The owner of an embattled Coney Island Avenue car wash hit with numerous noise violations has muzzled the ear-splitting blowers residents and civic leaders have called a neighborhood nuisance — and we have the proof!
Z Best Car Wash owner Russel Shern claimed this week that he sheathed the booming blowers in three layers of commercial-grade insulation — which was then housed in an inch-thick layer of wood — but we didn’t believe it until we checked it out ourselves.
Thankfully, our trusty iPhone has an app for measuring sound, so we downloaded the Decibel Ultra app, and put it to use, learning that the ambient noise a few feet away from the Coney Island Avenue car wash between Gerald and Kathleen courts was about 30 decibels — 12 decibels less than the legal limit of 42.
When the blowers came on, the reading hit 40 decibels — loud, but two decibels less than the legal limit.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) called the city on Shern after residents complained about the racket coming from the blaring blowers. The city’s Department of Environmental Protection ultimately investigated and found the car wash’s blowers operating at 59 decibels — 17 decibels above the legal limit.
The city hit Shern with an $860 fine and threatened to slap Shern with a cease-and-desist order if he didn’t muffle the blare, a city spokesman confirmed.
The whine from he blowers is deafening and unnerving, angry neighbors claim.
“It sounds like a pistol shot,” said an Avenue Z resident who lives across the street.
“My mom is very old, and sometimes she jumps when she hears it.”
Shern made the repairs, but accused Cymbrowitz of targeting him, claiming that the legislator had been on his case before his business opened.
“He’s been doing everything he can to shut us down, and it’s not for the noise,” Shern said. “It’s been since day one. We were hit with a stop work order for loading and unloading in the back, which we weren’t doing.”
Yet Cymbrowitz said Shern’s allegations are completely untrue.
“I don’t even know him,” Cymbrowitz said. “I’m protecting my constituents who live around the car wash, who are really being affected by the noise.”
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.