EPPING — Selectmen have decided not to propose changes to a local noise ordinance that would have made it easier for the town to fine residents with loud livestock or poultry.
Town Administrator Gregory Dodge had suggested a warrant article asking March voters to amend the ordinance that addresses the “frequent or long continued noise” from animals and birds when it disturbs neighbors.
Residents who raise livestock and poultry in areas zoned for agriculture and conservation are currently exempt from the ordinance, but Dodge proposed changing it to get rid of the exemption.
“This really addresses some issues in the northern part of town where people like to keep roosters and they crow all day and all night and there can be no enforcement of the noise ordinance because of the exemption,” Dodge said at a meeting Tuesday.
The ordinance allows the town to fine violators or find ways to address noisy animals.
Dodge told selectmen he was asked by a few residents to draft a proposal to address the issue, but admitted, “This is an off the cuff remedy. It may not be the best way to go.”
Selectmen weren’t keen on the idea of removing the exemption and voted to keep it off the ballot, at least for now.
Dodge said he would look into the issue further.
“I think we open ourselves up quite a bit if we take this off … and in the New Hampshire rural town that we are, this could open up quite a bit to take those exemptions away. I think … in the foreseeable future that somebody might have a problem with it. Somebody could get mad at somebody that’s got a cow that moos,” Selectman Tom Dwyer said.
Chairman Adam Munguia said he likes the exemption.
“I have the same issue with my neighbors, but I don’t care. I wish he would just teach his rooster how to crow correctly,” he joked.