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Night Time Air Canons 'Disturbing the Peace' are Perfectly Legal

Avon farm uses canons to keep the critters away; Avon Lake homeowners say the noise keeps them up at night.

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.

Jeanne T. Nash September 05, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Many people have their sleep disturbed by a snoring partner, city traffic, animal noises or neighbors who like to listen to loud music. Try a "Sleep-Mate" machine. I use one in my office so that noises can be neutralized during hypnosis sessions. I bought and sent one to my friend in NC because her husband snores loudly. It costs around $50 and is well worth the money. It makes white noise (2 speeds and a baffle that you can manipulate to make it as loud as you want). Place it as high as you can in the room so that it can send out sound waves at optimal capacity. You might also try head gear that blocks out sound. I'm not sure of the name, but I've seen ear gear in the Sky Mall catalog that is supposed to block out noise. I'm a light sleeper, so I can understand your pain. Good luck to all. P.S. I just made the most delicious grape jam.
Melissa Sapp September 05, 2012 at 11:55 PM
French Swede, I was responding to comments prior to yours. Your post is smart & logical. Jeanne, I love the idea of a sleep machine or even sleeping pills, however I have 2 little ones that I need to be alert for. Besides, I don't think it's fair to ask residents in a 15 mile radius to change their bedtime routines or spend $50 for 1 farmer's poor choice. What do other farm's do to keep the animals at bay? Air canons?!? Really?! That just seems ridiculous. Wile E. Coyote comes to mind.
Steve83 September 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I wondered what the sound was - thought it might have been related to the construction at Lear Rd. Melissa - 15 miles is probably an exaggeration - the distance from the farm to Lake Erie is about 4 miles. You actually might be hearing Klingshirn Winery in Avon Lake near Towne Center - I thought I read in the paper that he was using an air cannon also and that might be closer to you. BTW - Schober Vineyards was just in an article in The Press titled "Avon Farmer Chooses Happiness over Wealth". It basically said his land is worth a whole lot more (millions) than the farm can generate in income.
Max September 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Living next to Klingshirn winery, I can assure you that no cannons are being used. Nor do I hear cannons from Shober Vineyards.
AMH September 06, 2012 at 03:52 PM
People, where's the tolerance anymore? The man is trying to do his job and save his crop. **you live in farm country** This "ME-centered" world is about on my last nerve. Moreso than any temporary noise disturbances!

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