Disclosure Deception: Stories

Disclosure Deception: Stories

The harm produced by deceptive disclosure practices for over 20 years is an embarrassment to ethical realtors, the County, and the Navy.

Read the stories below of people who were deceived.  You may want to tell your story, as well.

CITIZENS HARMED BY DISCLOSURE DECEPTION  tell their stories:

1.  Spring, 2012 Purchase – inadequate disclosure

I bought in the Bon Air/Ledgewood area in Spring 2012.  I suppose I signed that disclosure but because it was so vague, it did not sink into my brain how really bad the jet noise would be. Neighbors with whom I talked (before purchased) said, oh yeah, the jets come over ever so often – but its nothing….Well, four or five nights a week, for hours on end, beginning at 10PM and going on into the night until about 1 or 1:30 am. — is unbearable.  What an injustice, but geez, we in the U.S. should be used to that by now….lied to about everything, we are.

I came out of a very unexpected marital breakup, an auto accident, and a move from a rental that I had expected to live in for at least two years; had been looking for a house to buy for nearly 9 months – and found this one that I could afford (but that needed major work)….if I was depressed when I moved after all the emotional turmoil in my personal life, I have certainly been depressed in the time I have lived – and listened to – this horrible, extremely loud jet noise.

2.January 2006 purchase – reassuring comments, inadequate disclosure

At the time of our Coupeville home purchase, we were living in Virginia and had been periodically traveling to Whidbey Island house-hunting with the intent to relocate to be closer to family. On one such visit in January 2006 we located the property perfect for us in Admirals Cove, which we visited three times, none being when jets were flying. Nor did we know anything about the OLF jets, and there was no mention of such in any of the available information at the property.

Several months later at just days before closing, we were informed of the jet noise disclosure to be signed. We were taken aback, not sure what it would actually mean and whether to cancel the purchase. So, from Virginia, we phoned locals, real estate agents, and the County. They all pretty much all said the same thing: loud but infrequent — not too bad. Trusting those sources we bought and moved in in July 2006.

We were horrified when we first experienced the jets and shocked to learn they flew just a couple hundred feet directly over our house on their final approach to the runway. We tried to cope with the noise rather than confront the hard-to-swallow reality that we had been duped.

Then, in 2010 the touch-go sessions began to increase noticeably, and by 2011 and 2012 we knew the practices had doubled and that the jets were louder. Living here was no longer bliss with occasional trying times, but had morphed into incessant come-and-go challenges to maintaining sanity. As a neighbor who rented a nearby property by phone from South Carolina explained to me why she was moving after just 3 months, “I wouldn’t stay here with these JETS if rent was free!”

The disclosure statement is not only inadequate, it is a flimflam that clearly prays on the pockets of homebuyers and renters and discounts the impacts on their lives, and it sidesteps the reality that Navy agendas are beyond Island County control. It’s not okay to say the notice is good enough for some buyers; it has to work for all. No one should slip through the cracks.

Finally, it is important to note that the notice was only presented to us well after we had paid the airfare, well after we first visited the property and became committed to it, well after the contract was mutually accepted, well after we had paid for the inspection, and well after we sold off investments to meet the obligations expected. That concealment is totally unacceptable and reprehensible.

The notice must not only fully delineate all the impacts and risks, but it must be profiled to prospective buyers upon their initial and any subsequent visits, and all purchase contracts should include a signed statement that the buyer has read and understands the disclosure.

3. 2003 Property Purchased and Home Built – 2002 disclosure

My husband and I purchased our high bluff waterfront property on 2003.  It is off of Parker Road within Coupeville city limits and in Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve ( managed by the National Park system).  At that time high bluff waterfront property in the Coupeville area was at a premium and the prices were going up quickly.  We purchased our property because it was beautiful and serene.  We were the first to build in our private neighborhood that had seven building plats,  all one to two acres.  We own 190 feet of waterfront overlooking Penn Cove and see the lights of Oak Harbor in the distance.  There is a curving private road that comes into our neighborhood from Parker Road with acreage on both sides that can never be built on for total privacy.  We hear no traffic noise from Parker Road.  Covenants were already written up by the developer to protect views and the environment.  It was paradise and all of our retirement savings are invested in our home.

We had no idea we were directly under a flight path.  All we knew was that the navy occasionally flew over our area on the way to Oak Harbor.  I don’t even remember signing a noise disclosure.   I recently found a copy buried in my title closing documents – the 2002 non-disclosure in very tiny print.  This makes me furious.  We never would have purchased our property had we seen the noise contour maps and military warnings.  We feel terribly violated.

