Tucker residents say church is violating noise ordinance - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL


Tucker residents say church is violating noise ordinance

(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

People living in Tucker say the Holy Cross church is violating a noise ordinance. 

Dawn in the neighborhood isn't what it used to be. There's no time to sleep in. At 7:15 a.m., it's time for church.

Holy Cross Catholic Church calls its congregation to prayer with nothing but bells for 15 minutes.

Claire Burell and her husband moved into a house that backs up to the church. With decibels peaking in the mid 70's, it's like living next to an expressway.

"We actually don't get up to go to church until about 10:30 a.m., so this is way early," says Burell. "It's so loud."

They are one of several homeowners who would like the church to love thy neighbor by toning it down. They believe the church is violating DeKalb County's noise ordinance. Not only do the bells ring for 15 minutes before each mass, they ring every 15 minutes, 12 hours a day.

If these were real bells, what could one do? 

But, they're not. 

I's music played through a loudspeaker, and it faces Claire's porch. She wrote to Farther Jude Michael Krill, who claims the church is in compliance. This should be a matter for DeKalb County Code Enforcement until we learned that county workers are not up to date on compliance training.

DeKalb County can't enforce it's own ordinance.

Since the county couldn't help, we went to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. It convinced the church to lower the sound to 50 decibels. It's still playing every 15 minutes, but not at 7:15 a.m.

For the Burells, the Sunday morning silence is music to their ears.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese told CBS46 the church believed it was in compliance until it got clarification from DeKalb County. In addition to lowering the volume, we've suggested playing the bells every half hour.

We'll follow up once the changes are complete.

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