Loud noise concerns addressed

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Complaints of loud noise in downtown Farmville and the need for an updated noise ordinance were discussed during the Sept. 11 Farmville Town Council meeting.

Floyd Duffey who resides on Randolph Street behind the North Street Press Club addressed the Council during the meeting with concerns over loud noise coming from the establishment that he says keeps him awake at night.

“I’m kind of tired of not being able to get to sleep at night,” Duffey told council members. “I’ve called the police several times, and they come out, and then an hour later the noise has not stopped. All you hear is boom, boom, boom and intoxicated patrons hollering. It’s hard to sleep, and that goes on up until 2 a.m. in the morning. The next morning, I have to get up and go out and pick up the trash they have thrown down … they trespass on my property … throw cigarettes butts down. It’s just ridiculous.”

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Duffey also told council members that he wants to be a good neighbor and he knows they (Press Club) can be good neighbors and that he had addressed the issue with the owners of North Street Press Club, but nothing is being done.

Farmville Police Chief A.Q. “Andy” Ellington was in attendance during the council meeting and addressed Duffey’s concerns. “I personally met with the owners, all three of them of the Press Club several weeks ago after I saw your complaints coming in and well, it is my understanding that they had spoken with you and they had appeased you,” said Chief Ellington. “We really need you to call in if they are bothering you. I need that documentation. So don’t think that nothing’s going to be done. We are working on it. I know they want to be good neighbors and do the right thing …  we will find an answer and have a solution.”

Sec. 16-1 of the current Town of Farmville Noise Ordinance states, “No person shall create any loud or disturbing noise in the town. Noise of such character, intensity or duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of any person or to disturb or annoy the quiet, comfort, or repose of any person is hereby prohibited.” The ordinance further states, “Playing any radio, phonograph or musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume or duration, particularly during the hours between midnight and 7 a.m., as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in or on the property of any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence is prohibited.”

In an email to The Farmville Herald, Nash Osborn, an owner of the North Street Press Club stated, “We at North Street Press Club have heard and are aware of Mr. Duffey’s ongoing noise complaints, and we are working diligently, as we have from the time we opened, to address these issues. We have, on several occasions, spoken to Mr. Duffey in our facility and have made concessions to try and alleviate the issue; however, he continues to make, often unfounded, complaints to the Farmville Police. Our intention is to remain in full compliance with the current Farmville Noise Ordinance, and be a good neighbor to all of those living in, and visiting the area around us.

We have been working closely with the Hotel Weyanoke as well, to ensure that we maintain a comfortable sound level, at night, for all of our guests. This is a work in progress, and we can assure the community that we are doing all that we can to fix any current issues. Our goal in creating North Street Press Club is to bring great food and fun, live entertainment to the downtown area, a much-needed venture, considering Farmville is home to two colleges.

When asked about the noise issue Hotel Weyanoke Mangement responded in an emailed statement, “We have been working with the North Street Press Club on this matter. Both the Hotel Weyanoke and the North Street Press Club are committed to maintaining a positive relationship. The Hotel Weyanoke is confident that the North Street Press Club is acting in earnest to address our concerns.”

According to Interim Town Manager, Dr. C. Scott Davis, the town is looking into the current noise ordinance and has asked the Town’s Attorney, Gary Elder to further look into the issue.

Davis also noted that an original conversation about the noise ordinance began several months following another complaint about a Farmville establishment. 

“The original conversation on the noise ordinance originated several months ago when Buffalo Wild Wings had a DJ playing music on the outside patio and a neighbor in the adjoining neighborhood called the police about the noise,” explained Davis. “I believe the entertainment company questioned the noise ordinance, and Mr. Spates mentioned this to the Finance and Ordinance Committee. It was agreed that the Town Attorney would look at the current ordinance and make recommendations. Since that time, Mr. Duffey has called the police about the noise and music from the Press Club.”

According to Davis, a new ordinance will “possibly be presented to the Finance and Ordinance Committee next week.”