We had no problems until 2011 when the military started ramping up their presence here and the ear splitting growlers began arriving.  All of a sudden we were directly under the touch and go practice frequently non stop for four hours at a time non stop at tree level.  The noise is horrendous and the vibrations get into the core of your body.  The reverberation from the water even makes it worse.  Our lives have become a living hell.  We have become collateral damage for the Navy.  We are paying just under $8000 per year in property taxes.  Yet when the practice flights resume from the OLF we will not be able to live in our house.  It’s not worth going deaf.  We fear a crash in our neighborhood.  The vibrations may compromise our bluff and the emissions from the planes are very toxic. Where are we supposed to go?   It is a nightmare.  Even this summer the constant roar of the growlers from Oak Harbor is unpleasant.  The stress of this terrible situation has greatly compromised my health.  I wake up during the night with my heart pounding from anxiety.

Please keep my name anonymous.  Individuals that have written letters to the editor have been threatened with violence.

4. 2010 Purchase – 2002 Disclosure, (plus realtor information)

We purchased our home in 2010 after our son moved to Vashon, and our daughter moved to Useless Bay.  We came up to help them move in January of 2010, and saw that Whidbey might be a home for us, and our family would be together.  Back home, we researched on the Internet, finding two primary homes to consider – one in Admiral’s Cove, and one with a view of Baby Island.  The Admiral’s Cove home, without knowing the planes fly directly overhead producing horrific sound, was the obvious choice.  It was much lower in price, which we assumed was due to a mistake the builder made by putting no windows on the view wall, which we could remedy through a remodel.  We discovered our home had been purchased by an investor at auction at half its value, and another auction was coming up requiring cash.  We made what we thought was a ridiculously low bid, and the owner accepted it.  We celebrated a dream come true!

Our realtor had told us there were jets.  We got a glimpse of one from the highway, and with our road map, determined they could fly nowhere near enough to our home to make a difference.  We travel, and are often camped near airports and railroad tracks.  We were certain the jets were not a problem.

If we had been presented with the information in the 1992 Noise Disclosure, we would not have purchased.  The Noise Zone Map would have been attached, showing the obvious problem with the jets flying directly overhead.  Other red flags would have been day and night flights and 100+ decibels.  We would have called both the County and the Navy.  Our realtor is a good guy, and I am sure he wasn’t trying to hide anything. But we really needed the information from the legal 1992 disclosure.

I came up to meet the moving van and direct the move in alone, with my husband staying to behind to paint and make repairs.  I remember the first night the jets flew and realized the mistake we had made.  I decided to adjust my attitude, and learn to live with them.  When my husband joined me three weeks later, we both did.  The tipping point came with the Growlers.  An awful situation became intolerable.

Last summer we decided we had to move, despite the extreme hardship. It took us two months of full time work to find a lot in Sandy Hook, doing scores of computer home designs for various lots, shop site preparation, deal with the county, and stage our home getting it ready to sell.  We saw the window of opportunity with the jets not flying to get our house sold.  The sales representative for the home builders turned out to be a disaster, with all of our plans based on a build she recommended, but the company could not deliver.  We’d have to find another builder.

That disappointment made us stop and think about what we would be doing to someone purchasing our home.  Could we justify passing on the problem?  As we faced the moral dilemma, we also started looking at why anyone should be caught in the trap of inadequate noise disclosure.  Our questions began, and the discovery of deception resulted in our refusal to pass it on, and the confrontation with a system that created it and sustains it.

The “shut up or move” taunt that is prevalent on the island hurts the most. We first got it in the County offices when getting a cost for hooking up water in Sandy Hook.  I asked why the disclosure was not better, and the employee kept telling me I was not going to loose my hearing.  I told him I wasn’t talking about loss of hearing, I was talking about no noise information.  He kept coming back to hearing, and finally told me I should just move back to where I came from.

We can afford a move.  We are retired so we have the time.  We can stage a house, pack, pay for movers, make adjustments to a new home, pay realtor fees, and more.  Other people can’t.  Moving away from the jets would break the budget of most people.  They have kids and jobs.  It takes months.  It strains relationships.  Hearing “whiners should move” makes me want to defend any family from being denied the opportunity to choose life without the jets.  This deception has gone on long enough.  It has to stop now.

5. 2003 Sale, No Disclosure

We lived in West Seattle, and came up to the island for occasional long weekends, and fell in love with Coupeville and the surrounding area. We started looking for a house close to the hospital, close to shopping, private, and after several trips found what we wanted. At no time did a military jet fly over. We bought the home, got no noise or building disclosure as required by law. One day, while working in the yard, a jet went over. How cool, I thought….but it’s one of ours. I was proud. Then, as the overflights became a living hell, wearing hearing protectors inside our home. Not being able to work outside. Our pets in a state of panic when the military jets thunder over. The house vibrating to the insufferable noise. Sleepless nights because of the horrendous racket trashing the house at 1:00 A.M.
Enough!
Enough!

