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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro Tries to Limit Noise

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen met Tuesday night with officials from the Orange Water and Sewer Authority and the Home Builders Association of Orange and Durham Counties to discuss a proposed revision.

The law requires that all loud noises above certain specified levels are prohibited before 7 a.m. during the week and before noon on Sundays.

Alderman Diana McDuffee said the proposed revision calls for the noise ordinance to be extended to ban loud noises until 8 a.m.

"In order to limit the loud noises from construction, the proposed time will be between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.," McDuffee said.

"But this proposal will only affect long-term projects that would be using loud machines like drills for a long period of time."

The loud noises are being produced by such construction equipment as earth movers, chain saws and jackhammers.

Mayor Mike Nelson, who lives near a site of construction, said the noises have been going on for a very long time.

"The noises go on week after week and month after month, and that's my concern," he said.

The proposed revision of the noise ordinance can probably be passed, but town attorney Michael Brough said he has just one problem with adjusting the ordinance.

"My only problem is enforcement," Brough said.

"Basically, the police may end up with problems keeping records and there needs to be documentation from police by the community in order to enforce it."

The OWASA board of directors and officials of the Home Builders Association of Orange and Durham Counties would like for the proposal to be postponed until a public hearing can be held.

But Susie Halloway, a member of the OWASA board, argued that the revision of the noise ordinance will create more negatives than positives.

"The heat is a real problem with construction workers," Halloway said.

"This (ordinance) would directly affect our operations as well."

David Morris, an official of the Home Builders Association of Orange and Durham Counties, added that the proposed noise ordinance will affect not just the builders but everyone else as well.

"Starting later will mean quitting later, which is contrary to not using vehicles during peak ozone-forming and traffic hours," Morris said.

But for the most part, the board members and builders of OWASA do not want neighboring communities to be upset over the loud noises.

"OWASA will do everything it can to be a good neighbor to the community," Halloway said.

"I know they try really hard not to make a disturbance in the community."

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