"I kill my competition. That's my job."
That was Tom Diamond, the owner of Fountain Blue banquet facility in Des Plaines, six years ago defending his opposition to Concorde Banquets in Kildeer putting up a permanent outdoor tent for weddings and parties near his home.
Ironically, now it's Diamond seeking, and receiving, approval for an outdoor tent against the wishes of area residents.
The Des Plaines city council voted 5-3 this week to allow the 6,000-square-foot tent, just west of the 120,000-square-foot Fountain Blue banquet hall at 2300 Mannheim Road, to operate for another 18 months. The vote went against the recommendation of the city's zoning board.
The approval is contingent upon Diamond fulfilling 20 conditions, including erecting a 12-foot sound retention wall on two sides of the tent within 120 days.
Neighbors have complained 12 times to police about excessive noise from the tent, initially put up in 2010. The facility has been cited five times for disturbing the peace.
Bill and Sandra Dillon, whose Pine Street property sits behind Fountain Blue, called Diamond out on his earlier comments in Kildeer as hypocritical and self-serving.
Diamond at the time cited noise and the effect on residential property values as reasons the Kildeer tent was "unfair to residents," according meeting minutes.
"He was fully aware of the impact it could have on neighbors," Bill Dillon said at the Des Plaines meeting this week. "Why should Tom Diamond be given a conditional use permit to operate a tent 380 feet from Des Plaines residents, when he objected to a tent 865 feet from his home for the very same reasons that the Des Plaines residents are objecting to his request?"