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Cary relaxes noise rules for golf courses

Posted July 10, 2015

Cary man upset over golf course noise
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— Town of Cary leaders approved a controversial ordinance Thursday night that relaxes noise restrictions for golf courses.

In a 4-2 vote, the Cary Town Council put into place new rules that allow mowing and other lawn maintenance to start at 7 a.m. on the weekends during the fall and winter months, two hours earlier than a previous ordinance.

During the spring and summer, the ordinance will allow golf course greens keepers to begin mowing, weed trimming and leaf blowing as early as 6 a.m.

Bob Butler, a resident of Prestonwood Country Club, said he was harassed in June after speaking out against the new ordinance. Butler used his cellphone to video five mowers circling a tee outside his bedroom. The timestamp on the video was 6:15 a.m.

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 Cary 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.

Council members said Thursday they plan to ask for a report next year highlighting any complaints they get about the ordinance changes.


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  • Terry Lightfoot Jul 10, 2015
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    and god knows in Cary , and certainly PrrrrestonWood, we want to do everything in our power to keep the grass pristine and green. ( no matter that we use drinking water sources and not treated water) Kudos to Mr Butler..everyone deserves to sleep in on Saturday morning.

  • Nicolle Leney Jul 10, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    It also apparently expands allowances to commercial leaf blowers (https://pleaseletussleep.wordpress.com/). Also, according to that site (I don't live in Cary), "Cary measures lawn maintenance noise at the property line of the complainant, not at the noise source." That's a significant difference. The website was interesting.

  • John Lobenstein Jul 10, 2015
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    Does Bob Butler, a resident of Prestonwood Country Club, even play golf, or is he mere seeking his 5 minutes of infamy?

    Has he contacted his neighbors to discover whether or not his lawn maintenance activities irritate them?

  • Dati Pemby Jul 10, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    People from up North....they're used to laws and regulations and subconsciously seek to make where ever they currently are exactly what they fled.

  • Gen Lee Jul 10, 2015
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    Actually I think the guy lives in Moresville and few yards from his house is a stake that signifies that they are now in Cary. So he is a totally different city. But as others have said don't live next to a golf course.

  • Kristin Byrne Jul 10, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Then don't live there. This guy wanted to live on the golf course. They've been mowing that early for as long as I can remember. These things have to be done before people start teeing off. Don't like it? Don't move to a golf course.

  • Craig Allen Jul 10, 2015
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    This is why I will never live in Cary. Too many regulations and to many people whiner's.

  • Patrick Malone Jul 10, 2015
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    Let me get this straight. You buy a million dollar home in a golf course community, and you complain about lawn mowers waking you up? Isn't this like moving to a house right next to the airport and complaining about airplane noise?

  • George Herbert Jul 10, 2015
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    The article is misleading. The rules already allow work to begin on golf courses at 6 a.m. in the spring and summer months. The change allows work to begin at 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. during the fall and winter months.

  • Dana McCall Jul 10, 2015
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    Sean, _everybody_ has the right to reasonable peaceful sleep when we attempt to assemble a society. 6am is too early and certainly dissuades me from buying real estate on a golf course.