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Allston residents support fines for noise violations

Allston-Brighton residents living in a student-dense area said they have faced excessive noise in their neighborhoods and welcome a new noise ordinance that could curb loud parties and gatherings with strict fines.

The ordinance, proposed by Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, of East Boston, would institute fines ranging from $100 to $300 to tenants, partygoers and landlords found responsible for creating excessive and unruly noise that disturbs neighbors.

Angela Tang, a resident of Brighton, said there are many college students living in her neighborhood who have parties often.

“Usually, they have parties in the summer and fall,” Tang said. “But recently, my neighbor had a noisy party last month.”

She said she asked them to be quiet, but they continued to have the party.

“I had no choice but to call 911 and tell them about the loud party,” she said.

Tang said that as a friendly neighbor, she went to the party first to ask them to be quiet, but they ignored her.

“If they had respected the neighbors, they wouldn’t have the late night loud parties that we need to deal with all time,” she said.

Tang said distributing fines is the best way to deal with the neighborhood problem, arguing for a first-time fine of $500 and second-time fine of $1,000.

“The students are here to study and not to bother the neighbors,” Tang said.

Valeriano Diviacchi, 54, of Allston, said her noise problem was her neighbor’s band practice and loud music.

“I tried to talk to the tenants and absentee landlord,” she said.

Diviacchi said that after no action was taken to solve the noise problem, she went through a series of legal ways to handle the issue.

“In the end, the landlord finally paid some money and agreed to put restrictions in the lease barring band practice,” she said. “Limits were put on noise that can be heard outside of the residence.”

Residents and neighborhood associations expressed support over the new noise ordinance.

Diane Kline, resident of Brighton and founding member of the Radnor Neighborhood Association, said that as a neighborhood group, they have dealt with many noise complaints.

“We are disturbed by the loud parties in our neighborhoods and our association is in favor of the amendments to the ordinance,” Kline said. “Noisemakers and property owners should be held accountable.”

Kline said the neighborhood group supports amendments to the ordinance and said noisemakers and property owners should be held accountable.

But despite support, Kline said the association would like to see more answers to how the new law will be enforced.

“We want to see a little more clarification, though, on how people will pay for the fines,” she said. “How would students pay? What sort of system would be in place to enforce the ordinance?”

At a public safety meeting on Nov. 1, LaMattina said the ordinance responded to complaints from his constituents in the North End.

“There’s a new ordinance I filed in response to complaints here in the North End,” LaMattina said in a recording of the meeting. “Not just in the North End, but other neighborhoods throughout the city of Boston.”

LaMattina said this new ordinance would load some more responsibility on the backs of landlords, who should ensure their tenants are not annoying neighbors.

“In writing this law, I was hoping to hold the landlords responsible,” LaMattina said. “This ordinance is not really to punish the landlord. It’s to get them to work with us.”

Although there is already a noise ordinance in place, LaMattina said this new law will allow the police more enforcement.

“It [the new ordinance] gives them [the police] an extra tool to enforce the noise ordinance that we have already,” he said.

One Comment

  1. Clearly living in Allston/Brighton must be awful if you’re not a student, but I don’t really have sympathy for those who complain about it. The student population has been here longer than anyone else has, sorry you didn’t think about that before you moved in. It’s not like this is even the cheapest neighborhood in the city–no one is forced to live here because it’s all they can afford. If you live in Allston/Brighton it’s because you chose to.

    As far as Tang’s comment that “students are here to study,” is Tang awaiting an engraved invitation to reality? No, they’re not. They are here to study, yes, but they are also here to work and interact with the city in the same way that non-students do, and sometimes that means having friends over and being loud. Is it respectful? Obviously not, but loud parties are so par-for-the-course when it comes to college neighborhoods that it’s a cliche, and it’s something you should expect when you’re living in Allston/Brighton.

    Additionally, that Tang is also pushing for fines in the $500-$1000 range even for first time offenders is ludicrous. That’s the same amount of money as a month of rent for most students, a group of people who also tend to not have a whole lot of cash.

    As someone who encounters loud parties on my block in Allston pretty frequently, I understand how frustrating it can be. But I also think people need to look at their life and look at their choice to live here. This is a college neighborhood. There will be loud parties. There is no getting around it. If you have a problem with it, call your landlord, call their landlord, talk to them about it, even call the police. But to push for large fines and to give more power to the police (hint–they don’t need more power than they already have, they are more than capable of breaking up parties without the addition of more authority) seems disrespectful to the whole neighborhood.