BUFORD - Robert Davis said when the music cranks up at Holiday Marina, he can hardly hear himself think.
Davis, a 74-year-old engineer whose home in the upscale Holiday Point cul-de-sac is just a few hundred yards from the marina, has been battling what he calls a persistent noise problem for the better part of two years. After multiple calls to law enforcement and county permitting officials, Davis said he thought he had the issue settled. But the loudspeakers have recently been back in use at a nearby pavilion on Friday and Saturday nights.
"It's back like a bad nightmare," Davis said.
County officials say the marina is exempted from Hall County noise ordinances because of a special use permit approved unanimously by the county commission for the last three years.
And Holiday Marina officials say Davis and others who complain about the noise should have thought about where they were moving first.
"Those neighbors moved into a marina-front subdivision with a marina that's been here for 50 years," Holiday Marina General Manager Alex Laidlaw said. "They should have done some due diligence before they moved in."
Davis said he's had a petition signed by 13 residents of the subdivision, including his sister, who lives next door to him with their 96-year-old mother.
"They must have the best amplifiers in the world, and they're all pointed this way," said Harbor Point resident Carolyn Hardigree, who added that she can't talk on the phone on her deck over the music.
Holiday Marina is permitted by the Hall County commission for special events 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Laidlaw said under the special use permit, the marina's pavilion could hold as many as 44 special events in a year but is only going to have about 15.
"We have been proactive in reducing the number of events over there," Laidlaw said.
Hall County Commissioner Tom Oliver said commissioners had to weigh individual property rights against supporting Hall County businesses.
"There's a line there ... you've got to have businesses in Hall County," Oliver said. "You have to create a balance. Anytime you have residential next to commercial there's always going to be challenges."
Davis said as a taxpayer, "I'm not getting the representation that I think I should get for something like this."
He said he's hired a private detective to help him pursue his options in the legal arena.
"Right now, we're a captive audience," he said.