An open letter to the Village of Warwick Planning Board.
I urge the Village of Warwick Planning Board to reject Yesterdays application to erect a restaurant and bar at 16 Elm St. The introduction of a large dining and drinking establishment squarely in the midst of a quiet residential neighborhood would impose an unreasonable degree of noise pollution on that neighborhood and the broader surrounding area.
As an audio engineer and sound designer specializing in creating soundscapes for film and television, I have a heightened awareness of the ambient soundscape that surrounds us on a constant basis; I’m always listening to and analyzing it. We here in the village, and specifically on West St, are blessed with a relatively quiet environment; there are the sounds of peepers in the spring, bullfrogs in the summer and Canadian geese in the fall. I often awaken to bird song in the morning and I’m lulled to sleep by the echoing distant train whistle at night. The relocation of Yesterdays’ to 16 Elm St. would disrupt that peaceful norm and replace it with a cacophony of voices chattering, music playing, and car doors slamming – night after night. Even at a distance, it would add to the general noise level and mask out the quietude and peaceful enjoyment of our porches and yards.
Sound has an amazing way of traveling. Its propagation is contingent upon a multitude of factors – the frequency of the sound, the density of the air, the amount of obstruction, and its’ amplitude in relation to the general ambient soundscape. To assume that the sounds of this proposed establishment wouldn’t be heard at a distance of a half-mile is naïve.
Since 1994, I’ve been proud to call Warwick home. I often brag about our idyllic village to my friends: our Main St, the countryside, working farms, farmers-market, summer concerts, restaurants, artists – but most of all – our vibrant and shared community and its desire to preserve the life-style we all enjoy here. So far, the Village of Warwick Planning Board, and the broader community that informs it, has done an admirable job of maintaining a desirable esthetic for all of us. There’s certainly a give and take to growth and development. Done right, it can improve and enhance our village for the good of all, but done wrong, it can dramatically diminish the quality of life, not to mention the property values, for all of those within the surrounding area.
I urge the Board to carefully consider the ramifications this proposal will have on the quality of life for our neighbors, our community and our village.