Noise from Durham church prompts neighbors to file lawsuit - WNCN: News, Weather

Noise from Durham church prompts neighbors to file lawsuit

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A two year battle between a Durham church and residents living near that church over noise from worship services has ended up in court..
Those who live near the Newhope Church say its like living next to a rock concert on weekends and several night a week when services take place or performers practice.

A video shot by the church's neighbors and posted on You-Tube shows just how loud the performances can be inside the building; with decibels in the high 90's.

Those living in near-by homes say, it's pretty loud in their houses too.

Bill Nicotre's home is about 150 yards from the church, separated by a thin stand of trees from Newhope's property.

He says the noise from the church building can not be dampened inside his home no matter what steps he takes.

"We bought curtains on-line with extra padding." He said showing them to WNCN. "They are supposed to be sound proofing drapes, and I actually bought two drapes to double them up, but still that music comes through."

For two years neighbors have tried to get the church to quiet down the noise.

"We had hoped some of the communication we had with the church would get them to turn down the music or do something to the building where its not coming into our property," said neighbors Jolene Unland.

But, discussions with the church went nowhere.

On Jan. 23rd Durham Police cited the church for violating the city's noise ordnance and Tuesday the neighbors filed suit against the church.

"The lawsuit is asking for some type of mediation to allow us to enjoy our homes," said Nicotre.

The church holds multiple services on Sunday as well as Wednesday nights and then there are practice sessions during the week meaning neighbors are constantly exposed to loud noise.

"It's just simple things you take for granted like not being able to sit on your porch to read a book or cup of coffee or to naps in the afternoon," said neighbor Aleida Alvarez.

WNCN tried to talk to Newhope's pastor, but were kicked off the property and told to refer to a written statement that says in part:

"The church has been in full compliance and has monitored all sounds coming from the church to ensure compliance."

Meanwhile, Bill Nicotre says his solution is to leave the neighborhood.

"We're going to move," he said. "My wife comes to tears at night because of the sound coming And there's seemingly nothing we can do about it."


Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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