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posted: 6/11/2013 9:42 PM

Neighbors say Prospect Hts. bar is too noisy

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Prospect Heights officials promised Monday night to work with neighbors who say the noise from the new House of Music and Entertainment crosses Rand Road and makes sleep impossible in the wee hours of the morning.

One of seven neighbors who came to complain said it was his fifth time speaking to the city council since H.O.M.E opened last fall. Mark Fulta on Monday brought his daughter, Alicja, who said she tried wearing headphones playing her own music but still went sleepless because she could hear the bass from the bar with her windows and blinds closed. Her father said their home on the 1200 block of North Stratford Road is 727 feet from the bar.

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Wayne Jackson, who lives on the same block, said his family has been awakened two or three times by music and screaming on the bar's patio.

Ward 3 Alderman Scott Williamson said most communities outlaw noise of 55 decibels at the lot line, and H.O.M.E does not exceed that, according to his measurements. In fact, the traffic noise registers louder, he said.

However, Steve Skiber, director of building and zoning, said Prospect Heights' ordinance is based on "plainly audible" sound.

"I'm not saying it's not a problem," said Williamson. "If we can all work together to get it done, we can get it done."

He also said he has been in the bar in the Prospect Crossing shopping center with his family, and noticed the music got progressively louder as the night wore on.

Mayor Nick Helmer defended the bar's owner and objected to interruptions from the floor by Barb Zuber, who lives behind the bar. Helmer said the city has an escrow account to build a noise fence behind the center. He said perhaps it should be built longer to stop noise from the back of the bar.

Helmer said the goal with H.O.M.E. will be to "confine the noise to the inside of the place and mitigate it as much as we can."

Both Helmer and Williamson seemed impressed that seven people came to talk to the council this time.

People who answered the phone at the House of Music and Entertainment said no one was available Monday night who could comment.

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