City of Southport discusses noise ordinance after multiple complaints

City of Southport discusses noise ordinance after multiple complaints
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 11:45 PM EDT
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SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) -Complaints about trash trucks and street sweepers had Southport leaders looking into possible changes to the noise ordinance.

The question in front of the Aldermen is whether they need to update the wording for Southport’s noise ordinance.

One proposal would be to specify that private entities, like contractors that pick up trash from businesses early in the morning, are excluded from creating loud noises outside of normal business hours.

Town staff mentioned the trash trucks typically start around 6:30 in the morning, but the current noise ordinance does not have exemptions for contractors working for businesses, only for municipal trash pickup and services.

One couple, who owns the seafood restaurant Provision Company, says it’s upsetting to hear that some people have actually called 911 to complain about the early trash pickup. They say the early pickup is necessary for them to continue operating their business successfully.

“Southport is growing, we do already have a traffic issue. So to have these large trash trucks, down in the already congested tourists walking area can be a real safety hazard. And then if people park in front of our dumpsters, the trash companies will not pick our dumpsters. I live in a city because there’s services available. Most citizens that live in this city, also appreciate this services. And I’m one of these people what’s good for one is good for the other. I’m a citizen and a business. So I’m hoping that this handful of people that are complaining, need to understand this is our livelihood,” Maria Swenson said. “This is what I do for a living and it’s actually kind of heartbreaking that my neighbors would call 911 because they need my trash picked up to make money and to support families.”

Swenson also said they’ve tried doing a late-night pickup but it’s not convenient because they had to stop cleanup work to move cars away from the dumpster, making it take longer to close the restaurant.

Swenson said there are a few houses across the street from their restaurant, which has long been a mix of commercial and residential areas.

“When you buy in a commercial section, you have to be aware that there’s commercial activity, which includes major trash pickup,” Swenson added.

The Board of Aldermen tabled the discussion and did not say when it will be on the agenda again.