One couple said they are looking for a little less noise at night.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- The peace and quiet of one of the township's picturesque neighborhoods has collided with the noise and bustle of the sprawling township business district; now, one homeowner is looking to a new home-rule resolution to bring the peace.
Charles and Carol Grove have lived on Tanglewood Drive just beyond the Boardman Cemetery for the last quarter century, raising two children and planning to live out their remaining days in the home and neighborhood with which they have grown comfortable.
The ranch-style home, sitting on one acre of land with a well landscaped back yard and a sun room for summer relaxation, was, for the Groves, the perfect example of calm. That was before the Boardman commercial boom.
A stone's throw away from the busy U.S. Route 224 in one direction and the rear loading docks of the Home Depot store in the other direction, the Groves say much of the peace experienced when they bought the home has been chased away. The increase in noise is tolerable during the day, said Charles Grove, but at night the noise is a bit more than he can take.
"I would just like to have a quiet time from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. where I can get a good night's sleep," he said. "During the day they can do whatever they want."
Grove's main complaint is with the Home Depot store to the immediate rear of his property. He said delivery trucks drop off supplies behind the store throughout the day, and store personnel spend the entire night bringing those supplies in with forklifts and small trucks.
He also said a generator at the store comes on every Monday morning between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. loudly enough to rouse him and his wife out of a deep sleep.
Matt Tiefenbrun, Home Depot spokesman, said the store manager had been aware of complaints in the past, but was under the impression that those concerns had been addressed. He said the best way to solve a noise conflict with the company is to speak directly to management.
Grove said he has talked to the company about the noise and has seen some progress. Home Depot put up a fence to keep large trucks from parking at night in the rear of the building with their engines running. The company, he said, also disabled the warning beep on the forklifts being used outside at night.
Still, he says the late night noise is more than he can take -- and that is where the Groves hope a newly passed noise ordinance here will work in their favor.
One section in the resolution prohibits "delivery of goods, material or merchandise to commercial properties adjacent to residentially zoned property so as to create a noise that is plainly audible before 7 a.m. and after midnight on any day." That section, said Grove, speaks directly to his situation.
Trustees told Grove that his first step would need to be calling the police department. The resolution says an officer must determine if a certain amount of noise is in violation of the resolution by using his or her "own auditory senses without mechanical or electronic enhancement."
Those in violation of the noise resolution can be fined from $50 to $250.
Tiefenbrun said Home Depot stores adjust their operating procedures to comply with all local regulations.
Trustee Kathy Miller said noise problems from businesses that affect residential areas are a planning issue that should be tackled as buildings are being built. She said more trees and natural buffers should be left in place to prevent noise, with tools such as the noise resolution in place as an added means of protection for residents.
"It is important for us to be sure that we have a community that everyone wants to continue to live in where our residential areas are protected, but yet be fair to the commercial areas as well," she said.