Perry Weinberg.

After sounding off about perceived flaws in proposed revisions to the city’s noise ordinance, Human Services Committee members tabled the proposal Monday night to give staff time to update it.

Perry Weinberg, who lives at 2509 Asbury Ave., across the North Shore Channel from the American Legion Post, was one of two speakers at public comment to complain about noise from parties held there.

“It happens four to five times a week,” Weinberg said. “Your can’t sit in your back yard because you can no longer hear each other. You go inside, close the doors, shut the windows, and it’s just as annoying.”

“I love Post 42,” Weinberg added. “They can do whatever they want — just so they keep it in their footprint and don’t force it on me.”

The revisions proposed by Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) would have increased the distance allowed for sound to carry from its source from 150 to 750 feet and specified that at that distance it would not be allowed to exceed “average conversational level.”

The revision would also require issuance of a city permit for outdoor loudspeaker use.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said he wanted to specify a decibel limit on the noise — perhaps at 60db — about the level of normal conversation.

Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) said he was concerned that the rule should apply city-wide — but that the proposed rule could create issues for events like Evanston Township High School football games or outdoor events held downtown.

Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) asked whether a resident would have to get a permit to use a loudspeaker in his home. Reid said only outdoor use would require a permit — but then questioned whether if he took a cellphone into his back yard to play music that would require a permit.

Interim Police Chief Richard Eddington said the permit process needed to make clear whatever limits the city wants to impose.

If police officers respond to complaints about a scene where the organizers have a permit, Eddington said, they need clear standards to work from rather than on their own discretion shutting down a gathering authorized by some other part of the city.

On a motion by Braithwaite, seconded by Reid, the proposal was tabled until the April 4 Human Services Committee meeting to give staff time to make suggested changes.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. The City’s Starlight Concerts also should be modified. The music can be heard blocks away and children play in front of the blasting speakers. The decibels should be monitored and lowered to reduce the risk of hearing loss.

    1. What good is hearing if it can’t be used to enjoy music? Turn up the Starlight Concerts, and let’s live a little! We don’t exist to fret about medical conditions. If kids and young adults can be forced to wear masks indefinitely, surely the eardrum-paranoid can pop in a couple earplugs to repay them for their sacrifice, and allow them to have a little fun!

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