Bad Guys: Edmonds Noise Pollution
Under a City of Edmonds permit, the Westgate Chapel conducted a "Community Fair". Part of that was a heavily amplified jazz band. As far as I could tell, it was good music and a competent band. But I didn't want to listen to it 3 blocks away, in Snohomish County.
After personally asking the band to turn it down, and after several calls to police, I was left with a distrust of the Edmonds permitting process and of the Edmonds police response to the situation.
Possibly what I observed is legal. In that case I can join with fellow citizens to assure the laws are changed. Since we are talking City-vs-County, that probably requires State Law changes. Noise pollution is ripe for citizen action anyway -- this could be a seminal case.
Possibly it was a simple mixup in permitting and then in enforcement:
In that case, I look forward to process improvements to assure it is not repeated.
Possibly it was a deliberate winking at the law, on behalf of a favored religion. This I would challenge vigorously.
When the "music" started, I printed a copy of this web page, and wrote on it "Not Again!". I walked the 3 blocks to the fair and gave it to the band leader.
The volume remained high. I called 911. Standard response: They have a permit.
Just prior to the annual onslaught, I exchanged email with Dan Radley
When the "music" started, I called 911. Got routed to an Edmonds LEO, who suggested I send a letter to the Edmonds City Council. As soon as I have a breather in my night school, overtime, and family committments, I'll do that.
By the way: The "music" made it difficult to hear the video tapes for my night school class. Once the tapes were done, I was forced to leave my home for several hours.
I personally enjoy Gregorian chants. I do not enjoy them at decibels requiring police escort. I also enjoy listening to the breeze whisper though autumn leaves, unsullied by amplified assault. Yet here is someone who takes me to task for not accepting "a little bit of noise": Rancidpvnker. Apparently I'm the one who is "cruel", not the people using amplification to destroy peace and quiet.
In May I got an email from someone trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting regarding this webpage. I respect that. We tried a couple of weeks to meet at the Conversation Cafe at 3rd Place Books, but he never made it, and he eventually sent a note saying to forget it.
Then I got a potty-mouthed note from James Deacon. (Please do not read if you are offended by foul language.)
Folks, I don't mind you having a party. Make a joyous noise. Just please don't use any more electronic amplification than Jesus used for the Sermon on the Mount. Or if you do, do it indoors where only your psyches and hearing are impaired.
To the Edmonds City Council:
How can we assure that the Christians of Westgate Chapel do not impose their taste in music or religion on the neighborhood, including the surrounding County?
To Snohomish Country:
At what point do Edmonds activities warrant action from the County? Or have you just written off the Esperance area entirely?
To Washington State:
In a jurisdiction conflict between city and county, what role does the state play? Do state regulations and code apply in this case?
This morning there was loud music from somewhere to the southwest of my home. At first I thought it was the Woodway HighSchool marching band, since they sometimes march through the neighborhood. But it kept playing, was stationary, and it sounded amplified. So I got in my car and drove until I found the source. It was the Westgate Chapel, holding what they called a "Community Fair".
"Chapel" may have been an appropriate name at one time, but it has grown to overwhelm several blocks with buildings, parking lots, traffic rerouting and traffic light revisions. It is (barely) inside the City of Edmonds, and I just happen to live outside the city, in Snohomish County.
There was no parking for blocks around, so I drove home, walked back, and told the band leader I wanted the amp turned down. He pointed to the sound man. I said the same to the sound man, noting I would call the police if they kept it up. I pointed out that they didn't need amplification at all, since it was a fairly small venue. No response, so I walked home and called 911.
1:00 I explained that it was not an emergency, so who should I call? The operator said I could go ahead and report the problem. I said I didn't want to make a formal complaint, but asked that someone just go ask them to tone it down.
1:50 I asked if they'd had a chance to talk to the band. The operator said he couldn't find the original call, but would look into it.
2:25 I asked if there were any records of my previous calls, and what was going on. The answer was that, yes, they had records of 3 calls, but that the county could not respond because the Chapel was inside the City of Edmonds. However, the county could ask the responding Edmonds officer to call me from the scene so I could lodge a formal complaint.
I received a call from an officer Anway, who was off duty , working for the fair , who said:
Creator: Harry George