The Carbondale, Colo., ordinance prohibits sustained noise of more than 55 decibels in residential zone districts between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., but the town’s Board of Trustees voted to exempt the golf course following complaints by nearby homeowners. The Board granted the exemption because residents signed contracts accepting noise at odd hours when they purchased their homes.
The Carbondale (Colo.) Board of Trustees has voted to exempt the River Valley Ranch (RVR) golf course from the town of Carbondale’s noise ordinance, following complaints by nearby homeowners about early morning maintenance-related noises, the Aspen (Colo.) Daily News reported.
The noise ordinance prohibits sustained noise of more than 55 decibels in residential zone districts between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. The trustees granted the exemption because homeowners in RVR agreed to covenants accepting the burden of enduring golf course noise at odd hours when they signed the contract to purchase their homes, the Daily News reported.
“The golf land and related improvements and facilities require daily maintenance, including mowing, irrigation and grooming during early morning and night hours,” reads a covenant that all RVR property owners are required to sign.
“When anyone purchases property out there they agree that the golf course maintenance will occur, and they already signed a declaration saying they acknowledge that,” said Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot. “Folks have already agreed to put up with a nuisance.”
Since the RVR golf course opened in 1997, that fact has put the course in conflict with Carbondale’s noise ordinance, so when police respond to golf-related noise complaints, they lack the authority to tell golf course operators to quiet down, the Daily News reported.
“We would just tell them that the town staff was looking into it,” said Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling of the way his officers dealt with noise complaints last summer. “Our noise ordinance was in conflict with the [RVR] covenants.”
“It is mandatory for a golf course maintenance operation to commence services as early as 5 a.m. in order to accommodate early, and typically more expensive, tee times,” wrote RVR golf course superintendent Chad Weaber in a recent letter to the Carbondale trustees. “Furthermore, the ability to perform maintenance operations as late as 9 p.m. on any given evening during season is also of critical importance to a successful operation.”
The RVR golf course typically operates between April 1 and October 31, according to Ian Hause, the executive director of the RVR Masters Association, a homeowners group. During those months, Hause said, workers typically mow and blow sand during the early morning hours, while sometimes operating loud pumps and compressors at night to deal with irrigation emergencies, the Daily News reported.
The new exemption from Carbondale’s noise ordinance will allow employees to do that work while worrying less about angry homeowners threatening to call the police, the Daily News reported.
According to Hause, the RVR homeowner who registered the six noise complaints with the Carbondale police last summer “is currently in the process of relocating,” the Daily News reported.