Noise from nearby tech facility is “unnerving” to Virginia Beach neighbors

Posted at 3:40 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-24 09:24:37-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -  If you're looking for peace and quiet, Tommy and Trudy Bryns say you won't find it in their backyard anymore.

"It took two years to put this fish pond out here," Trudy said. "Everybody used to congregate out here, but now nobody comes over."

What changed? A new tech facility opened this year. Large fans cool the facility's computers sending a loud humming noise out to the nearby neighborhood. "It's just pure annoying. It never stops. It runs 24/7," said Trudy, who now wears ear plugs when outside to combat the noise.

The cryptocurrency mining facility, BCause, opened earlier this year on Greenwich Road. Previously the building was used by a beverage company and neighbors say it was a lot more quiet. "Really just quite a disturbance to a pretty quaint little part of Virginia Beach," said Gary Weeks, a neighbor.

In a Facebook post, City Council member Jessica Abbott said the land is zoned as industrial, so the company isn't doing anything illegal. Still, she says she recognizes this is a problem and is trying to help figure out a solution, like a sound wall or something else. She added BCause has been "more than willing" to work this out.

"I don't really care what they do as long as they do something," said Tommy Bryns.

News 3 reached out to BCause founder Tom Flake. Earlier this year, he showed News 3 around the facility. In an email Thursday, Flake said he believed his company and other upstarts could "change the narrative of The 757." He acknowledged the noise exists, but also said the company needs to be a good neighbor.

Amid fears their property values are suffering, the neighbors say they hope they act fast. "These are the last years of our lives and we have to be dealing with this," Tommy said. "It's kind of frustrating."