Burlington church too loud, neighbors say

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — While some neighbors say a Burlington church makes too much noise, police say it isn’t breaking the city’s noise ordinance.

Lori Darnell said she and others have called police multiple times about Faith Builders International Church on May Drive. Her backyard is next to the church, which moved in this past fall.

“I hear the bass thumping in my house–just a constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ for hours. I can’t live with it. It’s that bothersome,” Darnell said.

Darnell said she heard loud noises from the church Wednesday through Sunday one week, and from Saturday to Wednesday another week.

“There was one weekend it was five hours on Saturday and on-and-off on Sunday until like 9 p.m.,” Darnell said.

“Inside that room (in my house) I could still hear them yelling, and it was not ‘Hallelujah,'” said another neighbor. “I originally thought it was Williams High School band practice, but I couldn’t figure out why it was going on every night.”

Captain Eric Kerns with Burlington Police said officers have been to the church more than 20 times, but they haven’t heard what neighbors are complaining about.

“No one has reported yet of hearing, upon our arrival, obnoxious or unreasonable noise that they could hear in the residence,” Kerns said.

Kerns said the church is not in violation of the city’s noise ordinance, saying the noise is “part of their business operations.”

Burlington Police told residents they can go before city council during a public comment session if they want to make an amendment to the noise ordinance.

Meanwhile, Darnell said she can’t believe the reason she is considering a move is a church.

“A church is supposed to come into a community and bring goodwill and all that, right?” Darnell said.

Church officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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