( 4UMF NEWS ) Canadian City Sues Detroit For Noise Violation:
Hey! Keep it down over there!
That’s the message residents in Windsor, Ont., have for their (sometimes) noisy American neighbours in Detroit.
Windsor’s Ward 4 Coun. Chris Holt said he received 18 calls and emails Monday from constituents complaining about the volume of a musical festival on the banks of the Detroit River, a one-kilometre waterway that separates the two cities.
The music was coming from the Ultimate White Party at Chene Park, which is directly across the river from Holt’s ward.
He said he received complaints at 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
“The music just kept going on and on and on,” he said.
So, at council this week, he asked City of Windsor staff to write a letter to Detroit City Council, asking them to ensure Detroit’s noise bylaw is enforced at the next riverfront music festival.
“It’s not too often one country lodges a noise complaint against another country,” Holt said. “I have no problems with the music that comes this way, but I have a duty to my constituents.
“Because we’re so close to Detroit, we tend to enjoy and hear a lot of the music festivals that are going on over there. They’re great. I’ll be the first to admit I kick up my feet and sit on the front porch and take them in whenever I can.
“I hear Aretha Franklin is playing over there soon. I’m sure their speakers will not be pointing toward Windsor, but for Aretha, that might be OK. Just not 2 a.m. on a Monday morning.”
Franklin is scheduled to play Chene Park on Aug. 22.
City of Windsor spokesperson Jason Moore said in an email the letter is already being penned by staff.
“I’m told the letter is being drafted but isn’t done yet. The letter will be sent from the City Clerk to the Clerk for Detroit City Council and I imagine it will be presented to Detroit City Council through whatever their procedures are for receiving communications,” Moore wrote. “As we want to be respectful of the process, we will not be releasing the letter in advance of Detroit City Council having time to review the issue.”
‘It got a little noisy, apparently’
Chene Park spokesman David Rudolph said production, staging and speakers were outside the theatre, on the promenade. Normally an event wouldn’t occur on the outside of the theatre, he said.
“We believe the sound system was pointed in Windsor’s direction. Sound travels pretty good over water and it became an inconvenience for those on the other side of the river, who got a chance to experience the party a little more intimately than they would have liked,” Rudolph said. “It got a little noisy, apparently.”
Rudolph said Chene Park management has been in touch with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and ensured him it was an isolated incident and that Chene Park is well designed and shields noise from Windsor — most of the time.
“But that doesn’t work when you have an event outside the normal concert activity area,” he said. “We have addressed this head on and we’re very, very sorry about it.”
Rudolph said he fielded three complaints from Canadians said were, of course, polite.
“They were very gentle in their concerns but none the less concerned. They felt the music was overpowering,” Rudolph said. “We have invited them to see a show at Chene Park, the way Chene Park was meant to be enjoyed.
“They can pick [a show] at their choosing. We’re going to take care of it. They’ll be our guest and we will make sure we roll out our red carpet to make sure they know we’re very apologetic.
“We want to make it right.”
Not the first complaint
This isn’t the first time Windsor residents have complained about noisy, cross-border neighbours.
In 2013, Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac wanted the City of Windsor to at least be in the conversation about and organization of music festivals on the U.S. side of the Detroit River.
Gignac said she received complaints from residents about the volume of the music from Orion Music Festival held in June 2013 on Belle Isle.
Windsor staff prepared a report on the issue.
“A report was done outlining that the State of Michigan had taken over Belle Isle and that any future complaints would need to be directed to the State, but there haven’t been any so no further notice has been needed,” Moore wrote in an email to CBC on Thursday.
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