By Jill Fahy
FRANKLIN — More than 100 people attending Tuesday's Town Board meeting were up in arms over a proposed noise ordinance created because of complaints about target shooting.
There was a "Don't Tread On Me" attitude among the majority of residents who showed up at the town hall meeting. About a dozen people spoke out for almost two hours against the proposed law, saying it is "ridiculous," vague and infringes on their rights.
The ordinance would outlaw noise made by things including voice, machinery, radio and the discharging of weapons for more than one hour on any day.
The legislation says violators could face a fine of $350.
The proposal was developed after several Tupper Hill Road area residents complained that their neighbors from downstate, Chuck and Nino Triarsi, make too much noise target shooting on Sundays.
Town Supervisor Donald M. Smith said the proposal was drafted by Code Enforcement Officer Paul Robinson, who used noise ordinances from several other towns to fashion the proposal.
"We don't need a noise ordinance in town, and I'm not in favor of any new ordinance," said Morris Judd of North Franklin. "Are you trying to make this town into a bedroom community? This is a farming community."
One Franklin resident presented a 220-signature petition against the ordinance. More people signed it during the meeting.
"It seems that one man wants something and the whole town has to suffer for it," said Franklin resident Warren Schliessman.
David Plance and his wife, Ramona, were among the five or six people who said the nearby shooting is disrupting their quiet lives.
"No one is going to try to stop you from trying to make a living," Plance told the residents at the meeting. "All we're asking for are a few rights of our own."
Diane Ambrose, who also lives on Tupper Hill Road, said she does not support the ordinance as it is written but said she wants the noise to stop one way or another.
"We're not trying to take people's rights away," a seemingly frustrated Ambrose told the crowd. "I just want to be able to sit on my front porch and have a cup of coffee without having to yell.
"All we want is for them not to start as early and then not to be doing it as much or as loud."
The Triarsis of Yonkers came to the meeting to explain that they have tried to be quieter with their target shooting since learning about the neighbors' grievances.
"We never even met the Plances," Chuck Triarsi said. "They could have talked to us; we're reasonable people."
Several people at the meeting complained that creation of an ordinance was premature, since the Plances and the Triarsis had not attempted to work out the issue among themselves.
Art Masucci of Franklin invited the Plances, the Triarsis and anyone else with complaints about the weekend shooting to meet at his house to hash out their differences.
Board members encouraged the meeting, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 19.
Ramona Plance said she is willing to attend the meeting between the neighbors but that some type of legislation is needed to control the noise.
"We would like to be able to enjoy our homes," Plance said. "Someone has got to determine what is reasonable and what is not. If I can't sit in my back yard and have a conversation without yelling, that is unreasonable."
No action will be taken on the proposal until another public hearing can be held, Smith said.
"We're definitely going to re-work this thing," said Smith, who has stated he is against the ordinance as it is written. "Before we do anything about moving on this, we'll open it up so everyone knows what's going on."
Smith said he hasn't seen a local issue cause this much controversy since the county proposed building its landfill in the town in the early 1990s.