Winter Park residents say church is noisy neighbor

Some Winter Park residents say music from a neighboring church is too loud. They want Seminole County to implement a new noise ordinance to address the matter.

Seminole County sheriff's deputies say there have been 222 noise complaints reported in the last year regarding Action Church, but the noise is not illegal. At Action Church, lead Pastor Justin Dailey says music is part of the worship experience, with a big stage and sound system.

"We’re talking right now at 55 to 60 decibels. We run our sound at mid-80s, upper 80s, low 90s -- that’s so everyone in this room can have the same experience."

Neighbors say it’s a terrible experience. Eden Point HOA member Bob Shellmyer describes the sound,  "Whomth! Whomth! Whomth! Whomth!"

Neighbor Jenny Enslay says, "It’s like being tortured."

The subdivision is 120 feet behind the church. We asked Pastor Dailey if the church would consider lowering the music.

"We have," he said. "We’ve lowered it over the past year. We are well within our legal right and continually turning it down and getting better and have specialists coming in the next couple of weeks."

"I want the ordinance to change. I feel like they’re abusing it," says Enslay.  "Some nights it's deafening, an uneasy feeling."

Right now the county is redrafting a new noise ordinance saying the current one is too vague. Shellmyer says he’s asked the pastor to turn it down.

 "He looked me in the eye and said, 'That’s not gonna happen, Bob.' I don’t believe that’s the type of Christianity I’m familiar with. They just don’t seem to want to do anything."

But Pastor Dailey says he’s willing to come to a compromise.

"We’ve invested thousands of dollars in this facility. The stage, the concrete stage, extra soundproofing in all of our walls. We want them to know we love them and will sit down at any table to find a common solution."

Deputies say they're working with the county attorney, as a new noise ordinance is drafted.