6. Unspecified disclosure date, 2002 disclosure

One of my neighbors was walking by as my husband and I were out in the yard gardening. He was a very sweet, almost totally deaf elderly man.  We asked him what he thought about the jets.  He said he had tried to make his peace with them.  He said he had no reason to complain because he had signed the disclosure, and was a man of his word.  This was an prime example why some people don’t complain.  Good character meets deceptive practices.

7. No disclosure

A builder living on the island for some time did careful research to be sure to not build under the jets.  After building, the jet paths moved.

8.No disclosure

We bought our lot in 1969 and designed and build our home in 1971, and we are probably the last of our generation owning property on the beach.  We received no disclosure about noise when we purchased our property.  We were there week-ends at that time and really never knew of the planes flying.  In time we did know, when we were there in middle of the week, and could not begin to believe the noise, often until after midnight.. . .

9. 1991 Property Purchase, 2008 Home Build – No Disclosure

My parents lived in Ledgewood Beach for about 45 years beginning in the early 1960’s.  During that time when I visited them there, Navy jets flew rarely and usually on a Tuesday night.  It was quite tolerable. In 1999 I purchased 4 acres on Parker Road from my parents. There was no disclosure statement and none of us viewed the Navy jets as a problem.  However, when I began building my home in 2008, things changed dramatically.  The Prowlers were being phased out by Growlers and the number of flights began to increase dramatically.  I worked outside on my large organic garden and in the studio I had built in 2006.  I began to have difficulty hearing  after a year or two  working outside.  I found I had permanent hearing loss and needed hearing aids. As a retired teacher, it took several years to save up the funds to purchase decent hearing aids. I understand the Navy takes care of that cost for Navy personnel.  I could not believe that Navy jets were allowed to fly low enough to cause permanent hearing loss, let alone over schools, hospitals, and sports playfields.  I had a jet fly over my land so low that my normally calm dog flattened herself to the ground and I could see the pilot. I began to experience sleep loss, anxiety, and felt the incredible vibration in my body that was transferred by these Growler jets. I felt physically ill as week after week the Growlers flew from morning until 1:00 a.m .  As flights increased, I could no longer work outside even with heavy hearing protection. I lost my ability to concentrate on tasks.  In my shuttered new and well-insulated home I could not talk on the phone, hold a conversation, or watch tv.  I felt   I feel my life has become a nightmare with these flights.

We were told we could call in and issue a complaint to the Navy.  One Navy member told me he and his wife were warned by the Navy not to live in the Coupeville area and to look at the flight pattern. How is it that the Navy is allowed to destroy an entire community bit by bit?  Businesses and farms are suffering here as well as residents. These Navy flights are destroying my life.

10.  Date of Purchase Not Included

As a widow of a RAF pilot officer, who died from lung cancer, thought to have been caused by nuclear radiation, and my present husband, who suffers from the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from Agent Orange, I have often had cause to think of the sacrifice my own family has quietly endured in the name of the most precious thing we still have, life, liberty, justice and freedom for all.

My grandfather was too old to enlist in the Second Sino-Japanese War, but as a British National in Shanghai with linguist skills, he did important work translating several languages. For his “service”, he was water boarded, tortured, and experienced other atrocities.  He died back in England, broken in spirit.

My father, a Scot who lived in Shanghai, although disabled from tuberculosis, signed on with a volunteer regiment, the Shanghai Fusiliers, and died later from war related privations in South Africa. The embargo on ships returning to the U.K. ended a week after he died.  He left a widow my mother with a baby girl and a new born.

We all tend to think that our sad experience is the ultimate in sacrifice. I think my family can be thanked for it’s “service”.

If we study war, we can see that nothing has changed for any victim of any past or present war. War means sacrifice. Regretfully it is the price of freedom.

Today, because communication is so immediate and often slips through uncensored, the reality is that we know first hand that our beautiful men and women are suffering unbelievable physical losses, and mental pain.  Sadly the wheels of relief are often far from timely, and life is at times, so intolerable it is ended by the soldier.

One thing that is changing, is our understanding of what combat does to everyone. Another thing that is changing is the technology of war mongering.

When I moved to Whidbey I believed I was coming to a small bucolic island community where “sailors and farmers” lived in harmony. My grandmother used to explain to us that you were either a sailor or a farmer, meaning that either stayed home or traveled.

I have read with great interest the history of Whidbey Island, and the various interlopers who formed the basis of settlements, as we know them today. It would seem that we are on the verge of allowing a new interloper, who has crept up on us slowly, and with increasing noise. It would seem that we do not have freedom, liberty, “peace” and justice.

Some would argue that they do not have life as they remember it in terms of “peace”. I now know that Whidbey is not an entirely harmonious destination.  Beautiful as it is, and kind as many folk are, there is a darker side.

Supporting our troops has been the rallying cry of many survivors of past wars on the Island, (excluding the ones who became post war objectors), black shirted council member, those not interested in the health, hearing issues of those in the flight paths.  Those who only see loss of income, or who maintain that the only real issue is falling real estate values.

