Inspector visits Raleigh construction site after I-Team report

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- City of Raleigh officials confirmed to the I-Team that an inspector visited a subdivision under construction and warned contractors about violating noise ordinances.

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The encounter follows an I-Team investigation where residents in northwest Raleigh's Woodlawn neighborhood complained of construction aftershocks shaking their homes and threatening their properties.

"There are times in the morning it feels like they're setting off bombs," resident Lorine Lewis told the ABC11 I-Team. "It happens early in the morning and sometimes you're like - did something fall upstairs?"

RELATED: Construction boom giving Raleigh neighborhood bad vibrations

Posts on the neighborhood message board NextDoor show several other residents feeling Lewis' pain.

"I'm getting tired of my fragile items/light fixtures shaking from the construction," one neighbor fumed. "Having lived in earthquake territories for many years I'm tired of waking in a panic thinking one's hitting."

Many neighbors shared with concerns with the Homeowners Association (HOA) manager PPM, and administrators told the I-Team the construction issues must be taken up with the City of Raleigh.

Raleigh, like most cities and towns, bases its construction rules and regulations on the North Carolina Building Code. When it comes to protecting adjacent properties, contractors must notify those property owners of their plans in writing, ensure pedestrian safety, and safely store all building materials and equipment - among many other things.

The I-Team, however, did not find anything in the code about bad vibrations, and other developers we spoke with explained that the project most likely rattling homes is an essential part of any development, including Woodlawn's.
"It's compacting the soil," Tim Smith, founder of Preston Development Company, explained to the I-Team. "You've got to compact the soil, get rid of all the air and water and flatten everything out."

Preston currently has more than 20 new subdivisions under construction throughout the Triangle and beyond, and Smith said it's indicative of North Carolina's soil that any development must begin with compacting.

"If the dirt is not compacted properly, it's going to swell and sink and the road will be all torn up," he said.

Asked about reimbursing neighbors for any damage caused by the compacting, Smith said all his contractors are insured and they try to communicate well ahead of time any construction plans.

"We want to be good neighbors," Smith said.

CalAtlantic Homes is the developer of the new subdivision along Woodlawn; our calls were not returned. The excavating contractor, Giant Development, also ignored our calls, but a manager on site told the I-Team he had not heard of any complaints.
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