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Cary homeowner claims harassment over golf course noise issue

Posted June 30, 2015

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— A Cary resident says he is being harassed for speaking out against a proposal that would relax noise restrictions at golf courses.

The Cary Town Council is considering an ordinance that would allow golf course greens keepers to begin mowing, weed trimming and leaf blowing as early as 6 a.m. The council is expected to approve the changes at its July 9 meeting.

Bob Butler took a public stand against the changes at a council meeting in March. Earlier this month, a cellphone video captured five mowers circling a tee at Prestonwood Country Club outside Butler’s bedroom. The timestamp was 6:15 a.m.

“Suddenly, it’s much noisier out there, many more mowers, many more times, much earlier in the morning,” Butler said. “(They were) going over the same route over and over again. They're certainly trying to send me the message that they can make more noise if they want to.”

The general manager at Prestonwood denies any harassment ever took place. He said he's not looking for a fight, but says it’s impossible to keep the greens pristine under current regulations.

Deputy Police Chief Tony Godwin studied the issue and recommended the council change the law to reflect a widespread practice already in place.

Golf course officials say the new law would clarify what's allowed and when but insist it wouldn't change daily maintenance practices.

Butler says he doesn't think it’s fair and points to a petition signed by 57 of his neighbors as evidence they don't either.

“We're not trying to take anything away from the golf course or anyone else. We're trying to stop this massive expansion of noisemaking rights,” he said.

27 Comments

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  • Steven Cousler Jul 6, 2015
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    It's a golf course, they lose money, especially in the hot summer months, if golfers can't tee off early. They must get and they deserve to get a noise exemption so they can start cutting at 6 AM. I just don't agree that it's all that much of a disturbance for the 5-15 minutes it takes to cut the grass on the one hole your house is close to. You bought that house partly because of it's scenic location - that comes with a price.

  • Dana McCall Jul 2, 2015
    user avatar

    6am is WAY too early. If you can't run mowers at midnight, you shouldn't be able to run them before 8am.

  • Kristin Byrne Jul 1, 2015
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    I agree. It would be a waste of money.

    I liken this situation to one that I encountered a couple years ago where someone wanted Prestonwood to ou for the damage to their house because it was hit with an errant golf ball. Their reasoning? They shouldn't allow poor golfers to play on the course. Needless to say, they paid for their own damage. Kind of what comes with the territory when you live on a golf course. That definitely made me chuckle a little bit.

  • Steve Schaible Jul 1, 2015
    user avatar

    its real simple, if the Mf"S start mowing at 6 am u tell ur neighbors ur going to put out big speakers at the back of ur property and crank Rush 2112 on 10 volume and stand next to the speakers with ur middle finger up.

  • Catrena Hall Jul 1, 2015
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    Fair enough. Hopefully, it can be settled where both are pleased, without litigation.

  • Fred Kozlof Jul 1, 2015
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    Is this the fellow who paid $1.95 million for that beautiful house on Crabtree Crossing? I can understand the aggravation, regardless of price of home, but I think the golf course mowing schedule has always been the same. Harassment with extra mower passes seems likely as reported, and that is unacceptable for anybody to have to tolerate, rich or poor.

  • Kristin Byrne Jul 1, 2015
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    It's a golf course. That exception has been on the books for awhile, and the homeowners have known about it. They've been mowing at those times since I've lived there (2003) and since my family has lived in Preston (1992). This is nothing new. There is no gray area.

  • Catrena Hall Jul 1, 2015
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    This is also not at stand alone golf course, though. It's a residential area within a golf course. So, that is the gray area the council is trying to work out. At the end of the day, because the golf course is bigger doesn't allow them to run roughshod over the homeowners.

  • Sherrill Craig Jul 1, 2015
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    P.S. I never said the golf course was worth more than the house. I state the golf course was there PRIOR to the building of the house.

  • Sherrill Craig Jul 1, 2015
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    "The mowing of golf course greens is allowed to begin at 6:00 a.m. during the months of April through September." If they're mowing the greens at 6:15 am, that's perfectly within the rules."

    There is your answer Catrena. How's about you untwist yer knickers. I get you don't like me and that's cool. LEAVE ME ALONE. I will not ask you a 3rd time.

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