Royalton noise issue needs City Council attention, resolution

By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

October’s amendment to Royalton’s noise ordinance did not resolve the noise issue being experienced by Ron and Sara Stumpf.

The Stumpfs, who live on Driftwood, have endured high levels of noise by two neighbors cutting and splitting huge amounts of wood.

Speaking for the Stumpf family at Tuesday’s City Council meeting was former Sauk Rapids mayor Mark Campbell. “Since I left office in 2011, I’ve assisted a number of individuals by researching ordinances,” he said. “I’m doing this as a favor to the Stumpfs.”

Campbell brought the issue before the City Council, noting that the Stumpfs have made dozens of time-stamped videotapes showing the noisy activities.

Despite the noise ordinance amendment, the noise is still happening after the nightly cutoff of 9 p.m.

“They have received no resolution by calling the police or the sheriff. I believe it’s your time to support Mr. Stumpf and enforce the ordinances that apply,” Campbell said to the Council.

The ordinances in question are #40, noise; #45, procedures for enforcing administrative offenses; #34, definitions of public nuisance; and #16.01, zoning.

Campbell told the Council, “It’s time you take a hard look at the two properties that are cutting and splitting wood, as to whether they are doing it for their own use or are operating a business in a residential district.”

Campbell said, “Nobody else in the neighborhood is willing to say anything.”

Campbell requested the Council measure the noise, review the times the noise is occurring, and determine whether a business is operating in a district zoned R-1 residential.

“I don’t know why the police have determined that what these neighbors are doing is unenforceable,” Campbell said.

Since a public forum is an opportunity to bring an issue to the Council’s attention, the next step is for the city to research the issue and bring the information to a future meeting.