An anonymous neighbor filed a complaint about a “screeching” lawn mower at the Durango, Colo., club before 7 a.m., in violation of city code. Golf Course Superintendent Ken Kirby said this is the first noise complaint about summer operations in the 30 years he has worked at the club.
The city of Durango, Colo., has issued a verbal warning to Hillcrest Golf Club for operating noisy equipment before 7 a.m.—a violation of city code, the Durango Herald reported.
The warning stems from a resident’s complaint about a screeching lawn mower or some other piece of equipment being used before 7 a.m. last week, said Steve Barkley, code enforcement officer for the city. According to city code, noise levels cannot exceed 50 decibels in residential areas between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Fifty decibels is about equal to the volume of someone speaking loudly, Barkley said.
“The recommendation was do the lawn mowing away from the residential (areas) earlier in the morning, and as they get closer to the residential areas, try to make it 7 o’clock or later,” Barkley said.
Golf course Superintendent Ken Kirby said this is the first noise complaint about summer operations in the 30 years he has worked at Hillcrest. He also received a complaint last winter about a snowcat grooming trails early in the morning for cross-country skiers, the Herald reported.
“This one kind of took us by surprise, obviously,” Kirby said, referring to the most recent complaint.
Crews typically get started about 5:30 or 6 a.m. during the summer, he said. If crews must postpone work until later in the morning, it could impact play and overall quality of the course, he said.
Hillcrest is uncertain where the complaint came from. The person who made it apparently gave a fictitious address but claimed to live in the Hillcrest Estates overlooking the course, the Herald reported.
Kirby said he’s skeptical about whether it was golf course equipment the resident heard. He doesn’t have any machinery that creates a screeching sound, he said, adding that it is more likely the neighbor heard a street sweeper or something else, the Herald reported.
John Vickers, head golf course professional, said the staff is researching the issue and working on a solution.
“I’m confident the club is going to follow whatever ordinances they’re required to follow,” he said. “If it’s affecting many people, I’m sure Ken and his staff will address it appropriately.”