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Residents and local bars not making beautiful music together

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Noise emanating from Third Avenue watering holes continues to plague nearby residents.

At the December meeting of Community Board 10’s Police & Public Safety Committee, which was held in the board office, 8119 Fifth Avenue, the issue came up with respect to two bars on Third Avenue, between 88th and 89th Street, RJ’s Lounge and Trace.

Previously, many of the complaints had been directed at Shenanigan’s, at Third Avenue and 89th Street, but that establishment subsequently added soundproofing.

“The whole area is just noise city,” contended Susan Pulaski, the committee chairperson, adding, “We have had people come to every single meeting stating how bad the noise is, that it’s not livable.”

There have been 42 noise complaints to the board since August from eight families living on Third Avenue, said Josephine Beckmann, the board’s district manager.Most of the calls were made “in the early morning hours,” she went on.

“It’s affecting the quality-of-life of so many,” Beckmann stressed.

As a result, she noted, the board has been in ongoing contact with the 68th Precinct,

asking them to issue summonses for “unnecessary noise.”

“We had an inordinate number of calls,” Beckmann stressed. “I walked on the block on four different occasions and I found the noise to be unreasonab­le.” RJ’s, she added, was “louder than any establishment on the block.

“We know there’s a balance when you live in a community that has nightlife,” she added, “but many of the residents we’ve spoken with have lived in the community for 15, 20, 30 years and have never called our office. We really would like for all of us to work together, for businesses to thrive and for residents to have a peaceful night’s sleep.”

With respect to RJ’s, one resident who attended the meeting said that he had, “complained many times to that gentleman (Domenic Aiello, the bar owner, who attended the meeting), and asked him to lower the music, and he says yes, yes, yes. Every time the police car shows up, the music goes down, and then it goes back up. This is 1:30, 2 o’clock in the morning. It used to be just weekends. Now, it’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

RJ’s also leaves the back door open, the resident said, “and throws bottles out there. He shows no respect whatsoever to his neighbors.”

“I go to talk to them, and they say it’s none of our business,” another resident added.

RJ’s will be revamping its soundproofing and making other changes to minimize the noise, said Aiello. “I stood outside while one of the bands was playing, so I see why people complain. I understand the complaints now,” he told the assembled group. “We won’t be disturbing the neighbors any more.”

Asfor Trace, Beckmann said that the noise problems appeared to be “relatively new. “

“Whatever we need to do, we’ll do,” asserted Robert Fadel, one of the establishm­ent’s owners, who also said that Trace had been “completely designed and built to be on Third Avenue. We took into consideration all the backyards. The speakers we purchased, the sound doesn’t go more than 20 fee. We have limiters on the amps so DJs can’t throw the music up. We didn’t want to go through this.”

To somedegree, added George Kabber, another owner,the complaints had come as something of a surprise. “Not one person came to talk to us,” he told the board.

The 68th Precinct had gone to the location twice, the day before Thanksgiving and one Friday night, and took sound meter readings “both upstairs and downstairs,” which were “within allowable limits,” said P.O. Joseph Trischetta, who is in the precinct’s community affairs unit.

Nonetheless, “If we’re getting calls from residents who can’t sleep, I don’t care what the reading is, whether it’s within legal limits,” rejoined Beckmann. “That’s all of our problem.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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