E. Dundee eyes turning down bar music
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 15, 2013 3:54PM
East Dundee officials say they will work with management at Diamond Jim's (above) and Bandito Barney's to curb loud music that is bothering some neighbors of the downtown bars. | Sun-Times Media file
Updated: November 17, 2013 6:18AM
EAST DUNDEE — Living near a village’s downtown has its perks. It also has its drawbacks, as some East Dundee residents are aware. They are seeking the village’s help in addressing the noise coming from the downtown’s two main bars.
Resident Howard Burton said the noise level from the beer gardens of Bandito Barney’s and Diamond Jim’s is so loud he can hear it over the sound of his television. He can also feel the vibrations from the music in his home.
“None of us want the bars to be closed, but something needs to be done,” he said at this week’s village board meeting.
Both bars have relatively large ou tdoor seating areas and regularly host live bands during the summer. Village officials say they regularly receive complaints from residents about the music noise from them, and possibly other bars in town.
An incident analysis was conducted with loud-music complaint data from March through September last year, and for 2013 to the present.
There were 19 complaints pertaining to Diamond Jim’s that occurred during the general time frame of between 2:30 p.m. and 12:45 a.m., with 18 received prior to 10 p.m. and one after 10 p.m. Nine of the complaints were reported by named complainants, and 10 of them involved refused/anonymous complainants.
Bandito Barney’s had 34 complaints that occurred during the general time frame of between 1:30 p.m. and midnight, with 27 received prior to 10 p.m. and seven received after 10 p.m. Eleven of the complaints were reported by named complainants, 22 of them involved refused/anonymous complainants, and one was officer-initiated.
Officers were assigned to each complaint, and bar management personnel generally were cooperative in lowering the volume of the music, officials said. No citations were issued in any of the officer responses; however, the incidents were documented.
Suggestions to curb the music’s loudness include band shells, noise barrier walls, house sound systems that allow more control of noise production, and noise monitoring devices that give the bar owner and management the ability to objectively gauge the sound level at any given time and, if possible, take action to reduce it.
The village board also discussed restricting the time when outdoor music performances can take place, along with regulatory noise limits that would restrict noise level at the property line or at a specific distance from the property line.
“We need to have a way of measuring (the noise levels) and enforcing them,” said Village President Lael Miller. “At the end of the day, we want something where we can have no doubt that we can cite them and force them to turn it down.”
Miller said he does not think the hours are as much of a problem as the noise level. The issue will be placed on another board meeting agenda for more discussion.
“I’m going to push for voluntary compliance by the bars,” he said. “We’re going to discuss this until we get it solved. We need to come up with a solution to this.”