Residents complain to city about noisy F’ville sewer plant

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“There have been many nights where the noise was so bad, I thought I was going to have to make other sleeping arrangements, or ultimately move.”

Those aren’t the words of someone who lives next to one of the airport runways. Instead, the statement comes from Jill Grill, who lives in a bucolic and leafy subdivision, Lakeside on Redwine Road, in southwest Fayetteville.

Many residents in a few of Fayetteville’s neighborhoods share Grill’s sentiments and the noise that has gone on for more than a year is rumbling from the city’s wastewater plant on First Manassas Mile Road.

“For months, we thought it might be a teenager in a car, because we heard that loud bass,” Grill added.

Tomorrow night, the City Council will look at three options to turn down the decibels and restore peace and tranquilly to the Lakeside on Redwine neighborhood.

In a memo to the council, City Manager Ray Gibson said the city has had a noise engineering consultant perform sound readings at the plant on two different occasions and did discover peak decibel ratings of 96 decibels on Bradford Road when the blowers were operating in the south blower room at the treatment plant. That’s the equivalent of an outboard motor, or power lawnmower, which is causing an uproar on usually serene and bucolic Redwine Road.

Gibson recommends three options to help muffle the sound including;

• Building an 8-foot-high wall specifically designed to absorb sounds with a reduction of 12 to 15 decibels. Additionally, 500 sq. ft. of sound absorbing panels would need to be installed inside of the south blower building with a 3-4 decibel reduction. The estimated cost of the project is $33,680.

• Building a 12-foot-high wall that would cost $48,000 and offer the same amount of noise reduction.

• Adding silencers at the south blower building. The silencers would turn northward and the sound absorbing panels would also be part of the project. The cost of this option is $53,000.

After reviewing the results, Gibson is recommending the city build the 12-foot-high wall because the city anticipates heavier flows coming into the plant for treatment in the near future and the blowers will need to be run for longer periods.

In other action during tomorrow’s meeting, the council will:

• Hear a presentation and get council input on the proposed West Fayetteville Planned Community District. The district is a mixed use area of 1,200 acres in the heart of the county now in the city limits of Fayetteville. The district’s boundaries extend on the north side of Ga. Highway 54 from Tyrone Road on the west to east of Sandy Creek Road to the east. The annexed area also extends north to the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road. The district features a variety of zonings and concentrates mixed use development around Piedmont Fayette Hospital and allows up to five-story buildings.

The new zoning district was first brought before the council in early 2014 and utilizes transect zoning, a type of zoning new to Fayetteville. Transect zoning replaces conventional separated-use zoning systems that have encouraged a car-dependent culture and land-consuming sprawl. Transect zones instead provide the basis for real neighborhood structure, which requires walkable streets, mixed use, transportation options and housing diversity. The zones vary by the ratio and level of intensity of their natural, built and social components, according to www.transect.org.

In the report submitted to the council, the rationale for the district is made clear.

“The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage the best possible site planning and arrangement of land uses under a unified plan of development. This ordinance sets forth a framework for pedestrian-scale traditional development that encourages residential and nonresidential activities to be arranged in such a way as to reduce the number and type of vehicle trips, limiting congestion and thereby improving air quality. Development should be arranged to set aside areas for recreation and open space while providing for varied forms of multi-modal movement.”

Mixed use developments residents might be familiar with include Atlantic Station in Atlanta and Seaside on the Florida Gulf Coast. The developments feature a mixture of live, work and play components and are becoming a favorite of the millennial generation, which is a group the county is making a concerted effort to lure back home.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15 at Fayetteville City Hall on Glynn Street.