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updated: 10/15/2013 5:30 AM

Prospect Heights aldermen say bar has improved noise levels

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The two Prospect Heights aldermen who have been most critical of noise from the House of Music and Entertainment on the 1200 block of Rand Road said Monday there has been considerable improvement in the last month, despite continued complaints from at least one homeowner.

Fourth Ward Alderman Patrick Ludvigsen and Third Ward Alderman Scott Williamson said the owners of H.O.M.E. have moved the loud music to the establishment's backroom and increased soundproofing.

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Ludvigsen said noise from people on the patio and when the doors open is still a problem.

"The music noise is significantly different than it was two or three months ago," Ludvigsen said after Monday's city council meeting.

The alderman told resident Mariusz Folta and his son, Tom, that the city and the club owners would continue to work on the problem, but the noise level will never be zero.

Tom Folta said sound systems are his hobby. He presented the council with spectrographs that he said showed sound waves from the club's low-frequency subwoofers as recorded inside his father's home. The house on the 1200 block of North Stratford is about 700 feet from the bar.

"Low-frequency sound waves go through walls and within a closed room at our house have a much higher effect than anyone would experience outside in front of the house," he said. "It's something you can actually feel."

The elder Folta said the music wakes him about 1 a.m. each weekend night, and he cannot get back to sleep until about 4 a.m. when H.O.M.E. closes.

John Nazha, one of the club owners, reached after the meeting, said they have turned the music down and have invested considerable money to keep the sound inside. About a month ago they purchased a new sound system so the loud music could be played in the rear room rather than the front, he said.

Other neighbors and the city's police have told him the noise level is much better, said Nazha, and the owners are working on ways to reduce noise from the patio.

"I have stood in front of his home when the music is at maximum and not heard any of the bass and have checked it with the decibel meter on my phone," he said.

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