Mediation to Address Church Bell Dispute

Neighbors of a church in Burlington, Vermont, have agreed to go to mediation with representatives from Christ the King Catholic Church over the issue of the church’s bells.

The neighbors complained to the City about the church bells, wondering whether the ringing violated the City’s noise ordinance. The Assistant City Attorney, Gregg Meyer, is quoted as saying that the City would rather have the two sides work this out in mediation. Mediation originally scheduled for March is now set for May 18th.

This story has a familiar “ring” to it: I wrote recently about another dispute between a neighbor and a church regarding the church’s bells. The unhappy neighbor there had actually filed a lawsuit. No word on how that case was resolved.

Mediation is the perfect place for this type of dispute to be resolved. Determining whether the bells violate the city’s noise ordinance would leave one side or the other very unhappy. Mediation has the potential to help both sides reach an acceptable agreement.



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