Articles 36, 39 and 40 deal with the hours that entertainment establishments can have music playing (technically “noise’ over a certain dB – but the issue is music). Each Article seeks to find a balance between the fun that people expect at the beach (and the business owners’ interests) on one side and the abutters wish for peace on the other. No answer will make everyone happy.
Some reference before we start talking about noise levels: Roughly speaking, normal conversation is about 60 dB (A), a lawn mower is about 90 dB (A) and a loud rock concert is about 120 dB (A).
If none of the 3 articles pass, the current ordinance will stay in place, which would mean no noise higher than 75 dB (A) at any time (measured from the next property line) and no noise above 50 dB (A) between 11 pm and 1 am. This essentially shuts the music down at 11 pm.
If Article 36 passes, the noise levels and hours would change such that the hours of restriction Mon-Thurs are noon – 11 pm and Fri-Sun would be noon – midnight. (The 50 dB goes away – it is 75 dB but with one less hour on the weekends and two less on week nights.) The business owners say this extra hour on the weekends is critical to their revenue and the “economic engine” of the beach. Article 36 would also change the price of police detail to wages plus 30% to wages plus 50% (where such detail is deemed necessary.)
If either Article 39 or Article 40 pass, the noise level would change to 80 dB (A) from noon – midnight and 60 dB (A) from midnight to 1 AM. The difference in noise level is not substantial (vs. Article 36) so the big difference between these 2 and Article 36 is the hour between 11 pm and midnight, when business owners would need to shut down the music.
Both Article 39 and 40 are more clear about where the noise level should be measured (50 ft from the property as opposed to “the next lot line” which is tough to figure out at midnight!)
Article 39 also removes for seasonal businesses the need to get a specific license for the Entertainment Establishments (they still have other licenses which would be required, including a liquor license). And Article 39 changes the enforcement from the Board of Selectman and various departments to the Police Department – which is essentially the body that is involved late at night.
As a voter, you should pick either NONE of the 3, or ONE of the three. The Articles are at odds with each other, so if more than one passes, we assume the current stays in place – but it would be interesting to see how that is handled.