Sanford church fined for breaking noise ordinance
Posted February 8, 2011 10:03 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2011 10:54 p.m. EST
Sanford, N.C. — A Sanford church has been cited for violating the city’s noise ordinance.
The weekly band practices at the Brick City Community Church, 1408 Burns Drive, have drawn criticism from one neighbor who has repeatedly called the police.
“Sometimes, a police officer will come by, frustrated that he has to come by here,” Pastor Bill Maye said Tuesday.
Last Tuesday, police fined the church $200 for violating the city’s noise ordinance.
“We want to live at peace with everyone, but at the same time, we have a right to do what we’re doing,” Maye said. “It’s given to us by the Constitution.”
The resident who lodged a formal complaint about the music told WRAL News that he's encouraged by the church's ability to bring young people to church on Sunday. He said he wants something done about Tuesday night band practices.
The neighbor, who would not provide his name, is a drummer who practices at his home. He said he can feel the church's music in different parts of his home and hopes both sides can find a resolution.
Maye said he doesn't have an issue with the neighbor but is upset with Sanford's noise ordinance, which states that any sound audible beyond 30 feet from an instrument is a violation.
“There’s a church down the street that has bells and those bells go off during the day,” Maye said. “You can hear them from here, which is about a half-a-mile away.”
Maye hopes the issue will bring about change in the way the ordinance is written, and in how the church is received by the community.
“We would love for our neighbors to be apart of what we’re doing here. Our church is about helping people find Christ, find hope,” he said. “We don’t want to discourage anyone from coming.”