It has been sad to see neighbor estranged from neighbor.  Sad to see signs in Oak Harbor suggesting the Coupeville bare the brunt of the noise.

This is a problem with many levels, and whilst it is trite to name property values, and small business loss as the main considerations, it is a subject that should be carefully scrutinised by the Military at its highest level, and sensible alternatives runways for increasingly noisy jets should be made a priority.

I would be uncomfortable promoting central Whidbey as a tourist destination because of the potential for hearing damage.

If flying at OLF is resumed, I believe it would important that all farming of any livestock in the noise zone should cease.  All horses moved from this area, and all pets kept indoors during hours of operation.   This should impact the three million dollar WAIF facility.

All farm workers and all businesses close to OLF should supply workers with hearing cover, and be notified of flight schedules.

The Little League park, the dog park,  should be closed during hours of flying.

The hospital should be preparing itself for a possible major catastrophe, which very obviously it will not be able to handle.

Perhaps a couple of extra military helicopters should be kept on hand to medi vac patients out to Seattle hospitals.

Finally, how very uncomfortable, and possibly stressful for the pilots who fly those beautiful planes, to know that Whidbey is so divided. These crews go where they are told, and do what they are told to do.

Every so often an opinion from within the military comes to light concerning an individuals feelings about noise levels. Once you enlist, you are obligated to carry out a duty, not to have an opinion that apposes your orders.

Someone needs to listen to these lone brave voices!

Some people might believe that this is a positive way to support troops if they are not able to speak up for themselves without fear of reprisals.

I would therefore appeal to those who have the power to turn this thing around.

Move the planes and the pilots to a safe place.  A place that can support the growing technology.  A place where they are not the center of controversy.

It would be a good thing if the military would be seen to restore harmony to the island and the communities.

11. 1992 Purchase – no noise disclosure

When we purchased our property in 1992 from Center Isle Realty (now Coupeville Windermere) we DID NOT get a noise disclosure.  I do remember seeing a noise map in the CIR office with  noise level numbers posted.  As an audiologist I do remember looking at the numbers and knew that 75 is not damaging to your hearing.  Nowhere was the DAY AND NIGHT AVERAGING mentioned and that the decibel levels that they displayed were not  REAL TIME exposure. More importantly what realtor in that office would have even know what that meant…nor do they today. We also rented property about one mile closer to the OLF field than our present property for approximately one year.  While we heard and saw planes doing their maneuvers quite often over the rental property the noise was NEVER at the level that it has been in the past 3 years nor was it as frequent.  Should it have been, I know we would never have purchased the property that we live in now. As a professional in hearing loss, noise exposure, noise damage, etc.  in my 43 years as an Audiologist I have never heard of this much denial regarding a major public health issue.  It is now my opinion that Coupeville Windemere, Island County and the Navy are all together in selling us houses ,expanding the tax base of Island County, that are quickly becoming inhabitable.  The realtors now do not wish to tell anyone about the risks of noise exposure, possible effects of jet fuel emission exposure and the possibility of a crash because it would reduce their bottom line.  It is reprehensible that the owner of Coupeville Windemere would continue to show a map in their offices with little emphasis on any real facts and also add a paragraph in the contract that protects and informs no one about the real dangers.  Who in his office is an expert on noise exposure????  Who in his office is an expert on jet fuel emission??? Who in his office is an expert on the crash zone????

Marianne Brabanski

12. 2002 Purchase – No Disclosure

We started house hunting on Whidbey Island in 2004 and used 4 different Real Estate agents from Oak Harbor to Langley including Caldwell Banker, Soundview Realty, Windermere and ultimately Whidbey View Homes. None of them ever pointed out the OLF or discussed it with any specificity.

We recall driving by it with acquaintences and asking what it was and being told it was an old WW2 airstrip owned by the Navy and used at most once or twice a month for a couple of hours. No one ever mentioned training or the term “Touch and Go.” With all of our trips to Whidbey, we never saw or heard any plane land there or parked there. In fact, the only time we ever saw human movement on that field as we drove or were driven by was when some men were flying radio controlled model planes on the field. If a Real Estate agent ever mentioned it at all, it was the same message as we heard from the acquaitences who told us it was an old, hardly ever used air strip owned by the Navy.

We purchased our home off Parker Road in April, 2007. The closing was via the US postal service as we lived in a Philadelphia suburb and did not attend any formal closing.

We first learned of the existance of written disclosures in 2013 from COER. We then asked neighbors if they had signed any disclosure documents, and a few said they had and showed us what they had signed. Another friend showed us a map with an orange oval where the potential for different decibel levels of airplane noise might occur. We were never asked to sign or did sign any such disclosure document. We were never shown a map relating to airplane noise anywhere on Whidbey Island. We searched our files, including the documents in the closing materials sent to us, and there are no disclosures other than Seller’s Disclosures and there is nothing in the Seller’s Disclosures relating to the OLF.

