Mayor Bloomberg today signed the controversial bill to change a law prohibiting amplified music within 500 feet of religious institutions as it applies to Asser Levy/Seaside Park in Brooklyn. The bill would allow a series of concerts, including those sponsored by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, to proceed this summer just across the street from two synagogues. The law does not include a provision that the sound would not disturb the houses of worship. (Photo, July 16, 2009 © By Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)
“After having listened to the testimony [on Monday], I met again with our legislative and legal staff this morning at Gracie Mansion — and after carefully weighing all concerns, I signed [the bill],” the mayor said, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
He added the bill would “help the city determine whether standards for the issuance of sound permits currently in the law can be made more exact and effective” because the 500-foot standard “was adopted before reliable sound measurement technology was established.”
“We believe focusing on actual sound levels rather then exclusively on distance will better protect the quality of life of all New Yorkers,” he added.
Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, who represents the two Sea Breeze Avenue synagogues that are suing Markowitz for violating the 500-foot rule, disagreed, saying that the law is merely “legitimizing an illegality.”
“It’s a classic case of different standards for different people,” he added.
Indeed, days before Markowitz’s season opener, a 10-band autism benefit concert was not allowed to take place in the band shell because the city, citing the very 500-foot rule that Markowitz has been allowed to flout, said it would be too noisy.
The Brooklyn Paper - July 13, 2010 - By Joe Maniscalco
A Walk In The Park - July 13, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft
A Walk In The Park - July 1, 2010