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Durham church, neighbors quietly settle noise dispute

Posted June 24, 2013

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— A Durham church and nearby residents who complain that the church's services are too noisy have settled their dispute.

Residents of the Hills at Southpoint neighborhood in south Durham complained that amplified music and thumping bass from Newhope Church, at 7619 Fayetteville Road, can be heard inside their homes.

Church officials said they made several attempts to reduce the sound since 2011, including hiring sound engineers to run tests that concluded the sounds from the church were within limits set by the city. The church also has installed sound-absorbing material inside and plans a major renovation that would line offices along exterior walls to reduce noise levels outside further, officials said.

Lawyers for both sides told a judge Monday that they had come to a "mutually satisfactory" resolution to the dispute. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

In March, a Durham County judge dismissed a criminal noise citation against the church when prosecutors asked for a delay in the case. That ruling has been appealed.


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  • christinecotton Jul 1, 2013

    Thank God for being a forgiver because the beautiful home, the ideal family, and the great job would be removed if these families were fighting man.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 27, 2013

    A good neighbor pays taxes to help the community.

    A good neighbor doesn't create a situation that disturbs others around them.

    A good neighbor doesn't make you go to the authorities for relief of the created situation.

    A good neighbor doesn't use the legal definition of things as their moral compass. That's why lawyers have such a bad reputation.

    That said, the church sounds like it finally may care a little about those around them...but it looks more like reputation damage control. The bottom line...stop the frat party noise and treat others like you would want to be treated.

    If you still don't get it, pretend this is a Satanic church or Islamic church that belted out loud, daily messages you didn't agree with.

    The Golden Rule rules!

  • kornfan2448 Jun 26, 2013

    JustOneGodLessThanU, a good neighbor also understands compromise. I have yet to see that from the residents. By their own YouTube videos, not the church's, only for split seconds does the noise level spike about the city's legal noise level at the property line. They have pursued criminal charges against the pastor, which were dismissed. The church has turned the volume down and added to the building to dampen the noise, even though they are under no legal obligation. I'm assuming that since this case was originally reported to last a couple of weeks and was settled quickly, the residents knew they had no legal standing and that, and I know this is unimaginable, they were in the wrong in their unwillingness to be a "good neighbor" themselves.

  • Jack Flash Jun 25, 2013

    "So, no, this does not seem like a 'positive direction' for people to follow."

    Sounds like you arrived at that conclusion before you even read the article, b/c the article, and the back articles, clearly show New Hope's efforts to be good neighbors. Good neighbors don't necessarily avoid ever running afoul of the people next to them; good neighbors try to make it right when they do bother others. New Hope has clearly done that, and done it BEYOND their legal obligation.

    But you seem to have decided to hate everything Christian and deny that they could ever possibly do anything right, so don't let facts get in your way.

  • mollystillman Jun 25, 2013

    This is a church that LOVES their neighbor - if newhope didn't love their neighbors, I don't think this would have gone on as long as it has. newhope was COMPLETELY within their legal limits for noise, in fact, newhope has continuously been UNDER the legal limit for noise. So, if newhope wanted to, they could have just "let it be" and said "deal with it" to the neighbors, but they didn't. The church exhausted their time and resources working to solve this in a respectful, legal, and positive manner. If you've never been, just come visit this church sometime - you will see that you will be greeted with smiles, hugs, and warmth - no one is treated differently than anyone else. It's truly an amazing place that loves God and loves the community.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 25, 2013

    @kornfan2448, this entire situation is a result of the church not caring about its neighbors...just like a bunch of drunk frat brothers. That is how it all started. The fact that they continue to pester their neighors (one of which is 8 months pregrant), shows how much the church really values their “do unto others” mantra.

    So, no, this does not seem like a “positive direction” for people to follow. YMMV

  • kornfan2448 Jun 25, 2013

    "I would think they appreciate the church's having continued to work w/ them even after they were absolved of any legal obligation to"

    Precisely. If they truly did not care, they would not spend so much time and money to try to make renovations to dampen the noise for the neighbors while at the same time, offering a service that those attend clearly enjoy. As mentioned, it may not be your style, but they clearly appeal to a lot, as they have many people that attend. They are open and welcome to ALL people, regardless of ANY situation or background, gender, race, problems, financial background. If it helps one person find something they were looking for and turn their life in a positive direction, isn't worth it?

  • Jack Flash Jun 25, 2013

    Wow, a church and its neighbors SETTLE a dispute and the comments about it are full of hate.

    I've visited this church. Not my style, but they're good people. It IS too loud. That's inside. I don't know what it sounds like from outside. But the church won this case 2 months ago, and at the time, they said that winning the court decision wasn't enough. They wanted to have a good relationship w/ their neighbors, too. That's pretty awesome. They deserve credit for that. And this article seems to indicate that the neighbors are now satisfied, and I would think they appreciate the church's having continued to work w/ them even after they were absolved of any legal obligation to.

    But all anyone here can do is hate. Pretty ironic and sad, given the actual content of this article.

  • Espee4449 Jun 24, 2013

    Yeah Superman, there are all good upstanding citizens of the neighborhood that go to topless bars! Sounds like you are one of them!

  • superman Jun 24, 2013

    Would rather live next to a Topless Bar than a church. At least the music is better and it attracts a better group of people.