On Your Side: Noisy Neighbor

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News 12 at 6, June 11, 2007

Martinez -- Many of you use car washes to clean your vehicle, but the neighbors of one wash say it's driving them crazy.

They say it is too noisy, but the shop owners say they are doing everything they can to keep the volume down.

Car washes are not known for being quiet and neighbors of one Fury Ferry's wash are fed up.

They say they can't stand the racket.

But the shop owners say they are operating within the letter of the law and trying their best to be good neighbors.

"I didn't move into their world, they moved into mine," Homeowner Ponda Holt said.

Ponda has strong feelings about her new neighbors. "It's loud, it's lousy, it's obnoxious and I'm tired of it," she said.

It wasn't a family that moved behind her house, it was a car wash: The Shine Shop Express Auto Wash.

The noise Ponda says she and her family have had to endure in the backyard since the shop opened up last June is unbearable and she's not the only one.

"It's a pain, no other way to say it. There is continuous noise," says neighbor Judy Binson.

Judy says she doesn't want to uncover her pool because the car wash's privacy fence doesn't provide her any privacy.

The Shine Shop's Owners wouldn't talk to 12 On Your Side on camera, but they did release a statement saying, "All appropriate zoning approvals, permits and licenses were obtained from Columbia County." And they have "extended great resource beyond requirement to be a good neighbor."

The owners say they have reduced the hours the shop is open, cut the time the noisy dryers are on, put up sound-deflecting material to reduce noise and even fortified and extended that privacy fence to block Judy's yard and pool from view.

They say they are going above and beyond to be good neighbors.

Columbia County did issue a citation saying the car wash is in violation of a county ordinance that says any and all blowers must have a muffler attached to dampen noise.

The manufacturers of the Car Wash's equipment told 12 On Your Side that there are not any commercially made mufflers that will fit their equipment available on the market.

For now, this issue is working its way through the courts.

But until then, Ponda Holt is going to be staying inside a lot more. "We don't come out here. We don't come out here at all," she said.

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