Developing neighborhood Irish Hill dealing with excessive noise from factory

Developing neighborhood Irish Hill dealing with excessive noise from factory
The Sunstrand factory began its 24-hour operation in late January. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Sunstrand factory began its 24-hour operation in late January. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a back and forth battle between two types of residents in the Irish Hill neighborhood. One is a group that lives in the Axis on Lexington Apartments; the other is a sustainable materials company located next door.

Noise coming from the Sunstrand plant has been a known issue since early summer of 2017. That's around the time the factory began full operation. Sunstrand recently moved into the facility but the property has been industrial for several years.

"You never know when the noise is going to start," Axis resident Erik Snyder said. "Sometimes it will be nothing but frequently the noise is going all night."

Snyder lives at Axis and his balcony faces the plant. He said the noise really picked up in late January. Trey Riddle, CEO of Sunstrand, said that is when 24-hour operation started.

Riddle told WAVE 3 News an investigation determined fans used in operation are the source of the noise.

"We are trying to figure out what it is going to take for them to be reasonable neighbors," Snyder said.

The Axis leasing office opened in December 2016, which is the same month Sunstrand acquired the facility just across Beargrass Creek.

Councilman Bill Hollander said while the property Sunstrand operates on is zoned for industrial use, it still has to follow the noise ordinance.

"There is a lot of interest in properties like Axis properties along this street," Hollander said. "Sometimes that creates a conflict with existing industrial facilities.

In August, a city inspector visited Sunstrand twice and no citation was given. In response to noise complaints, Riddle said they built a noise barrier. For residents living on higher floors like Snyder, the barriers don't work.

"Stage two would be modifying the equipment itself by adding mufflers onto the fans," Riddle said. "The developers decided they do not want to contribute to that."

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Riddle said as neighbors Sunstrand and Axis should split the cost of any noise mitigators.

"I know it's hard to live near a noisy situation," Riddle said. "At the same time, we all make choices and the developer chose to put the apartment complex next to the factory."

Snyder made his choice and said he will not terminate his lease.

"We don't want to leave," Snyder said. "We just want the noise to stop."

Brian Evans, the developer of Axis, said in a statement: "It is very difficult for Axis to justify spending additional dollars on mitigation efforts when it is ultimately Sunstrand's responsibility to comply with the law."

Codes and Regulations began a new investigation regarding the noise at Sunstrand on February 8. The results are pending.

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