Our Real Estate broker searched her files and sent me an e-mail saying there was no disclosure relating to the OLF in her files relating to the sale of the property we now own. In that transaction, she represented both the Buyer and Seller.

Had we seen the 1992 Disclosure document we would never have purchased our home. My husband worked for HUD and knew what 100 decibels meant. Had he seen any document or been verbally told we would be subject to noise at that level we would not have purchased our home.

I should mention that we lived as close if not closer to the Willow Grove Naval Air Station for 16 years than we live to the OLF and never had a complaint. It would have taken the 1992 disclosure document with reference to 100 decibels to frighten us out of our purchase.

For the first 5+ years we lived in our home, what we had been told appeared to be true. We heard some airport type noise once or twice per month for a couple of hours at most. We were actually surprised, given that Ault Field is only about 10 miles away, that we experienced less noise than we experienced from  the Willow Grove Naval Air Station.

Last year, a low flying plane broke glass in our home. It now feels like we live in a war zone.

13. 2003 Purchase – 2001 Disclosure (form 22w, used since 1993)

Form 22w was enclosed in my closing documents. i never saw it or heard of it prior to signing the closing documents when i purchased this house…. which is my primary (only) residence.  no person, paper, or other entity informed me that supersonic aircraft would be flying at decibel levels in excess of 125 dba 200 to 300 feet over my home at any time of the day or night.
David Day

14. 2010 Purchase

We knew the airplanes flew at the OLF. But we did not know they would be flying directly overhead at an altitude of about 150 feet. We received NO, repeat, NO disclosure at all from the listing agent (Freeland,  Washington Windermere Office) or from our off-island Windermere Realtor when we bought in 2010.

We would not have purchased our home if we knew. I already have a hearing loss and tinnitus and definitely would not have moved anywhere near a location that would make that condition worse.

We came from out-of-state where disclosure of such things is automatic. Since the State of Washington makes the seller fill out a multi-page questionnaire about all that is wrong with the house, and since the noise hazard warning is supposed to be disclosed by law, why isn’t the noise hazard disclosed on this form?

15. 2006 Purchase

My realtor said there was “some” “occasional” airport noise.  I am from Chicago and lived not far from Midway Airport.  So, this was the vision I had when the realtor mentioned “airport noise.”  Midway’s commercial airliners flew thousands of feet overhead.  I had NO idea, none whatsoever, that the jets would be flying so close to my house.  I thought the jets would only be flying to the Naval Air Station.  I had NO idea the military jets would fly so close to the ground or that they were landing on a practice field near my house.  I am DIRECTLY in the flight path of the runway.  When the planes fly, they fly RIGHT OVER my house.  The first time I ever experienced a flyover, I screamed out, “OH MY GOD!  I never knew they flew this close!!”  It actually felt as if the jet was going to land on my roof.  I shook my head in disgust.  I thought to myself, “Oh God, if I had known this, I NEVER would have bought this house!!!!”  Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate being so close to a jet flying overhead.  I thought the jets were going to fly thousands of feet overhead… NOT 250 feet!!!  I was overwhelmed and became very despondent. My realtor had made me feel like the flyovers were only a once a month kind of thing. No one ever told me that jets would be flying past 10:00 p.m. when I am trying to get to sleep.  I suffer from heart disease and I am sure this noise is not good for my heart.  Even with all the windows sealed shut and curtains drawn, it is still too loud to even hold a conversation or listen to the television when they are flying overhead.  This kind of oppression is outrageous.

I once had a friend from New York visiting me and we were sitting on the deck.  Suddenly the flyovers started.  She turned to me literally holding her chest and she gasped in fright, frozen in fear, as the fighter jet approached.  She screamed out, “___,! Look!  Oh my God!!”  It had been so quiet that day, I forgot to warn her of the possibility.  The noise was so excruciatingly loud that my friend covered her ears in pain.  She yelled, ‘___, how do you live with this noise?  It is actually painful — hurting my ears!!!”   We had to quickly run inside, but the noise was still overwhelming.  There have been several times when simply walking to the driveway while a jet is flying overhead causes immense ear pain.  I have never experienced this eardrum-splitting level of volume, even at a rock concert.  I pity the poor children on my block who are innocently riding their bikes and playing ball on the street while these jets are flying so closely overhead.  There are other safe places the Navy could be doing this practice.  They stopped for a year.  Where did they practice then?  We can’t be their only option.

