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Readers Favor Grove Homeowners In Dispute With Music Venue; Poor Site Selection A Contributor

August 20, 2014 Featured, Planning & Design, Real Estate, South City No Comments

Grove homeowners Brad Fratello & Doug Moore have built a beautiful custom home for themselves.  For the background see Grove homeowners are upset about loud music from the venue behind their home. Who do you favor in this dispute?

I think the modern facade works well with the neighbors from 1916 (L) and 1904 (R)
I think the modern facade works well with the neighbors from 1916 (L) and 1904 (R)

Here is the results from the poll:

Q: Grove homeowners are upset about loud music from the venue behind their home. Who do you favor in this dispute?

  1. 50/50 41 [31.06%]
  2. The home owners 100% 34 [25.76%]
  3. The home owners 75% 25 [18.94%]
  4. The music venue 75% 14 [10.61%]
  5. The music venue 100% 13 [9.85%]
  6. Unsure/no opinion 5 [3.79%]

Mathematically, the readers favor the homeowners. The venue does need to contain their noise, no doubt. The ordinance that seemed most relevant:

15.50.030 Playing of sound devices prohibited–When. A. No person shall play any radio, music player, television, audio system or musical instrument upon private property at a volume louder than is necessary for convenient, normal hearing of the person or persons who are on the property on which the device is being used or operated and who are voluntary listeners. B. Except for any lawful event occurring on a periodic basis at a venue where people assemble and that is anticipated and lawfully allowed to occur on a periodic basis and persons operating motor vehicles under Section 15.50.031 of this chapter, no person shall play any radio, music player, or audio system upon public property at a volume which is plainly audible at a distance greater than seventy-five (75) feet from the source of the sound. C. Any person participating in any lawful event as provided for in subsection B of this section may generate sound in excess of the limitations in this section only if the sound generated does not exceed reasonable sound levels in light of the nature of the event, its time, and the character of the surrounding neighborhood. (Ord. 67233 § 1, 2006: prior: Ord. 67002 § 2, 2006: Ord. 65700 § 1, 2002: Ord. 50038 § 1, 1960: 1948 C. Ch. 44 § 1 (2): 1960 C. § 760.030.)

The ordinance includes a measurement, not “plainly audible” within 75 feet. Call the police to enforce? Eventually try to get it shut down as a nuisance property? Or go after the liquor license, as they’ve done…

The Ready Room at 4195 Manchester occupies the 1930s building the new custom house backs up to
The Ready Room at 4195 Manchester occupies the 1930s building the new custom house backs up to

Their home has been published quite a bit:

Doug Moore and Brad Fratello wanted three things for their new home: a pool, privacy and a floor plan they could live with for the rest of their lives. They bought three vacant lots in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood of St. Louis, which gave them room for a pool. The yard backed up to a windowless commercial building, and that gave them the privacy. (Houzz)

Centered on a private courtyard and a close indoor/outdoor relationship, UIC’s design highlighted Brad and Doug’s desire for a pool while maintaining privacy. The home was custom built to fit the lot. The garage is tipped at an angle and the pool and patio mirror the trapezoid shape of the lot. With no alley behind the lots, an old factory wall — a feature Brad and Doug love — closes off the space. “Our goal was to have the home have a St. Louis feel,” says Doug. “The factory wall screams St. Louis.” Incorporating the factory wall into their space played a major role in interior as well as exterior material selections.  (St. Louis Magazine)

While I think the music likely exceeds allowable levels, I also think poor site selection by the couple contributes to the current noise problem. When I first heard they were building this house I looked for it in UIC’s project nearby, off Tower Grove. Building right up against a vacant building in a rapidly changing neighborhood is very risky. In my mind the warehouse where the Ready Room is located is undistinguished, I could see it being razed for a 4-5 story apartment/condo project with street-level retail. The now private pool would be on display to all the residents of the new building. Even rooftop dining on the existing building would destroy their coveted privacy. That brick wall they like might be replaced by cinder block. I foresee more conflicts over the years as the reality of being snugged up behind a hot commercial area sets in.

— Steve Patterson

 

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