Noise of dirt bikes stresses out Adamstown couple

David Burd, wtop.com

ADAMSTOWN, Md. – Bill Poole and his wife moved to Adamstown in Frederick County in 2001. Like a lot of people, they wanted to get away from the congestion of the big city.

Poole commutes to Landover while his wife works in Bethesda. They wanted to have some property and enjoy the privacy and the openness of the area.

But two years later, they are not enjoying their 8 acres as they expected.

Poole’s neighbor, Mike Jensen, created a dirt bike course on some of his property and started advertising a dirt track called Ballenger Creek Motocross Club. Internet message boards said he was charging $40 a month and a $100 application fee.

The noise from the motocross track the was so bad that Poole and his neighbors went to the county for help.

They spoke to Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins about this problem, and the only thing the Jenkins could do was to send a deputy out to check the noise levels.

In Frederick County, the county’s noise ordinance bans off-road vehicles within 300 feet of a neighboring property without written permission or with approval from county planners.

County zoning officials informed Jensen he had to take down his signs because the property wasn’t zoned for commercial use. The signs came down, but the dirt bikes continued to show up in the summer months.

Poole and his neighbors spoke with Jensen about the situation and have asked for a compromise: “How about limited hours and no Sundays?”

According to Poole, the noise continued and even got worse.

Monday through Sunday, sun up to sun down, all they heard was the sound of dirt bikes.

Poole told WTOP that he can’t even watch TV in his home because of the noise. Now, because of the stress of the situation, he’s on medication.

So, where does the issue stand now?

Since Jensen has taken down the advertising signs, there isn’t much anyone can do. Jensen is no longer advertising, so there is no way to prove that he’s charging a fee for usage, Poole says.

Jenkins is sympathetic to Poole’s situation and promises to keep an eye on it. Jenkins also says the issue now is with the noise ordinances in the county.

Frederick County Zoning Administrator Larry Smith tells WTOP the present noise ordinance is for 300 feet, and Poole’s home is 1,500 feet away from Jensen’s.

“The problem in this particular case is the noise levels don’t violate the noise ordinance,” Jenkins tells WTOP.

Poole says he’s trying to get the county to change its noise ordinance.

Smith says Poole and his neighbors need to provide evidence the noise ordinance enacted in 2007 is being violated and present it in court.

WTOP has tried to contact Jensen, but he has not commented on the developments.

Follow David Burd and WTOP on Twitter.(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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