I am a disabled man.  I cannot afford to sell this house.  Even if I could (which I doubt), I am an ethical person and in all good conscience, I don’t see how I could sell this house to an unsuspecting buyer.  How deplorable.  Who in their right mind would buy a house directly in the flight path of a military jet?  I seriously don’t know what I can do.  I will probably have to buy a protective headset like baggage handlers use at the airport when loading luggage.  I am so glad I no longer have a pet.  The pain she went through every time a jet flew overhead was so bad she would start howling.  This is NOT right.

Thank you for any help you can give us.  We need help in the worse way.  I would love to have a couple of those people who are in favor of OLF come sit on my rear deck while they are flying over.  The sound is frightening.  It is so loud as to be almost unbelievable and definitely unbearable for any normal human being.  I used to go to Chicago to watch the Blue Angels fly and their sound was nowhere as bad as this.

16. Non-disclosure – change in flight paths

A buyer purchased a home a half mile from Oak Harbor after moving from under the flight paths further north.  All was well until the Growlers were sent to Whidbey, when the flight paths changed and the noise again became unbearable.

17. Inadequate Disclosure – Oak Harbor

As I have always had a love for aircraft, when we purchased our home, and were advised that we were in what was called “Sound Zone 2”, I was excited to be able to see various aircraft taking off and landing near our home.  In the beginning, it seemed the Naval aircraft departures and arrivals were fairly consistent, and not very obtrusive.  However, it appears that over the past 2-3 years, the frequency of the air traffic has increased and the flight patterns have changed.  More recently, we have experienced many low level flights directly over our home at about 500′ above the house with what appears to be full power with, or without, after-burners.  The noise level is so intense that your house shakes, and we must cover our ears to protect them from the pain of the noise.

18. Flight Path Map Not Accurate

I currently live on Whidbey Island . . . .north of Coupeville.  I chose this location based on the noise zone map that was provided.  I had lived in the flight path of an airport and knew I didn’t want to again.  During the past several years very loud Navy planes have flown directly over my home.  In the past I was able to call and speak with someone who agreed with me they were not supposed to be flying here, but recently all I get is a message machine that offers to call back but never does.  I have concerns that the Navy will continue to ignore their own regulations and that an increased level of squadrons could jeopardize my physical and emotional health.  When I have had the misfortune to be outside when a growler has flown overhead, I found the sound so loud it was painful and I found it necessary to squat down and cover my ears for relief.

19. 1996 No Noise Disclosure

We purchased out home in 1996 direct from the seller and did not sign the noise notification form.  If the Navy did not have use of the OLF and tried to get it approved would it have any chance at all?No, none due to environmental, health, and safety issues.  Right or wrong, the area surrounding the OLF has grown too large for the field.  The noise due in good part to the number of landings and the F18s are intolerable.

20.  Realtor and Other Untruths Result in Not Buying

I came to Whidbey to purchase a property.  I had one staked out in Ledgewood Beach.  However, because their is such a lack of information, untrue information and uncertainty as to the future “noise”I will probably buy in Freeland or Greenbank.  I was lied to by my realtor who told me that there was only two days a month that the “Outlying field” was used and he didn’t tell me about the new proposal so I feel especially sorry for those who purchased houses in the past because they were probably lied to also.

21.  2004 Purchase

At the time we purchased our house no mention was made that it lies in the fight path of Navy jets flying under full thrust with no noise suppression.  We have since learned that legally such notification is required.

  1. At well over 100 decibels, the noise level is dangerously high for humans as well as animals.  When we hear the aircraft, we immediately go indoors and put on noise-canceling headphones.  We also bring our pets inside.
  2. Non-domesticated animals with extremely acute hearing must suffer considerably.  We both see psychotherapy clients in our home-based office.
  3. The aircraft have become a significant disturbance, at times making it impossible to conduct our business.  We have had to sit in the lower level of our house, virtually held captive in our own home.  Many times we have found it impossible to focus on anything except the noise.
  4. Furthermore, the possibility of an  aircraft engine failure is always on our minds as it may be just a matter of time until an out-of-control aircraft crashes into our neighborhood or some other nearby.
  5. It is our understanding that property values have already been negatively affected.  This is especially true for those with rental properties.
  6. Finally, while driving in Oak Harbor in late December, 2013, we drove behind a red pickup truck that had the following professionally printed it: “Idiot”: Someone who buys a house in the flight path and then complains about the noise.”  This controversy has created a hostile environment and unfortunately supports a growing contention that the US Navy cares little about the concerns of the citizens it purports to protect.

22.  2002 – No Fair Warning

My husband and I purchased our house in Coupeville in 2002.  As a matter of fact, we were not given fair warning about jet noise levels in the area.  Our real estate documents provide notice of “some noise from Oak Harbor jets.” Our Coupeville home is 10 miles from Oak Harbor.  We were not advised there would be routine touch-downs in our area.  Over the years, we have experienced jet noise loud enough to create reverberations throughout our bodies.  Jets have flown so low over our property that it is possible to see the pilots inside the cockpits.  The noise is excruciatingly loud.  My husband already had sever hearing impairment prior to our move to Coupeville. Now he is at risk of loosing his hearing altogether.

