Neighbors say noise from a Buddhist monastery is unbearable

People who live near the Duoc Su Buddhist Monastery on 42nd Avenue South in Seattle's Othello neighborhood, have been complaining about noise.

People who live near the Duoc Su Buddhist Monastery on 42nd Avenue South in Seattle’s Othello neighborhood, have been complaining about noise.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Duoc Su Buddhist Monastery noise complaint

VIDEO: Is this Seattle monastery too loud?By David Ham

SEATTLE — People who live near the Duoc Su Buddhist Monastery on 42nd Avenue South in Seattle’s Othello neighborhood, have been complaining about noise.

“It’s bad when they get going. It’s real noisy,” said Juan Ucol, who lives a few houses down.

He added, “Very annoying. It gets to your nerve.”

Monastery president William Lee told us the monastery only gets loud about three times a year when special events are hosted at the location.

The monastery is hosting an event that started on Sept. 9 and will go through the 21st.

Lee said the noise shouldn’t be heard in the neighborhoods but will try to keep it down if more complaints come in.

Neighbors disagree.

They argue the noise has been constant even when the special events aren’t on location.

“The noise is really bad there’s been incidences where they have gongs and bells going and they had a gas powered leaf blower that was running,” said Pat Murakami, president of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council.

She’s called 911 about the noise several times in the past few days.

“They just need to be a good neighbor and they have to think about the fact that little children are trying to go to sleep to go to school in the morning and the music’s going til 10 p.m. That’ snot acceptable.”
Under current city noise ordinances, loud noises created by musical instruments, other devices, or voices, amplified or unamplified, are not to disturb neighbors between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Even though neighbors say most of the neighbors say the noise stops by 10 p.m., Murakami says it’s still way too loud.

“They’ve had music blaring at concert levels,” said Murakami.

We contacted the Department of Development about the concerns from neighbors.

“…We’ve received letters, emails and phone calls about the Temple over the years for various different noise complaints. We’ve responded to each one appropriately. If it was about leaf blowing noise, we addressed it. If it was about loud amplified voices, we suggested they contact their SPD local precinct because it this type of noise qualifies as a disturbance and is not enforced by DPD. It’s enforced by the police,” said DPD spokesperson Wendy Shark in an email.

Seattle Police said officers are also aware of the issues.

“The biggest issue with this is that people are calling in and requesting to be anonymous, “said Detective Patrick Michaud, Seattle Police Department. “We need people to speak with us and tell us what they are hearing for action to be taken. Any other noise related questions could most likely be answered here

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