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updated: 11/21/2013 8:48 AM

Wauconda still tweaking noise rules

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  • Video: Noise revisions explained

  • Doug Maxeiner

      Doug Maxeiner


A plan to limit loud music and other noise in Wauconda is being revised to include what officials say are some important exemptions.

Trustees were set to vote on the long-awaited changes to the town's rules regarding excessive sound Tuesday, but Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner pointed out the proposal would have nixed late-night or early morning emergency construction work, such as pavement or water main repairs.

Additionally, the plan didn't include provisions for special events run by the village or another agency that might require someone to give instructions through a bullhorn or loudspeaker.

The board could vote on the updated proposal Dec. 3.

"We'd rather have one clean ordinance that includes all the possible additional terms," Trustee John Barbini told the Daily Herald.

The proposal has been in the works since last summer, when then-Police Chief Douglas Larsson began investigating the issue.

Larsson's inquiry was prompted by complaints from residents near Bangs Lake about loud music at Docks Bar and Grill and Lindy's Landing Restaurant and Marina.

The village has rules governing noise from construction sites, garbage trucks, moving cars and electronic amplifiers -- like those at a live-music venue.

In part, the rules say amplified music shouldn't be audible to a person standing 100 feet beyond a property line between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. People had complained to police about music playing after 11 p.m.

Finding some middle ground was a key goal for village officials.

"We have a unique mix of residential and commercial properties along Bangs Lake," Barbini said. "We have to be sensitive to the needs of the business owners and the residents."

The proposed changes break the days of the week into two categories.

On Sundays through Thursdays, amplified music or other noise shouldn't be audible to a person standing 100 feet beyond a property line between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restrictions would kick in at 11 p.m. and last until 7 a.m.

Additionally, construction-related noise would be limited to 80 decibels during the hours such work is allowed in town. That varies depending on the day of the week.

Maxeiner's biggest concern was the lack of an exemption for emergency construction, such as a road repair on busy Route 12.

"If IDOT has to be there in the middle of the night with a jackhammer, it would not be in compliance with our (proposed) ordinance," said Maxeiner, who started as Wauconda's village administrator this month. "We need to remove those obstacles in an emergency situation."

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