Air canons going off every 50 seconds—including during the night—are perfectly legal, even if it’s disturbing the neighbor’s peace.
The noise, coming from Schober Vineyards on Chester Road, near the railroad tracks just over the border from Avon Lake, is from air canons and some Avon Lakers are saying the noise, set to go off continuously every 50 seconds or less, is keeping them up at night.
Schober Vineyards, across from , between Jaycox and Lear roads, sells wholesale and retail grapes as well as “pick your own grapes.” The majority of grapes are machine picked to be used for juice and wine.
One resident called to complain while others took to Facebook to say they heard constant "gunshots" from 1 a.m. on and couldn't sleep.
Greg Zilka’s office began getting complaints from residents asking if there’s anything that can be done, legally, to stop the noise.
The answer is, “no,” according to Avon Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza, who said the canons are legal and the complaints are nothing new.
“We have an exception in our noise ordinance,” Piazza said. “It’s perfectly legal for farms to use to scare pests, 24 hours a day. We go through this every year.”
Avon’s ordinance permits signaling devices on “agricultural property used to prevent the destruction of crops by pests or animals.”
Piazza said the canons are used for only a few weeks a year, and deemed necessary for the crops survival.
“It’s only used two weeks a year,” Piazza said. “I’m sure it’s annoying as hell but it’s permissible for agriculture. They’re trying to protect their crop.
“The raccoons and deer make a mess. A raccoon can destroy 100 yards of grapes in a night.”
Farm owner Ed Schober agreed.
“I’m not trying to make enemies,” Schober said. “I’m just trying to protect my crop. It’s a pretty meager crop as it is.”
Schober said it wasn’t just raccoons and deer the canons are scaring away, but turkey and birds.”
He’s heard complaints before and has tried adjusting the orientation of the canon to appease neighbors to the north.
Homeowners, however, might hear his canon for more than two weeks. Schober said he expected to need the air canons for several more weeks until harvest.