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posted: 8/7/2014 5:30 AM

Noise rules at Emmerich Park in Buffalo Grove under review

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The village's planning and zoning commission will be considering a request by the Bills Youth Football and Cheerleading Association for use of the public address system at Emmerich Park on Sunday mornings.

Todd Projansky, representing the Bills Youth Football and Cheerleading Association, asked for a referral from the village board Monday. The change would involve amending the 2003 special use ordinance that governs the use of the public address system at the park, located at 151 Raupp Blvd., across from village hall.

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Village Manager Dane Bragg said that currently the public address system is allowed to be used from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. Under the amendment, it could be used beginning at 9 a.m., to mirror the Saturday schedule. Projansky said the group wants to play music and announce all the children's names. He said the audio impact would be minimal.

"Announcing the children takes about one to two minutes per game. There are six games maximum per day. My best guess is that if this is granted, we would use the public address system for about 12 minutes per day between nine o'clock and six o'clock on Saturdays and Sundays."

The extended hours would also benefit the cheerleading program, which he said "essentially fell apart, because we didn't play halftime music for them."

Projansky said a lot has changed in the 11 years since the ordinance went into effect.

"My understanding is that there used to be adversarial, almost, relationships between some of the neighbors and the Bills. That's certainly no longer the case, to the best of my knowledge," he said, adding that the Bills will do anything they can to reach out to neighbors who have issues with the amendment.

Trustee Michael Terson said he wondered why the noise regulations were even more stringent than the village's noise ordinance, considering the park borders heavily traveled Lake-Cook Road. When it was pointed out that there were houses in back, Terson said, "I understand that. But there's houses in back of my house, and I can make noise at 9 a.m."

Terson added, "I think that it's reasonable to expect that kids are going to play football, they're going to want to hear their names announced and that the cheerleaders might want to dance to a song or two. I don't have a problem with that."

Trustee Jeffrey Berman, however, pointed out that the ordinance was the result of a compromise. "This was something that went back and forth through many iterations, with the participation of our staff, park district staff, the Bills hierarchy at the time."

Berman said the existing ordinance does not prevent anyone from participating in football.

"What you're really talking about is add-on amenities that certain people want, other people object to." He encouraged Projansky to work with the neighbors. "Do what you can to foster a compromise."

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