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Speak Out: Is Noise a Problem at Blandair Park?

Neighbors beginning to voice concern over noise at Blandair Park.

 

It's no longer just fun and games at Howard County's Blandair Park—the new park is generating a significant amount of noise, according to a report published in Explore Howard.

Neighbors of the park said noises such as air horns, whistles, buzzers and public address speakers are creating a situation in which the park has become a nuisance, according to the report.

A meeting to allow residents to discuss the noise issues  is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Other Barn in Oakland Mills.

The park, which is open from sunrise to 11 p.m., officially opened in March, and is home to lacrosse, soccer and football practices and games on its three synthetic fields—which are lit at night. The park also hosts large tournaments that draw a significant number of children and adults.

"We had more than a handful of residents who sent letters to the board with concern over the noise at the park—not noise from regular people, but there are large tournaments there," said Sandy Cedarbaum, village manager for Oakland Mills. "There has been a lot of overflow parking on neighboring streets, lots of kids walking and crossing streets in an area that had little traffic before the park was developed."

Cedarbaum said the community supported building of the park during its development phase and this is just one of the issues that needs to be dealt with now that it's open.

She said the community hopes to work with Howard County Parks and Recreation, which manages the park, to find a mutual solution.

"With anything new there's going to be issues, as soon as we can work out an agreement the better," said Cedarbaum. "We're going to have an open and civil discussion [Tuesday night]."

Do you think noise is a problem at Blandair Park? Tell us your experience in the comments.

Brett November 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
What a surprise- Columbia residents with a noise complaint. Never heard that one before. Jeez, It's kids and teenagers playing sports outside at a park- what do you want them to do, use their inside voices? Implement a no-whistle rule for the refs? Maybe they can use all the revenue from the speed cameras and build a sound-proof dome around the park.
Andrew Metcalf (Editor) November 27, 2012 at 07:33 PM
It doesn't seem to be necessarily just the people there, it's the amenities - PA speakers, late hours, buzzers, whistles - that are bothering the neighbors, based on what I've heard/ read about the situation.
b.santos November 27, 2012 at 07:45 PM
two points. with respect to air horns: before air horns were used at athletic events, stoppage in play (end of quarter, halftime, timeout) was typically signaled by an official blowing a whistle. if the air horn was calibrated to be no louder than a whistle, it may help mitigate the noise issue. I would also encourage looking for a more pleasing tone than the blast of an airhorn. second, the Oakland Mills High School football field and track are close to Blandair. I have not heard any complaints about noise from events held at OMHS, although they also have lights, bands, cheering crowds and a PA system. Maybe Rec and Parks can consult with HCPSS about their standards and then apply those standards to Blandair.
Anna November 27, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I live right behind the new park and my family and I love it. I can walk my 4 year old daughter there to play or even just to watch a game. The noise is there, but that is to be expected when children are outside having fun. The noise is not deafing where it would keep us up at night. I also hear noise from the high school field too...what are they going to ban games at the high school as well. All I gotta say as long as it happy noise and not gun shots I'm cool with it! : ) Kindest Regards- ANNA
Julia McCready November 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I agree. We are quite near the park and love it. The noise and lights are not excessive.I do like the suggestion of consulting hcpss for standards, though.
Jon November 28, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I live right behind the park. The noise is out of control. I can hear it with the windows shut and the TV on. The county could have never sold use on the park had they told us that Air Horns and huge announcement speakers would be put in. It has got to stop! On the weekends it is a constant 15 hours of noise!
Jack November 29, 2012 at 05:41 AM
This is hilarious. "Maybe Rec and Parks can consult with HCPSS about their standards and then apply those standards to Blandair." When the hcpss took the money from people with disabilities and used it for new turf fields they also gave control of their fields to Rec and Park without any oversight or standards. Yep, Rec and Park is coming every night and weekend to your local high school and they plan on increasing programs.
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