23.  Inadequate Disclosure

My father served in the US Navy.  He was a decorated Veteran who recently pass away this last December.  He was 89 years old.  Thus, we support the US Navy.  However, when we signed the document that affirmed we had received the notice of the “sound invasion” from the OLF field we had no idea about the intense volume we would experience.  It is beyond bearable.  We, as a family, are concerned for our health and well-being.  We can’t be in our home and find peace and quiet.

24.  Increase in Noise

I have lived a quarter mile from Coupeville OLF for over seven years.  Prior to that my wife and I visited her parents on Whidbey Island for several years, and were well aware of the jet noise.  There has been a huge increase in the noise level and duration of flights recently at the OLF.  Those who have not experienced military aircraft at low level and full throttle cannot imagine how disruptive the noise is.  Imagine a rock concert outside your house, running eight hours a day, four days a week, until 1:00 in the morning.  Then imagine a noise that is much more obnoxious tan your least favorite rock music.  It is simply insufferable.

Carrier Landing Practice is unique in two says:  10 it one of the loudest human activities on the face of our planet, 2)  It must be performed repeatedly.  These two realities make it clear that there are appropriate and inappropriate places for perform CLP.  While reasonable people might disagree about how much buffer is required between CLP and human habitation, we can all agree that the Outlying Field, which has zero buffer, is an inappropriate location.

25.  Difficulty selling home because of airplane noise

My spouse and I lost a bonafide buyer for our house due to the airplane noise in Admiral’s Cove.  I  am planning to re-list our home in early spring and am very concerned that we will again have trouble selling and be foreclosed or have to settle for way less than our house is worth.

We are 76 years old and need to make a change desperately for health and economic reasons.

26.  No night-time flight notification and Incorrect map for purchase of two homes

I moved to Whidbey Island in 1997 and bought a house, at which time I was provided a map of OLF flying noise zones and was told that such flights would cease on or before 10 am whenever flying.  I also bought a studio, with both properties shown on a map to be outside the noise zones.

I have found repeatedly late night flights, some after midnight, especially when each new commander takes over.  It would seem as though previous agreements regarding noise decibel levels and flying times are never adhered to.

In view of potential damage to our ears and the new Growler decibel levels and continued failure to adhere to hours of flying, I FULLY SUPPORT ANY EFFORTS TO CLOSE THE OLF.

27.  Inadequate Disclosure 2004

Naturally people from Oak Harbor want the OLF reopened and used in order to draw a lot of the horrible noise away from there, making another town miserable, instead.  We bought land and built a house here in 2004 because of the protection that should be afforded by living in a National Reserve, run in part by the National Parks with a strong emphasis on preserving the pristine environmental treasure that existed here, prior to the arrival of the environment destroying Navy Growlers.  Unbeknownst to us, the noise disclosure form, that should have been presented to perspective land and home buyers, had been rewritten and watered down in 2002 to deceive would be buyers into assuming a huge hidden risk along with their land/house purchase.  The Navy now has the responsibility to at least offer to buy these affected properties at pre-growler fair market value instead of forcing people like us to abandon their homes at catastrophic financial loss.  Imagine living in a home where you can’t have your children and grandchildren visit for fear of inflicting permanent hearing loss, or worse, upon them.

The OLF near Coupeville should be closed.  The practice touch and goes by the Growlers need to be moved to a more appropriate area.  You’re hearing this from a military veteran of foreign wars who served in, and still supports the military.  the Navy should not be knowingly harming American citizens and turning the public sentiment against the military, as is happening here on Whidbey Island.

28.  Inadequate Disclosure 2012

Since moving here in May, 2012, I have had major sleep issues which seem to have been relieved since OLF was closed to jets a months ago.  Prior to moving here, there was modification of jet fly-overs but was told it was only occasional and nothing to be concerned about; and the two line disclosure in the settlement papers was known to me only at settlement.  There was no mention of additional louder aircraft being added to the flights flying from the OLF>

29.  Changing noise

I am one of the unfortunate homeowners living under the flight path of the OLF.

When I purchased this property, I was shown a map put out by Island County clearly showing it to be close to the dividing line between 60 decibels and 70 decibels.  I drove by the so-called airport and saw an air-strip.  And I thought to myself, “How much air traffic could there be on that? Besides it’s a few miles away.” and “60-70 decibels –no problem.” And it wasn’t a problem for the first few years. In fact, your pilots probably thought I had a part-house down here as my friends and I would go outside when they were flying and wave and dance around laughing like some school.

