Wind Turbine Owner Cleared of Noise Complaint

Joe Coelho, Jr., owner of Safeway Auto, installed the wind turbine behind his business two years ago. Joe Coelho, Jr., owner of Safeway Auto, installed the wind turbine behind his business two years ago.

Joe Coelho, Jr., owner of Safeway Auto, installed the wind turbine behind his business two years ago.

Joe Coelho, Jr., owner of Safeway Auto, installed the wind turbine behind his business two years ago.

Safeway Auto owner Joe Coelho has been found not guilty of violating the town’s noise ordinance following several complaints from a neighbor about his wind turbine.

Municipal Court Judge Jane Howlett ruled the town did not prove its case against Mr. Coelho because Bristol Police Officer Sean Gonsalves did not take the noise readings in the proper location. The town ordinance requires that “the measurement shall be made at the property line of the property on which such noise is generated or perceived, as appropriate, five feet off the ground.” Gonsalves testified in court last Tuesday that he recorded the noise measurement from a second-story deck on the neighbor’s home.

“The Town did not prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the noise readings were taken consistent with the requirements,” Howlett wrote in her decision. “And therefore, the court finds the defendant not guilty.”

Mr. Coelho installed the 100-foot-tall wind turbine behind his Gooding Avenue business two years ago to generate environmentally friendly power. The town Zoning Board granted him a height variance in 2011 and the $262,000 wind turbine was legally completed in January 2012.

Neighbor Kenneth Alves, who lives on nearby Hamlet Avenue, has called the police 16 times since the turbine’s installation, complaining of excessive noise that keeps him and his family up nights. Each time he has called, Bristol Police measured the noise, finding it to be below the 50 decibel residential limit. However, on Dec. 9, 2013, Off. Gonsalves reported his noise meter measured a range of 40-56 decibels from Mr. Alves’ back deck, prompting him to issue Mr. Coelho the violation notice.

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8 Comments

  1. Wil DeGelt said:

    Mr. Alves – please stop wasting tax payer dollars by continuing to call the police. Mr. Coelho followed ALL the rules – you didn’t like it so you stirred the pot.
    Do youself and the rest of the town a favor and please put a for-sale sign on your lawn and move OUT of town.

    • David Lo said:

      Wil, you are absolutely right. Mr. Coelho has followed all the rules and followed all the legal steps to setup his turbine. Mr. Alves should stop his pursuit of Mr. Coelho. WITH THAT SAID, he should start the process for a lawsuit against the town of Bristol. Are they going pay his relocation or money lost on the sale of his house.

      I feel really bad Mr. Alves If I spent all my hard earned money to move into a beautiful town like Bristol and then have this monstrosity built around my house. Its really easy to throw stones and spew out ignorance when its not affecting you.

    • Jimbob said:

      Wil:

      If you want to discuss wasting tax payer dollars, how abou the $250,000 and $250,000 very low interest loan provided to Safeway so he can reduce the property value of the surrounding homes. He has all the up side of this deal with no downside. The town bylaws should without a doubt require notification of surrounding residences before erecting one of these things. Or he should be required to mitigate the noise.

  2. Spaiva81 said:

    Mr.DeGelt, how easy it is to say to someone who moved in BEFORE the turbine was there. I wonder if you would feel the same way if someone put up a turbine in your backyard.

    P.S His house is now worth LESS now because of the turbine.

  3. jconners said:

    STOP wasting my Tax Payers dollars……..

    Mr. Coelho, did was he was asked to do (by the law and the ordinances). Your time to ***** was when he was going through the process, Mr. Coelho did not put it up one night and you woke up it was there. Mr. Coelho should sue the town for reimbursement for his time and money wasted with all this BS.

    Maybe Mr. Alves should have looked around the neighborhood before he moved in. He is surrounded by Industrial/commercial property, what do you expect. Oh yea and that was all there before he moved in.

    Metacom was not as busy when I first moved in, should I sue the State DOT for allowing more vehicles to be registered.

    Come on…..

    • Spaiva81 said:

      Mr. Alves has attended all public meetings . Mr Coelho was granted permission to put the turbine up without any public meetings or any say from any residents. All meetings were after he was granted permission to put the turbine up and without notification to any residents in the area. Mr Alves lived in this area for two years before this turbine and didn’t have one single complaint from any of the commercial businesses in the area. He is also not the only one complaining about this, the police records show there are other people in the area who have complained about the noise. To suggest that Mr Alves is just going through this to waste taxpayers dollars is a joke. Mr Coelho may not be guilty in the eyes of the town of Bristol, but he certainly is guilty in my book of overlooking common courtesy to the neighbors around him and conducting his business with total disregard for the honest hardworking families in the area.

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