Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Church tower driving neighbors crazy

The new bell tower at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church is lit all night long, and the bells are set to ring every 15 minutes, causing havoc in the houses across the street on Tildenwood Lane. Our neighbors need our support to ask the church to turn off the lights after 9pm and to stop ringing the bells all day, every day. Below is a letter I received from Julie Winston, outlining the difficulties they are having: The bell tower started operation around December 10th (we were away till the 16th, but they certainly coordinated with the opening of the Montrose Parkway). We returned from our trip and the entire upstairs of my house (6709 Tildenwood Lane) was lit up...thought I had been robbed, but found it was the LIGHT from the church bell tower brilliantly shining into my upstairs bathroom, hallway and bedroom. Little did I realizethat the church BELLS would affect me even more than this problem. These "lovely" bells ring EVERY 15 minutes all day long, and even more so on Sundays. They are on a BIG BEN system like in London, and very few churches buy this program because it does affect the neighbors. I can accept Sundays, as this is church time. I contacted the church 6 times via phone, and was told it was the holiday season and no one would be able to respond to my message until after the 1st of January. No one ever returned my call, but on January 8th, I finally spoke to a Mr. Foria who is the building engineer. He said he was surprised to hear about the light being an issue, and would try to dim it with a filter. I asked for it to be turned off after 9pm, as it was disturbing our sleep. He told me that was impossible as they wanted it to be seen all night from the MONTROSE PARKWAY! The noise from the bells was not an issue, as far as he was concerned. He never did get back to me, as he had promised. I called the county Dept of Environment , and Dan McAnn (240-777-7743) has been out here to check the sound levels and has even spoken personally to Mr. Foria at the church, but to no avail. Dan says the sound levels are ok and they do go off at 9pm, so that is acceptable to the county, but he agrees that the quality of life is definitely disrupted by the bell sounds every 15 minutes. This is not a way to live..... the light is shining on my breakfast room table, in my den, and my entire upstairs... and the bells are driving me crazy!!!! Happy retirement at 6709 Tildenwood Lane. At least 4 of the residents of this street are affected as well, and I haven't asked the remaining houses as of yet. I so appreciate the community's support in resolving this awful problem. See the article below re: Reston Church bells, law suit. Thanks again, Julie 301-468-9399 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/30/AR2006113001419_pf.html

No comments:

Post a Comment