Golf courses becoming 'noisy neighbor' in Cary

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A new town ordinance is allowing golf course maintenace to start much earlier in the morning (WTVD)

Golf courses are becoming a noisy neighbor in one Triangle town.

Cary Town Council approved a rule change this week that would allow crews to start course maintenance earlier in the day, expand the type of equipment they can use, and where they can use the equipment.

Council members directed town staff to draw up the new rules after course managers from Prestonwood, Lochmere, and MacGregor Downs country clubs lobbied Cary leaders last year to loosen the town's existing noise ordinance.

Currently, town rules ban golf courses from using blowers or mowing any surface other than the greens before 7 a.m. from April through September.

Tuesday, Cary's council said they want to exempt all golf course activity from the noise rules after 6 a.m. during those months.

They also want to allow maintenance to start at 7 a.m. on weekends from October through March instead of the current requirement of 9 a.m.

"It's a more fair representation of what we do each day, and we're going to continue to do our work each and every day and be good stewards of the community and not try to disrupt the sanctity of our community," said Prestonwood Country Club general manager, Matt Massei.

Neighbors said the rule change caught them off guard.

Bob Butler, who lives on the course at Preston Highlands, said expanding maintenance is getting louder and waking him up earlier.

"All of the sudden we started having chippers and chainsaws and blowers starting to happen as early as 6 a.m.," he said. "Would you go to your neighbor's house and start a chainsaw at 6 a.m.?"

Butler took his concerns to Cary Town Council where he learned about the rule changes.

He complains residents didn't get any advanced notice.

"They came out with their recommendations, which basically said let the golf courses do whatever they want," he said.

Butler has started the website LetUsSleep.org in protest of the new rules.

Town staff is reviewing the legal language of the new noise ordinance which could receive final approval next month.

"It's really all about being good neighbors," said Butler.

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