Should the Noise Bylaw Be Amended?

Sunday, 26 April 2015 08:17 Written by  Alexandra Grabbe

4262015 Image1Above, the Wellfleet Gardeners weed, scratch the soil, and dig in an volunteer effort to beautify the intersection of Main Street and Route 6.



Their concentration, dedication, and, complete silence got me to thinking about how we all do our best to live together in town, in peaceful coexistence.  Why was I thinking this?  Because Town Meeting takes place on Monday and the warrant contains several controversial articles.  The most controversial, 46, is about noise. In fact, as you drive through Wellfleet, you see signs urging a NO vote.  This is a petitioned article, which means a group of Wellfleetians cares enough to have requested its presence on the warrant.  The article proposes changes to a “noise bylaw” already in place.


My position on noise?  I understand why certain residents feel they have reason to complain.  In summer, especially on Independence Day weekend, we have new neighbors who live several lots away and always entertain.  Their house, a second home, fills with friends.  Some people have very loud voices.  The radio blasts until past midnight.  The wind carries the music and conversation to every household in the valley below their home.  In winter, the woods are practically deserted.  This quiet is one of the reasons people seek out Wellfleet for a haven from city noise, both as vacationers and as new retirees.  So, the invasion of these noisemakers does feel like a shock.  It remains, however, an inconvenience, since occasional.



The noise happens every weekend downtown.  Wellfleet Recreation organizes parties, with bands, on Saturday nights.  The parties end at 10 or 10:30 sharp, but the sound carries all the way into our woods throughout the evening, so it must be endured, in the village, on a regular basis in summer. The bands that play at Oysterfest also can be heard here in the woods, half a mile away.  Sometimes I feel obliged to apologize to our guests, but usually I simply suggest they go down and join in the fun.



Restaurants, like Pearl and Wellfleetian, offer bands, too.  It has often occurred to me that the folks who live nearby are awfully tolerant of noise.  So, I understand the motivation for this warrant article, which is opposed by the Selectmen and the Bylaw Review Committee.



There has been a lively discussion on Facebook:


  • I hope they didn't inadvertently forget any noisemakers they might want to control – Do we need baby muzzles?
  • So, do we all get arrested if we attend the Pearl to listen to the music????? What if we go to the square dance?  Will we be arrested there too?
  • Wellfleet is an arts town. Music is part of our charm. Cannot allow big brother to start taking this treasure and all our talent from us. Vote NO.
  • Phonograph? Kind of tells you how old these petitioners are.


I do not think this warrant article will pass.  How do you feel about noise in town?

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