Noise complaint roosts with Cape Elizabeth committee

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The Town Council on Monday took action on fowl noises, speed limits and improved communication with residents. 

Councilors voted unanimously to send a rooster noise complaint issue to the Ordinance Committee for consideration of regulations on roosters in residential areas.

John and Debra Maley of 42 Ocean House Road said they experienced disruptive and early morning rooster noises from a neighbor’s property, and asked the council to look into a ban or restrictions.

Although the Maley’s told the council on Monday, July 12, that their rooster problem has been resolved, the council decided the issue may warrant discussion as residents in other neighborhoods come forward with similar complaints.  

“It isn’t really a big deal, it’s a rooster, but it does impact our personal lives and has until yesterday for the past year and a half, ” John Maley said. “It’s still important to consider what to do in the town because there are other people who have similar issues.”

Councilor David Sherman, chairman of the Ordinance Committee, said the rural character of the town must be balanced with the needs of residential neighborhoods.

But Councilor Penny Jordan, a farm owner, said while she is not opposed to the issue being dissected in the committee, she would like to ensure farms would not be hurt by the potential regulations.

“The key is when we define residential areas, there are residences that abut our farms,” Jordan said. “I just don’t want it to start to impact the ability for farms to have chickens, roosters, etc.”

Council Chairwoman Anne Swift-Kayatta said she is confident the committee will consider rooster regulations with care and agreed that while the rural character is important, the town is primarily residential.

“There can sometimes be conflicts between those things but there’s probably a way to make this work,” Swift-Kayatta said. “So I’m sure the Ordinance Committee will consider it carefully.”

Spurwink Ave. speed limit

The council also unanimously accepted a recommendation from Police Chief Neil Williams to maintain the 35 mph speed limit on Spurwink Avenue near the Purpoodock Club and a portion of Scott Dyer Road.

Residents Kenneth and Martha Keller of Spurwink Avenue asked the council to consider reducing the speed limit to 30 mph based on the amount of traffic and the fact that similar roads have been reduced to 30 mph.

Williams said a speed survey was conducted and the average speed of 273 cars in the area was 35.1 miles per hour. Of the 28 accidents reported in the past 10 years, he said, nine were related to deer. And he said Spurwink is a connector road and is designed to move traffic through town without delay.

“Due to this data, I don’t see the need to change the speed limit at this time,” he said.

Communications strategy

The council unanimously adopted a municipal communications strategy designed to improve citizen participation in local government.

Councilor Jim Walsh said the goal is to have the public more easily connect with town government and have greater access to information. Under the strategy, citizens will receive additional meeting notifications and will be invited to participate in meetings and workshops. 

New features include the ability to sign up for notifications about meetings and other information posted on the town website, and streaming video of live meetings on the website.

The strategy also includes stipulations for replaying council meetings more often on cable TV and using Cape Elizabeth television to broadcast smaller segments of interest to the community.

The council will meet next on Monday August 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net

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