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Southeast Queens residents want house parties silenced

By Juan Soto

Southeast Queens has declared war on noise for the second year in a row.

Summer is here, and the heat brings revelers to pump up the volume in house parties thrown in places like Springfield Gardens and Rosedale.

Just last weekend, for example, the 105th Precinct received 55 noise complaints.

In response to noise nuisance, City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) announced that right in time for the July 4 celebrations, the Summer Noise Task Force will be on hand to try to cut down on unwanted noise pollution.

Community leaders, neighbors and police officers from the local precinct are taking part in the task force.

“If you can hear music in your home at 1 or 2 in the morning, it becomes an issue,” Richards said. “Last year our office got inundated with noise complaints because of house parties and bars on Merrick Boulevard getting very loud.”

Richards said the key to harmony is prevention.

“If you see people rolling large speakers into houses, call 311 and file a complaint,” the legislator said. “We want people to have a good time, of course, but you have to respect your neighbor.”

Richards pointed out that last summer the 105th Precinct assigned officers to the task force, “and there were less noise complaints.”

He also claimed that police had sent out letters to residents who got noise summonses last year alerting them that “there will be zero tolerance when it comes to loud noise.”

Besides a quality-of-life issue, the task force was put together in response to the violence that erupted at some house parties back in 2010. That summer out-of-control house celebrations claimed the lives of three young people in three separate incidents.

The legislator also reminded neighbors that if they organize a house party through social media, like Facebook, “they should be mindful that they are liable for stuff that goes on there, like shootings and underage drinking.”

Richards said noise is the No. 1 complaint citywide at the 311 hotline.

“New York City is the city that never sleeps,” Richards said, “but that does not mean that people don’t deserve to be able to sleep.”

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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