For over 15 months, we as neighbors on the south side of Des
Plaines have had to tolerate the noise pollution coming from the new Fountain Blue tent. This noise pollution goes on for up to three nights each weekend from April through October. Last summer many events lasted until 2 AM and until midnight this summer. This excessive noise comes from the DJ, music and the crowds attending wedding celebrations.
Fountain Blue installed the tent without a permit. There was no public meeting and absolutely no input from the neighbors. The Fountain Blue tent was forced upon us. A Conditional Agreement was put in place once the city became aware of the tent. The tent structure operates as a Conditional Use because the city’s zoning rules only allow the tent to operate as a conditional use. A glaring oversight in the original Conditional Use Agreement was a lack of a clearly stated condition to prevent excessive noise from adversely impacting the residential
neighborhood. But this does not excuse the Fountain Blue from adhering to the existing Des Plaines sound ordinance. Currently Fountain Blue is
seeking a 2 year extension to their Conditional Agreement. Any conditional use
extension must include a clearly defined condition to limit noise from the tent.
Last year Fountain Blue hired a sound consultant and their report showed that Fountain Blue was not in compliance to the city’s sound ordinance. The sound consultant went on to recommend four steps that Fountain Blue needed to take in an attempt to become compliant and to date only two have been partially implemented. Publicly, Fountain Blue states they are concerned for the neighbors but their actions speak louder than their words. Based on the lack of any further noise mitigation measures in recent months, it has become clear that the Fountain Blue is refusing to spend another dime to remedy the noise pollution. This is unacceptable.
We, as concern citizens who have been negatively impacted by the noise pollution, have been proactive in making the city aware of the problem. We have had conversations with the zoning department, city inspectors, city attorney, city manager, city council and the mayor. Except for our alderman, Jim Brookman, and several other aldermen, the other elected officials who were voted into their positions to protect the rights of the citizens and enforce the laws of Des Plaines have not solved the problem or enforced the law. This problem needs to be resolved prior to granting any extension to Fountain Blue.
As the city has not resolved the problem, we took it upon ourselves to contact the Illinois Noise Pollution Board. We are looking for a fair and reasonable solution. The state spells out very specific environmental protection sound standards that must be maintained. We were told by acoustic consultants that those standards were well written and technically complete. We went on to recommend to the city council that a third party acoustic consultant be hired to deal with this matter. Again, the city council turned us down. We are not seeking to harm the Fountain
Blue. What we are seeking is a long term solution that will allow the Fountain Blue to conduct its business and prosper while at the same time address the legitimate concerns of the residential neighbors who want to protect their property values and realize the quiet enjoyment of their neighborhood.
Mr. Mayor, you are very aware of the noise pollution problem
and yet you have not resolved it. You have allowed Fountain Blue to continue to operate even though they are consistently violating the noise ordinance spelled out in the city zoning ordinances. The Fountain Blue has been disturbing the peace as evidenced by the violation tickets written by the Des Plaines Police. Officers of the city have issued tickets after personally witnessing the excessive noise from the Fountain Blue tent. On at least two occasions the owner of Fountain Blue has been asked by the police to turn down the noise and he has refused.
Enough of the rhetoric, finger pointing and stalling tactics. We are tired of being put on the back burner. The citizens have spoken; the problem has been well documented with over 35 calls to 911 and the issuance of tickets. It is time for
leadership on your part. It is in your best interest to get this solved immediately.
It is time for you as the mayor to step up to the plate and show your concern
for the citizens and provide the needed leadership and get this issue solved. We believe that you, Mr. Mayor, can solve this problem. In our view, if you can’t care
for citizens on a local level how can you be entrusted to effectively serve
citizens on a state level. Solving this ongoing problem will enhance your chances of seeking higher office in the state of Illinois. As former Speaker of the
House Tip O’Neil said many years ago, all politics is local. You need to solve this local issue before moving on to address state wide problems.
Fellow citizens of Des Plaines, don’t think for a minute that this cannot happen in your neighborhood. The way we are being treated today is how you can be treated tomorrow. Please pay attention to how this issue is addressed in the coming weeks and judge the elected officials based on actual results.
We are citizens just like you who are concerned about our property value, and enjoyment of our backyards along with a little peace and quiet in our neighborhood which the city ordinance provides.
Bottom-line---no solution to noise pollution--- no extension.
Bill Dillon on behalf of Des Plaines residents