"Good neighbors keep their noise to themselves."
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January 12, 2001
Noise Pollution Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 1137
Montpelier, VT 05601-1137
Please find enclosed my check for $50 (wish it could be more) and your CD (of a racetrack recording). My apologies for not returning the CD sooner.
Obviously, our group battled the construction of a racetrack. It was an educational process and an enlightening experience for all of us. We soon discovered that Montana lacks any kind of noise ordinance, there are little or no zoning restrictions for anything and our county lacks a growth plan.
I would like to share with you how we used the CD you loaned us.
There were no meetings with County Commissioners (they refused to be a part of it), but there was one public meeting held by the Motorsports Association who planned to build the racetrack. It was our one and only chance to air our views. Notice of the meeting was published in the paper one day before the actual meeting, but we quickly organized ourselves and turned out a large following.
As we entered the door, each person was handed a sheet of paper that read, in part, "There is nothing you can do to stop the racetrack. It is going to happen." This statement proved to be a motivational factor for some who had not previously been involved in the fight.
One member of our group is a musician and she volunteered her heavy duty sound system. She also rented a generator to power it. On the day of the meeting, she set up the system in the parking lot outside of the meeting location. She started playing the recording before the meeting started.
With the help of your staff, we determined what the actual decibel level should be and it was played slightly lower than that. Even so, it drew a great amount of attention. One lady testified during the meeting that she lived one mile away. She hadn't heard about the meeting, but she had heard the sound of your recording and came simply to find out what the noise was.
At one point, a member of the Motorsports group actually went outside and pulled the plug on the sound system, but our faithful musician plugged it back in.
The Motorsports group would not staff their meeting while the recording still played (it was difficult to hear, even inside). Finally, they called the police. The system was turned off once the police arrived, but our point was well made.
That meeting went well for our side - in large part due to your recording and all of the noise information that members of your organization provided.
We battled the Motorsports group for over a year after that meeting. With the help of several attorneys, they were eventually defeated.
Our many thanks to NPC for your invaluable advice, the information we found on your website, your willingness to help in many ways.
On a personal note, perhaps I will be speaking with you again soon. My home is situated between two small airports that are both looking at expansion.
Again, our thanks to everyone for all the fine work you do.