Scarsdale Trustees Consider Easing Limits On Generators

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The Scarsdale Board of Trustees on Tuesday discussed proposed changes to zoning and noise laws covering emergency power generators. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Board of Trustees discussed easing restrictions on permanent backup generators at its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday.

If adopted, the new law would permit emergency generators to create up to 70 decibels of noise, instead of 55. The law would also modify setback regulations. Instead of having to be installed 20 feet behind houses, residents would be permitted to place generators from 3 to 20 feet off the back or side of residences, depending on the size of the property.

There would be no screening requirement with the new law, and there would be no requirement of a 45-minute test run, said Trustee Stacey Brodsky, chair of the Law Committee.

“We put this on the schedule at our Dec. 11 meeting, and talked about proposed changes at our Dec. 12 Law Committee meeting,” she said. “We discussed the concerns raised by residents about the difference in noise cause by generators during weekly testing and during emergencies.”

Brodsky said discussions about the new law are fluid, and research on the matter is still under way. A new draft of the law is to be made public Friday, and the Law Committee will go over the changes in a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Resident Harry Wilson praised the trustees for moving so quickly to make changes after Hurricane Sandy, but thought the law should remain unchanged for now.

“This is a long time in the making, I know it’s a complex process with a ton of issues,” he said. “I thought the draft was well thought-out and well done. I think we should leave it unmodified. I encourage the board to move as quickly as possible to get this implemented.”

A Ross Road resident agreed with Wilson that it is important to get the law ratified and put in place before another disaster hits the village.

“I support both the zoning and noise changes,” he said. “We had a temporary generator fail during Hurricane Sandy. I think we need this law, and we need it sooner than later.”

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