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Ogden veteran’s family tired of restaurant noise, installs backyard banner pleading for quiet

Posted at 9:27 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 23:27:17-05

OGDEN, Utah — An Ogden family has become so fed up with late-night activity outside a restaurant next to their home that they're taking action in an unconventional way to send their message of frustration.

The Brays moved into their home more than 20 years ago, son Zachary Bray said, and back then the lot next door was empty aside from trees.

The land next to that lot contained a quiet strip mall with 9-5 businesses, but in the last decade, things began to change.

Bray said the trees on the lot next to them were removed, and it became a paved parking lot. A few years ago, the The Pie Pizzeria moved into the end unit of the strip mall. The restaurant added a large outdoor covered patio.

Through his parent's dining room window, he looks down onto the parking lot and patio.

"You can see how close we are," he said.

Their home comes fairly close to the edge of their property, which slopes directly down onto the pavement.

While the restaurant was slow during the middle of the day Wednesday, Bray indicated that changes at night.

In a video he shared with Fox 13, patrons can be heard yelling and making noises loud enough that his cell phone video picks it up clearly from the family's backyard.

"Give me the da** slice!" A woman screams at one point. People clap and cheer, from what Bray thought sounded like a birthday celebration.

"We've actually seen some fights," Bray said.

He said they've also seen people vomit feet away from their home, attempt to climb their short chain link fence, urinate in front of their house and someone once broke into his dad's car.

Bray said they regularly call the police because the noise goes late into the night after The Pie Pizzeria closes.

His dad is a Vietnam veteran who suffers PTSD and Bray explained the noises can trigger it.

"When he wakes up screaming at 2 o'clock int the morning, it's because of this," he said.

Recently, he put up a large banner in the yard facing the lot. It reads: "Please Be Mindful of Volume Levels, A 100% Disabled Veteran Lives Here."

Bray said he wanted to politely ask customers to keep the noise down, especially in the parking lot.

The Bray family isn't the only neighbor frustrated with the problems. Across the street, Jim Hutchins said he ended up paying $30,000 to install a 12-foot tall cement sound barrier typically seen along freeways.

"I felt like a wall was the best solution," he said, standing in front of the massive concrete structure. "This is my privacy. This is what I need to, in a sense, defend myself."

Hutchins indicated that he, too, saw issues after The Pie Pizzeria moved in. He explained he went to the city to see if the landowner could meet him halfway on a 7-foot tall fence to cut down on the noise and problems.

However, he ran into issues because he said he found out the property owner was not legally required to help. Hutchins said he then tried to see if they could work on a plan together.

"He refused to even do that. He refused to talk to me, he refused to have any communication with me," Hutchins said, referring to property owner Brad Naisbitt of Naisbitt Investment Company, LLC.

Bray described a similar response, but instead of building a wall, he said their family filed a lawsuit against the company.

According to Bray, they're asking for Naisbitt Investment Company, LLC to install a sound barrier and vinyl fence along the Bray property.

Fox 13 reached out to Brad Naisbitt, who explained that the company met with the city and that they are following all city codes without violations.

He could not comment beyond that. The Pie Pizzeria declined to make a comment on the situation.

Ogden City provided a letter to Fox 13 written on November 20, explaining the progression of the situation. In the letter, it talks about how several different changes occurred, "that were not anticipated when past land approvals were made."

Assistant City Attorney Mark Stratford explains in the letter that each of those changes-- the removal of the trees, the moving in of a late-night business, the addition of the outdoor patio-- didn't violate any city ordinances.

Because of that, Stratford states, "the City's role is limited."

For now, Bray hopes the sign will help with the noise for The Pie Pizzeria customers who see it.

"I hope that the customers can at least help us out by keeping it down, avoid the fights in the parking lot," he said. "Just keep the volume down, if nobody else will help."