March 20, 2009

Neighbors win fight against kids’ noise

Neighbors in a rural area of Washington state have won a battle against a Montessori pre-school they claim would be noisy and harmful to the environment.

Planners in Kitsap County recommended a permit for the Montessori Farmhouse School, the Kitsap Sun reported. But Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter ruled in favor of neighboring property owners and against the laudable goal of educating the young.

Noise generated by laughter and screaming of young children during outdoor playtime and by up to 84 vehicle trips to and from the property would be materially detrimental to single-family residential properties in the immediate vicinity, Hunter said.

Neighbors argued the children might harm the environment by straying from paths during visits to the woods.

Annette Weaver, who thought the 6-acre property was ideal for her pre-school, said she was disappointed by the ruling. She is considering an appeal to the county commissioners and also plans to meet with the neighbors to see if their differences can be resolved.