F’ville residents sound off on noise

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Noise relief coming to residents on Redwine, more apartments to be decided in February

For more than three hours Thursday night, Fayetteville residents had their say on two issues that stirred the passions of several residents.

When the dust settled after hearing discussion about everything including strip clubs and children scaling roofs, half the residents left happy, while the rest will have to wait until February to see if their concerns are addressed.

The City Council voted to proceed with the process to cut down on noise coming from the city’s wastewater treatment plant on First Manassas Mile, but will hear the second reading and approval of adding additional townhomes to the city’s eastern side in February.

On the noise issue, the council heard from numerous residents in the subdivisions on or near Redwine Road that noise and vibration were causing sleepless nights in Fayetteville.

Public Works Director Chris Hindman said the city had received numerous complaints about the issue and ultimately hired a noise consulting firm to track down the problem.

The problem was pegged to a blower in the city’s treatment plan after the city consulted with a sound consultant.

“We saw a shift in the frequency,” Hindman said, when the blower was operating.

Hindman’s findings were backed up by many residents.

“I moved here three years ago. I thought I was going crazy. I went to an ear specialist,” said Jill Grill.

After nearly an hour of discussion, the City Council voted to task the staff with drawing up specifications for a bid of building a 12-ft. sound reduction wall. The city estimates the cost to be nearly $48,000 for the fix. The city used Frank Artusa With ArtUSA Noise Control to conduct its sound study, and Artusa guaranteed his solution for 20 years, if he was selected as the winning bidder. Artusa would build the wall with PVC materials, which he uses in building sound walls for the state DOT.

The other contentious issue concerned the owners of the Cobblestone Apartments on the city’s eastern side adding 33 townhouse to a 5 acre lot, on the south side of Ga. Highway 54 east, currently zoned commercial to multi-family zoning.

Will Kilgore, who represented Cobblestone’s owners said the company acquired the tract in 2013 and decided the best use for the property was residential, instead of commercial.

“We’re seeing the younger demographics looking for places to rent, because that’s all they have known,” Kilgore said.

But the residents of the Oakbrook subdivision, who live directly behind the vacant land, saw things through a different lens.

“We have a nice little neighborhood right now. If this is built, our neighborhood would be overflow parking for them,” said Jim Anderson.

Annette Chamber’s main concern was adding capacity to the city’s sewer system.

“We do not need any additional water in the area. We have hardly a day without a smell from the system. The manholes have blown up twice and we’ve had toilet paper in the trees,” she said.

Oakbrook resident Lulu Svec said she is concerned about more residents near the subdivision.

“I’ve already had children on my roof, and this would just add to it,” she said.

Joyce Westbrook told the council she had consulted with numerous real estate agents who told her the subdivision’s property value would plummet if more apartments will be built.

With the property currently zoned commercial, certain uses, such as added retail could already be built on the property without the resident’s input, but Svec is hopeful the city would look after the residents.

“I don’t think the city will let a titty bar go there,” she said, which was greeted with a titter from the crowd. The city staff recommends approving the rezoning, since it would be a step-down in zoning.

The council will decide the issue at its Feb. 5 meeting.