Neighbors, business feud over noise levels in Wallingford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Neighbors, business feud over noise levels in Wallingford

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On Padens Court, neighbors said the sounds coming from nearby Thurston Foods are loud enough to keep them up all hours of the night. (WFSB) On Padens Court, neighbors said the sounds coming from nearby Thurston Foods are loud enough to keep them up all hours of the night. (WFSB)
WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Residents in one Wallingford neighborhood said a local company is keeping them up at night.

On Padens Court, neighbors said the sounds coming from nearby Thurston Foods are loud enough to keep them up all hours of the night.

Eyewitness News used a sound meter in the area, which showed the noise being about 70 decibels, which is about the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner outside.

The company’s CEO admits it is noisy but said the blame shouldn’t fall on his company.

“I feel bad for them from the perspective that they have to listen to this. With that being said we were here first,” said Peter Malone, CEO of Thurston Foods.

The problem residents have is the noise coming from the businesses 60 trucks that are loading up goods to deliver.

Thurston Foods moved to the area in 1990, and the residential development on Padens Court was built in 2012. Before that happened, Malone said he wrote to the town, warning about the potential problem. However, the town let a developer build the neighborhood as close as 600 feet from the facility.

“We're a growing business. We moved into the countryside and the cows didn't care. We're loud and getting louder,” Malone said.

However, being first doesn’t necessarily mean being right, and some neighbors have complained to the town that the company is violating the local noise law.

“They’re certainly frustrated and one of the complaints is lack of sleep,” said Craig Fishbein, who sits on the Wallingford Town Council.

He has been hearing from both sides. Thurston’s noise levels do violate local law, but the company filed for an exemption similar to state law which doesn’t restrict sound from mobile units, like trucks.

“There's sympathy on both sides. You want the homeowners to be able to sleep at night and you want the business to continue to operate,” Fishbein said.

He said he hopes the two sides can come to a compromise before the board rules on the exemption application in May.

Malone said the company has already spent nearly $400,000 moving its parking lot to lessen the noise, and he doesn’t want to shell out any more cash to fix an issue he feels he didn’t create.

“There's got to be some line drawn because at the end of the day we predicted this happening,” Malone said.

Thurston Foods provides food to large organizations, like hospitals, schools, and restaurants.

Fifteen people have signed a petition complaining about the noise.

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