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Resident says laser tag keeps him awake

(ran NTP edition)

Earth's favorite laser game is wreaking havoc on Larry Lunsford's sleep. And he wants something done about it.

Lunsford, 49, is tired of hearing low booming noises at night that he says are coming from Q-ZAR, a laser-tag center on Dale Mabry Highway with the slogan "Earth's Favorite Laser Game."

Lunsford said the low hum is enough to wake him from a sound sleep, make him "physically sick" and shake his house. He rearranged things in his N Church Avenue home just so his bedroom is farthest away from the source of the noise.

"It was nice to live here before the Q-ZAR moved in," said Lunsford, a 26-year resident of Town 'N Country.

Robert Cohen, Q-ZAR's general manager, denied his business is the source of Lunsford's problem. If his business were noisy, he said, the sound wouldn't travel across Dale Mabry to Lunsford's home more than 150 yards away.

"Yes, we have music here, but you can't hear it outside of here, and you definitely can't hear it across Dale Mabry," he said. He thinks Lunsford might be hearing noises from his own neighborhood.

With laser tag and video games like Beastbusters and Area 51, Q-ZAR opened in January. The noise started right away, Lunsford said. One night, it lasted until 3 a.m., coming from kids driving low-riders and hanging out in Q-ZAR's parking lot after the business closed at 2 a.m.

The noise is intermittent, Lunsford said, but when it does occur, it is "unbearable." He said neighbors have voiced their annoyance about the noise to him.

Lunsford called Cohen and, when he got no satisfaction, the police. He has written to Hillsborough County commissioners and called the county Environmental Protection Commission, which conducted a noise-level test and found nothing excessive.

They came out on the wrong night, Lunsford said.

Cohen says the EPC found no violations because there are none.

"We have fully insulated this place," he said.

Lunsford wants Q-ZAR's hours restricted and the booming stopped. Cohen said it is not his problem.

"If it was us, I would do something, but it is not us," he said.

Community Resource Deputy Jeff Chwalek has been assigned to work out a compromise. Last week, he met with Lunsford. Next week, he'll see Cohen.

"Hopefully, we can find a long-term solution where everyone walks away happy," he said.

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