Kane council hears more public input on bar noise

Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
This ages-old phrase came to the forefront Wednesday at a Kane Borough Council workshop.
Council last month was asked to take action to permit amplified music in a designated “entertainment district” in Kane.
Now the owner of a popular bar/restaurant in a Kane residential neighborhood wants the same rules for his business.
Speaking Wednesday at the workshop, Mark Rhines, owner of the West Side Grill on Oak Street, said his business should be included in a proposed noise law variance.
“If you do it, I want in on it, too,” Rhines told council.
Riki Tanaka, owner of the Table 105 Restaurant on Fraley Street in Uptown Kane, last month suggested the noise law variance.
He claims the state Liquor Control Board (LCB) has strict rules on loud music coming from its licensed bars and restaurants.
Tanaka claims the LCB noise rules are so strict that a bar or restaurant could be penalized if music can be heard “at the middle line of the street.” 
He told council the LCB could “shut down” a state-licensed bar or restaurant for multiple noise violations.
According to the restaurant-owner, the LCB noise regulations could be sidestepped if council adopts a variance that would be attached to the state liquor license.
Rhines told council that the LCB reacts to complaints and could penalize licensed bar/restaurants for noise.
He claims that he “respects his neighbors” and tries to limit noise from live bands performing at his business.
Councilman Dave Walker said it “isn’t fair” for council to consider a variance for bar noise on Fraley Street without including similar businesses in residential areas.
Walker pointed out that “people reside” in apartments on Fraley Street near bars with music.
“We need to respect the people who live there,” he said. “Noise is noise.”
Council President Tom Kase last month said council’s Ordinance Committee would consider the proposal for a variance in the noise law in Kane.
He said Wednesday that the committee has yet to “recommend anything” to council on a variance in the noise ordinance.
Mayor Brandy Schimp said the borough might want to invite LCB representatives to “talk to us” about the agency’s noise rules for state-licensed bars.
Glenn Robinson, who is seeking a Republican nomination in the May 21 primary for a seat on council, wonders why the noise law variance is being considered for businesses only. He said summer backyard parties in residential areas generate noise that spawn complaints.