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Droning noise on roof of Carrollton condo building annoys neighbors

The only roar louder than an air-conditioning system at the Carrollton Condominiums building is the uproar it is causing in Oakenshawe.

Residents are complaining that the noisy system on the roof of the Carrollton, 3601 Greenway, is causing them sleepless nights.

The noise "sounds like a jet plane hovering over Calvert (Street) and University Parkway in a holding position," said Oakenshawe resident Robin Roszel.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, wrote a letter that he placed in neighbors' doors, saying that the sound was "grueling" and that "I cannot enjoy my backyard anymore."

He said in the letter that he was asking city officials "to inspect and close down the equipment in question."

Carrollton property management officials say they are fixing a loose bearing in one of the building's two rooftop cooling towers that they believe is causing the noise.

Oakenshawe community leaders first raised the issue in early June, but said the Wentworth Property Management Corp., based in Forest Hill in Harford County, was slow to respond.

In a June 4 email, Mark Counselman, immediate past president of the Oakenshawe Improvement Association, broached the noise issue with his counterpart, Pat Gorman, a board member and past president of the Carrollton Condominium Association, which owns the building.

"Neighbors have been complaining and tracked down the source," Counselman wrote. "In the still of the night with bedroom windows open and a direct line to your roof, it's really loud."

New Oakenshawe association president Miye Schakne pressed the issue a week later, in a June 13 letter addressed to condo association president Eric Price and Carrollton Community Manager Rebecca Mey, a Wentworth employee.

"Since the noise is very irritating and continuous, there is little patience among the neighbors here, as you might imagine. The sound is irritating neighbors many blocks away," Schakne wrote.

Mey responded the same day, telling Schakne and several other community leaders that Carrollton officials are aware of the problem and are addressing it.

Mey wrote that she and a contractor stood on the Carrollton roof June 11 and listened to the noise, and they determined that a bearing was loose and needed to be replaced in one of the two cooling towers.

The Carrollton's goal was to fix the problem by the end of last week, and in the meantime, the tower with the loose bearing was being turned off in the evenings, "to prevent further irritation from our neighbors," Mey wrote. "We plan to work on this matter until the sound issue has been resolved. Thank you for your continued patience."

However, Counselman emailed Mey, Price and Gorman on Friday evening, June 14, to say that he was still hearing the noise at 8 p.m.

Mey could not be reached for comment.

Gorman and Price said they live on the ninth floor of the Carrollton, right below the air-conditioning system, and that the noise is not a major disturbance to them. But they stressed that they don't want to anger their neighbors in Oakenshawe and that they have a good working relationship with Oakenshawe community leaders.

Gorman stressed that the Carrollton and the Oakenshawe community have a long history of cooperation on issues including John Hopkins University students making noise and using Carrollton trash receptacles. She said she and Counselman spoke regularly to resolve issues, when both were presidents of their respective associations.

Counselman called Gorman "a great person," and added, "Moral of the story, this is why we have a neighborhood association. Let's not just stand around and complain, let's work together and solve problems."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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