Durham, N.C. — A Durham County judge on Tuesday dismissed a noise citation against a church, but prosecutors said they plan to appeal the ruling.
Rev. Benji Kelley, pastor of Newhope Church, was cited in December with a violation of Durham's noise ordinance, but a District Court judge dismissed the case when prosecutors asked for a delay.
Residents of the Hills at Southpoint neighborhood in south Durham have complained that amplified music and thumping bass from the church, at 7619 Fayetteville Road, can be heard inside their homes.
They have filed a civil suit against Newhope Church, but a judge last month denied their request for a restraining order to quiet the church's services.
Church officials said they have 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.