers or live bands.

The restaurant, which opened last year, is now open until 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and until 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday.

People have a right to expect peace and quiet in their homes. What that means, of course, will differ from a street in downtown Manhattan with all its ambient noise to a quiet, rural community in New England or the Midwest.

On the other hand, proprietors of businesses have the right to ply their trades. It's when the two disparate parties' rights collide that the trouble begins. In the above situation, it appears as though it can be resolved without too much enmity between the parties, as both seem willing to find an amicable solution. But not all noise disputes between businesses and residents settle so easily.

Sometimes the problem can be fixed if rules and regulations that are already in place are enforced by the governing body, e.g., a homeowner's association or condo board, or law enforcement personnel. Lax or nonexistent enforcement of the rules leads to unchecked violations that affect the quality of residents' daily lives.

It's never appropriate to take the law into your own hands and scuffle with a neighbor or business owner over repeated noise violations. Instead, keep it legal and deal with the violations using the full extent and power of the laws and regulations governing the area in which you reside.

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