Troutman Council approves noise agreement with industrial park owner
BY DEBBIE PAGE
After hearing lengthy complaints from neighbors adjoining the Troutman Industrial Park construction site at its pre-agenda meeting on Monday, Troutman Town Council members took action on Thursday night, approving an agreement with owner/developer Kathy Godley to limit site operation hours.
After several discussions between Town Manager Justin Longino, Mayor Teross Young and Godley, the three crafted a document that limited loud and unreasonable construction noise related to grading to the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If problems continue outside those hours, neighbors should contact the Troutman Police Department to address the issue. TPD is to investigate any complaints in person, using the current noise ordinance for guidance. Officers may issue a verbal warning, suspend operations, or issue a citation, as they deem necessary.
If Godley wants to operate outside those hours for a specific need or issue, she must apply for an exception to the town manager or his designee 24 hours in advance.
Residents complained Monday of construction noise sometimes as late as 2 a.m. and said as many as six bright lighting units have disturbed their evenings. Parents complained about noise disrupting children’s sleep while others complained they cannot open their windows to enjoy cool fall breezes because the noise drowns out even household conservations.
Before the unanimous vote to approve the noise agreement, resident Karen Davies cited studies about the detrimental effects of noise on people’s physical, mental and emotional health and on children’s learning.
Neighbor Marc Klinger noted that 100 homes were affected the construction noise. “You’ve got to be a good neighbor and respect those around you,” he said.
Klinger also urged the council to update its noise ordinances because of the many construction projects now and soon to be underway in the area as well as the noise of operations once commercial ventures such as the industrial park are underway.
Mayor Young said the council needs to take more time to do a detailed review of the noise ordinance issue. He thanked neighbors who came to council and shared their concerns.
“We’ve got to come to some balance with our current ordinance not having enough enforcement and work with Ms. Godley, who has worked with us in terms of our conversations, and we’re hopefully now in a situation where you won’t hear loud noises throughout the night.”
Young and neighbors both noted Godley’s right to develop her property and the need to balance and clarify that right with nearby folks whose quality of life is being disrupted. The agreement will set consistency in construction hours to help achieve that end.
Town Council Attorney Gary Thomas noted at the Monday meeting that the vague and outdated Troutman noise ordinance, passed in 1979, would likely not be enforced by the district attorney and needed strengthening.
Town staff is already researching nearby town’s noise ordinances to help guide their work.
The council also approved a revamped Colonial Crossing subdivision. Developers plan to build 366 single-family homes on a 200-acre parcel located between Tally Street and East Monbo Road. Oak Creek of Troutman II LLC asked the board to rezone the project from a conditional planned unit development to mixed residential.
The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request in October. Developers agreed to fencing, expanded buffers, tree preservation, and other conditions to accommodate neighbors’ concerns.
J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library Branch Manager Kelli Goodwin announced that study help was available to area youngsters on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
Parents can sign up for 30-minute homework help sessions by contacting the library at (704) 528-2682 or by stopping by the library at 215 W. Church Street in Troutman.
Goodwin also announced the library’s Charlie Brown-themed Christmas party on Thursday, December 13. Organizers are seeking volunteers to assist with craft activities and snack preparation for the event.
On Thursday, November 15, the Friends of the Library is having its Adopt-a-Street cleanup. Students who wish to get service hours can come help. Contact the library for more information.
The Friends quarterly meeting will also be at the library on November 29 at 6 p.m. Community members are welcome to join this volunteer group that assists the library with hands-on and monetary help.
PARKS AND RECREATION UPDATE
The Troutman Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, at 11 a.m.
Organizations, bands, and others are welcome to complete an application to participate for planning purposes, even though there is no registration fee, by Wednesday, November 23.
In lieu of an application fee, the town is instead asking each entrant to donate at least one new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. Of course, entrants may donate more toys if they wish.
The organization is in need of toys for all ages of children but usually has more difficulty getting toys for children 12 years and up.
The town will also have a trailer for spectators to donate toys traveling behind Santa in the parade. Organizers ask the generous Troutman community to bring toys to the parade and hand them to the “elves” walking with the trailer or bring them to Town Hall anytime between now and December 1.
The parade will leave from the Career Academy & Technical School (CATS) at 350 Old Murdock Road and travel SW to North Eastway Drive and then down Eastway to Troutman Baptist Church.
If you have any questions, please contact Angela Hoover at the Town of Troutman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available online at https://www.troutmannc.gov in the “Troutman Annual Events” section or can be picked up at Town Hall.
The annual 5th Jingle Bell Run will be Sunday, December 2, at 3 p.m. Last year a record 269 runners decked out in colorful holiday silliness taking to the greenways through Troutman. The event takes off from the greenway in front of Barium Springs YMCA.
The annual tree lighting ceremony will be on Thursday, December 6, at 6 p.m. at ESC Park. Santa, hot chocolate, cookies, and holiday music from various school groups will make the occasion festive.
Contact Emily Watson at email@example.com or call 704-528-7600 for more information on any of these events.