Freedom Hill Noise Levels Are Within The Settlement's Rules

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Mirror News reports that the sound level measurements taken at the Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre, this summer, show that despite complaints from neighbors, Hillside Productions is keeping sound within agreed noise levels.

In reports obtained from the city with the Freedom of Information Act, sound measurements provided by the venue's producer, Hillside Productions, peaked at 96.1 decibels during a rock concert in August.

Under the original settlement with the city, Hillside was required to keep noise levels at 95 decibels and lower when measured from the top of the amphitheater's hill.

But after a sound-dampening wall and roof were constructed around the theater, a new place to measure noise levels was necessary to avoid interference from concert-goers, Sterling Heights Risk Manager Mark Carufel said on Tuesday.

Back in court, District Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed with sound experts that because of the monitoring equipment's new location — strung between the wall and roof and therefore closer to speakers — sound levels of 98 decibels at the new location would be equivalent to 95 decibels taken at the bottom of the wall.

Although none of the musical acts listed in the sound level documents went higher than the Rock Never Stops concert's high of 96.1 decibels on Aug. 6, it was not unusual for bands to peak above 90 decibels.

Some of the loudest rockers include Hootie and the Blowfish, Lonestar, Donna Summer, Travis Tritt, Huey Lewis and the News, Tesla, Frankie J, Dave Koz and the Beach Boys.

And while Hillside spokesman Hank Riberas' statements that the theater is in compliance with the settlement agreement appear to be backed up by the noise level measurements, neighbors living closest to the theater are still upset about noise.

Rick LaPointe, who lives near Freedom Hill County Park on Carmel Drive said that he can't hear a difference now that the new wall and roof are built.

"They thought that they were doing us a favor, and in all reality it looked like they did — that it was going to be a help," LaPointe said. "But there has been no difference between last year, the year before and this year. If you sat here and listened, and you sat here last year and listened, you wouldn't even know that there was a wall up there. It's been exactly the same."

But at least neighbors will have some temporary relief from the noise. Billy Idol played the last scheduled show for the season at the theater this past Friday.