VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – Deputies in Sarasota County said the sound of worship was just too loud. 8 On Your Side is now investigating why the music is still playing at one church in Venice.
“I don’t understand why a church can be so loud,” said Callie Desormier. “Their building vibrates.”
The first noise complaint against CoastLife Church was filed in 2016.
While neighbors agree they do a lot of good for the community, some like Desormier are fed up with the loud music.
“You can hear the bass through any part of my house, it just thumps regularly nonstop for hours.”
According to affidavits and incident reports from deputies, the music has been louder than 70 decibels multiple times in the past three years. That is considered a violation of County Ordinance 54-118.
But the county tells 8 On Your Side they have only found one noise violation over the years.
On April 9, Code Enforcement found the church was in violation when they recorded a reading of 78 decibels.
Adding to this confusion, a memo from prosecutors states that no action will be taken because they believe the church is likely exempt from the ordinance.
One of the exemptions is for “noncommercial public gatherings” like a parade or a festival.
Prosecutors believe a church service fits in under that exemption.
“It’s just a constant ‘boom boom boom,'” said Vicki Mahon. “Like somebody had a rock concert in your front yard.”
Mahon, who lives down the street, said her peace ended when the church expanded with a metal building in 2016.
“I have no idea why they’re being so unreasonable,” she said. “Just simply turn it down and everybody would be happy.”
Desormier said she’s not fighting the church. Instead, she’s fighting the noise that’s been disturbing her peace at home for years.
“They have a great group of people. They have a great following,” she said.
“We just want them to understand… we want our peace and quiet when we’re here and we don’t get that.”
Pastor Jason Warman sent 8 On Your Side the following statement:
We are aware of the situation and are saddened that there is an issue between us and our neighbor. We love our city and our neighborhood and exist to serve and improve the community that we love. Our church services have seen hundreds of lives experience change and receive hope. We provide food and activities in our monthly block parties to express our love for people. We do our best to try to help meet the needs of teachers and students in our local schools. In addition to our local efforts we also provide global assistance through our strategic partnerships that help feed and clothe children in impoverished communities. Our heart is to be known for the good that we do.
When we became aware of a noise concern, our first response was to downsize our speakers in order to help remedy the situation. When that first step didn’t resolve it, we also took multiple other steps such as adding sound panels, and on several different occasions adding various types of insulation to help improve the situation.
Our goal has always been to be in compliance with the ordinances of our county and be good neighbors to our community. According to our knowledge we currently comply with all of the local requirements.
We are still exploring ways to improve our presence in the neighborhood. At the end of the day our hope is to be good neighbors while also providing dynamic worship services that enable us to fulfill our mission of leading people to abundant life in Christ.
Civil remedies may be available for neighbors.
8 On Your Side has requested a sit-down interview with the pastor. We will continue to follow this story.