By Lisa Keen, Globe Correspondent
It’s a summer Saturday around 7:30 a.m. and you have just settled down on the deck with a cup of coffee and the morning paper when – RRRRRRRR – your neighbor decides to get a jump on his lawnmowing duties.
Well, former Selectman David Himmelberger wants to preserve your peace. For a little while longer anyway.
Himmelberger is preparing a proposed bylaw for Town Meeting later this month that would prohibit the use of engine-powered equipment for construction or yard work before 7 a.m. on weekdays, before 8 a.m. on Saturdays, and before 9 a.m. on Sundays. The regulation would also prohibit use of such equipment after sunset on any day.
The Board of Selectmen on Monday took a wait and see approach to the proposed bylaw after Himmelberger said he was still finalizing the proposal. He said he had to meet with Chief of Police Terrence Cunningham before completing his draft.
"The chief is concerned about neighbors calling the police about other neighbors mowing their lawns,” said Himmelberger, speaking with Selectmen at their regular meeting Monday night. (Mar. 2) “I do think that, once a bylaw like this is on the books, it is pretty much self-regulating. People are willing to abide by reasonable restrictions to permit us to live in the close quarters in which we live.”
Selectman Chair Greg Mills said the Board would weigh in on whether to support the proposal after Himmelberger has finalized the language.
Himmelberger said many people don’t realize that Wellesley does not have any regulation to restrict such noisy activity, except for the state’s “blue law.” The Massachusetts Blue Laws prohibit commercial activity on Sundays, unless the local police chief issues a permit allowing the work, as a necessary exception.
The noise abatement proposal goes before the town’s Advisory Committee Wednesday night (March 4).