Too noisy for guests, B&B owner files complaint

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Arlene Stetson is fed up with the pre-dawn noise that wakes her and her bed & breakfast guests.

What really has her concerned — besides the absence of a peaceful sleep — is something that recently appeared on a Website that lists overnight accommodations in Naples.

Someone commented that her business, the Augustus Bove House, was a lovely historical building, but far too noisy, she said. Stetson is worried that the website entry will deter future guests from booking a room.

So, Stetson filed two noise complaints with the Town of Naples. Then, she brought those complaints before the Naples Board of Selectmen on Monday.

“There is a handyman at Rick’s Café who blows leaves every morning from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.,” she told the board.

“One morning, I got up earlier than usual. I went out in my bathrobe to talk to him. He ran into Rick’s and locked the door and wouldn‘t answer the door,” she said.

She mentioned the leaf-blowing had not occurred over the weekend. She asked if the noise had been curtailed because someone from the town had talked to the gentleman after she had officially filed the complaints.

Naples Town Manager Derek Goodine said no one had been contacted regarding the maintenance-related noise.

“I get thousands of complaints. Sometimes, it is someone who has a neighbor fixing the exhaust on a car, and making a lot of noise late at night, Goodine said.

While he has tried to remedy the neighbor versus neighbor noise, Goodine said he has never intervened when the clamor is part of a paid job like yard maintenance.

Members of the board explained that the town could not enforce a noise ordinance — since none existed on the books. The noise issue would have to be resolved between the local business owners.

Stetson said it was her understanding that if a town did not have a noise ordinance the residents should adhere to the state’s noise ordinance, which defines the quiet time as between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Stetson’s second noise complaint involved the trash hauling company, which has trucks that break the silence of the morning with stops at the dumpsters near Rick’s Café and neighboring businesses.

She claimed a phone call to the rubbish-hauling company only resulted in a pick up at 4:30 a.m., instead of 5 a.m.

“4:30 a.m. seems a bit early for those guys to be doing their work. I understood there is state law for noise,” Stetson said.

Chairman Bob Caron, Sr. asked, “Is it affecting your lodging.”

Stetson answered, “Yes.”

“If you have customers paying good money, they don’t want to be woken up at 5 a.m.,” he later said.

Caron sympathized with Stetson, saying he has been awakened by noises near his home during traditional quiet times – especially during the summertime.

Selectman Dana Watson said with the later sunrise times as summer wanes and autumn nears, the maintenance work will begin later in the morning — allowing Stetson’s guests to get a few more winks.

Goodine advised calling the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department to handle the noise issues.

Stetson said she had tried that route, and was less than pleased with the results.

Caron encouraged Stetson to seek a solution with one of the co-owners of Rick’s Café, Eddie Osborne.

“Unless you have the goodwill of Eddie, unless you have Eddie’s ear, we cannot do much,” he said.

“He’s a reasonable man. Talk to him again. Try to pursue it with Eddie again,” Caron said.


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