Noise at Woodbury’s skate park is beginning to cause quite a commotion in town.
A resident who thinks Woodbury’s skate park in Hollow Park is too loud has taken her complaint to the Town of Woodbury — and her voice is not falling on deaf ears.
First Selectman Gerald 'Jerry' Stomski declined to reveal the identify of the resident who has filed a complaint with the town, and he denied Patch’s request to obtain a copy of that complaint, which he said was sent to him via email.
“We may have a pending litigation, so I’d have to say ‘no’ at this point,” Stomski said.
The subject of noise at the skate park was brought up at the annual town budget meeting in June, by Sheri Moon Zombie — wife of famous rocker and Woodbury resident Rob Zombie.
"I was wondering if we could designate some of the reserve to move the skateboard park that was put adjacent to my property which is proved to be a significant noise pollutant and has reduced the quality of life for me and my two other neighbors that it affects," Moon Zombie said, according to meeting minutes posted on the town’s website.
The Zombies have lived on Sycamore Avenue since 2009, according to Wikipedia — they moved in four years prior to the opening of the skate park at Hollow Park in March of 2013.
Complaint Leads To Action
In light of the complaint made about the skate park, Stomski said the town has taken steps to buffer the noise there.
"We enclosed the ramps so it would minimize noise coming out from underneath them," he said.
The town is looking into putting up fabric to further muffle noise. So far, Stomski said, the town has spent a couple thousand dollars on ways to muffle noise. The money came out of a site improvement line item from the Parks and Recreation budget, he noted.
Questions Raised As Skating Time Cut Back
Hours of operation at the park were recently reduced, too. It is now open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays — cut back from the seven days a week, till one hour after sunset, that it used to be.
That’s why the issue is popping up in conversations in town now, Stomski said. People were coming to the skate park after dinner and finding that the park was closed.
“So the queries came from some concerned parents that want to know why it’s not open,” he said.
Some parents want to know why neighbors are able to dictate the skate park hours, Stomski said. He said that’s not quite the case and while he wouldn’t confirm who made the official complaint, he said it is part of the public record that Moon Zombie aired her concerns at the town meeting.
The Zombies’ celebrity status doesn’t factor into the town’s response at all, Stomski said.
“It makes no difference who the person is who complains,” he said. “We would give them the same courtesy.”
"There's Something That Has Got To Be Done"
At the town meeting back in June, Moon Zombie acknowledged that the town had taken some steps to address the noise at the park, but she says they are inadequate.
"I know they're trying to improve the obnoxious noise with the wood on the side of the ramps, and that did nothing," she said in the minutes. "I know they have ordered sound fabric. I think this is just a Band-Aid. The skateboard park should not have been put there."
Stomski said the town consulted engineers and it was determined that Upper Hollow Park was the best location for the skate park due to wetlands and other property conditions.
"It really should be moved to the furthest end of Hollow Park," Moon Zombie said at the meeting.
That matter was referred to Parks and Rec and the first selectman's office, Board of Finance Chairman Bill Butterly stated at the town meeting. Moon Zombie said the first selectman was already aware of the situation.
"I am trying to go through the proper channels to get this resolved and I'm sorry to bring this up as I know most of you aren't affected by it," she said. "There are only three or four homes affected by it, but now that summer’s here and the windows are open, I hear it inside my house, which is [the] furthest point away from the park and there's something that has got to be done."
Stomski said the town has been responsive to the concerns.
"We're trying to take whatever steps we can," he said. "We're trying to be good neighbors."
He hopes people are good neighbors to the town, as well.“You need to understand that is a park,” Stomski said, “with multiple types of recreation.”