Neighbors struggle with park noise

Neighbors struggle with park noise
Noise stemming from activities at Alga Norte Park in Carlsbad is becoming a nuisance for residents nearby. File photo by Rachel Stine

CARLSBAD — The opening of Carlsbad’s 32-acre Alga Norte Community Park, complete with its swim complex, abundance of ball fields, playgrounds, skate park, and dog park, was met with cheers from the community. But the continued noise has become too much for nearby neighbors to bear.

About 40 residents who own homes adjacent to the park testified before Carlsbad’s City Council on Tuesday evening about the sounds that rise up from the park and invade their backyards and homes.

“The noise coming from cheering and screaming is present constantly from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” said Kenneth Conrad, who conducted a full presentation before council.

A resident of Halite Place, Conrad explained that the majority of the noise comes from skateboarders using the skate park, shouts from the playground and sports fields, and leaf blowers.

He said the sounds are amplified because the park was built at the bottom of a natural valley.

“It’s like building it at the Hollywood Bowl, the noise just goes right up,” Conrad said.

He, along with several other residents, complained that the clamor is so loud that they cannot open their windows during park hours.

Another neighbor who lives close to the skate park said, “I also hear foul language consistently. Gone are the times I can open my windows to let the ocean breezes come through my house.”

“No peace. It has become torture at times,” she added.

“Every 3 to 4 seconds, we hear a clack, a clatter, the sound of a skateboard on concrete. Every 10 seconds we hear a cheer,” said a different local.

“I can’t use my yard,” said resident Tom Rudolph.

He said that the back of his home is close to the dog parks and the barking sounds are endless.

“If you had a neighbor whose dog barked from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., you’d do something about it,” Rudolph said.

Resident Dan Palmer expressed concerns about the skateboarders who recklessly skate in the middle of the neighborhood streets.

“Every weekend I see a near fatality on the road.”

Conrad implored City Council to consider noise abatement measures including reducing the park hours and installing soundproof awnings over stretched of park area.

Despite their myriad of complaints, Mayor Matt Hall said that the city needs to collect at least a year’s worth of data before considering making any changes to the multi-million dollar facility. Alga Norte Community Park has been open since Dec. 31 of last year.

He added that the city would need to collect input from other community members as well before proposing any alterations.

“I understand what quiet is about, but in the community this conversation will involve literally thousands of people that have some sort of feeling about this facility,” Hall said.

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