Then about two years ago, things changed.  You started making substantially more flights. A bit of a nuisance, but thinking is was all for the war effort I tried to ignore it with the expectation the flights would slow down again in the “old” schedules as soon as things quieted down over in the middle-east.  Ten the Growlers came.  And Gentlemen, “Growler” doesn’t begin to describe the noise that thing puts out.  At first you said we were crazy because “everyone knows” the Growler is quieter than the Prowler.  You lied.  You knew very well once it banked and caught an onlooker in its exhaust it would blow the poor fellow out of his boots.

Then about two years ago things changed.  You started making substantially more flights. A bit of a nuisance, but thinking it was all for the war effort I tried to ignore it with the expectation the flights would slow down again to the “old” schedules as soon as things quieted down over in the middle-east.  Then the Growlers came.  And Gentlemen, “Growler” doesn’t begin to describe the noise that thing puts out.  At first you said we were crazy because “everyone knows” the Growler is quieter than the Prowler.  You lied.  You knew very well once it banked and caught an onlooker in its exhaust it would blow the poor fellow out of his boots.  You also said there would be no change in the flight path.  You lied.  Not only did they fly closer to my home, but now turn right about here giving us the full throttle impact of its most impressive engines; and they are flying substantially lower than the Prowlers did.

When those planes fly, there is no peace, no conversation, no ignoring them anywhere near them, nothing exists but that noise.  There is no sleeping either; and of course the OLF is intended for nighttime flight practice , something the information from the County didn’t include.

I’m not a pilot, but it’s my understanding there are three primary causes of plane crashes: mechanical malfunction, pilot error, and suicide.  We’ll ignore the last one as it most likely doesn’t apply to our young Navy men and women.  It is also my understanding that there are three primary times of concern during flight that errors occur: take-off, turning, and landing.  Now let’s consider our OLF.  These are relative new aircraft being flown by relatively new pilots taking off over the new bus barn, recycling center, miscellaneous business, turning near the hospital, high school, middle school, grocery store, restaurant, primary intersection, miscellaneous housing and businesses, the next turn is in the direct path of Ft Casey State Park, Keystone Ferry, miscellaneous housing, the last turn and landing are directly over hundreds of home in the Admiralty Cove area.  Looks like a recipe for disaster to me.

Yes, Gentlemen, the time has come to close the OLF, and move the touch-and-go operations to another much more suitable location.  Coupeville definitely isn’t it.

30.  No disclosure

I believe that Coupeville has outgrown the OLF by allowing so many residents to build within the crash zone and in the loudest noise zones affected by these jets.  Additionally, this airfield was never intended to be used by jets, rather by quieter airplanes of the 1940s.  It is only 5/8 the length needed to safely practice landings.  Do we need an accident to convince the Navy as how ill-advised flights by such powerful jets are in a residential area?

I was never given a disclosure form, and if I had been, I never would have imagined the extreme noise I would be subjected to as we experienced in the last two years.  It has made my retirement home a nightmare with ramped-up-flights and Growler jets that create a terrible vibration.  My extremely well-built and tightly insulated home (4 years old) is no match for the kind of noise I am subjected to.  I cannot have a conversation in my home, talk on the phone, or watch TV, even with all the windows and doors closed.  I felt physically ill, agitated, and unable to sleep after weeks of daily and night flights by these Growlers.  This did not stop until weeks after the jets were halted this year.  Additionally, I had to purchase hearing aids 2 years after moving into my home.

31  Incomplete Disclosure

When we bought our property (1.5 miles from the landing field), we were informed that flights happened maybe 2 or 3 times a week and for 2-3 hours daily.  We were relocating from a small town along the BNSF tracks and Interstate 40 – a major trucking route; we thought the flights would be less intrusive that the constant drone of the freeway and a train every 20 minutes.  The noise was less of an inconvenience – until the past two years when the number of flights and the duration of practice sessions increased.

32. Inadequate Disclosure

Your Stroy: First let me say I did not get a disclosure  unless you count a paper saying  I was  near a airport & that was given at final signing way to late to be back out .  My history with airports would have  shown a fairly aggressive local govt. supporting measures to protect the citizens near said airports. Why would I have reason to think anyone would allow the assault I now am forced to live under. Two nights   ago the planes started flying at 1.30 am. I can’t hear the TV or talk on the phone. I never know when this will start so forget planning a party  I used to enjoy being outside gardening listen to the birds etc. My grandchildren can’t play outside here so they don’t come very often. My ears ring almost all the time from being caught outside with no protection. And then there is  my property value my nest egg for my retirement & more than likely the $$$ to care  for me when I can no longer be alone. My retired NAVY neighbors ( who moved due to the Huge increase in noise ) took a $ 70,000  LOSS when they recently sold . They call all the time saying get out of there . Not only are they happier but both have seen  health .improvements both in breathing & blood pressure !!.  Unlike them I will not have a large govt,pension  I am trapped  & angry my taxes are used against me this way. The only terrorists I see ,hear & smell live right next door The U.S. Military.

 

 

 

 

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