Stronger Noise Restrictions Mulled by Council
By Brandi Makuski
City Council members on Monday kicked off a discussion on excessive noise in the city — and how, if at all, it can legally be addressed.
The agenda item was requested by Mary Kneebone, who represents the city’s 7th District.
“We’ve had some ongoing issues in my immediate neighborhood with amplified sound that carries one-quarter, one-half mile down the road and goes on all day long,” Kneebone said. “I don’t know that we need to change the ordinance; maybe we need to look at amplified sound as a different category.”
Kneebone mentioned a recent noisy birthday party at a neighbor’s home, but said she found ongoing noise coming from Ice Hawks Area as a bigger problem, adding she’s been unsuccessful in getting noise levels from the arena’s sporting events reduced.
Kneebone said she believed the city’s ordinance relating to amplified sound was “rather vague”.
Several on the council shared Kneebone’s perspective. Councilwomen Tori Jennings and Cindy Nebel, who both represent districts with off-campus student rentals, say they’ve dealt with ongoing problems relating to noisy neighbors.
Jennings suggested “an objective way of looking at sound”, to include the possible use of decibel meters to gauge noise.
Nebel also said her neighborhood was close to both university and hospital buildings that utilized large, noisy air conditioning units.
“Being close to a business, the hospital, the university, as they do their air conditioning and other things, we’ve noticed the last few years the noise levels have increased,” Nebel said. “It’s like a high pitch; you can hear it even when your windows are closed.”
Other noise concerns discussed included live music at Riverfront Rendezvous, diesel trucks and motorcycles. Ald. Cathy Dugan suggested motorists who operate louder vehicles, such as a motorcycle, should outfit them with some type of noise-dampening device.
Dugan also complained about excessive noise from “leaf blowers and weed whackers that go all day long” in her neighborhood.
Jeff Lukasavige has lived on Kingfisher Dr. with his wife Monica for 16 years — a location they say they might not have chosen if they’d have known the Ice Hawks Arena was going to be constructed near their home.
“Since then we’ve been besieged by noises of every kind,” said Monica Lukasavige.
The couple brought along audio recordings from recent events at the soccer complex to play for members of the Public Protection Committee, and say late-night mowing on the complex’s field isn’t uncommon.
No action was taken on the measure, but city officials say they plan to continue the discussion.