Abu Nawas Restaurant: Chronic noise violations
My home is located directly across the street from the Abu Nawas Restaurant located at 4220 15 Mile Road. For nearly a year, this outfit has hosted what I understand to be banquet-style parties for restaurant guests, frequently on Thursday and Sunday evenings, that go late into the night. Many of these parties feature a live band and/or a DJ, and the level of the noise emitting from the building ranges from simply annoying to mildly incredible. The bass beat literally shakes my house.
If this were only occasional, I would let it go. We live alongside a major arterial road, and a certain amount of traffic noise goes with the territory. It’s possible to get used to that, and since the traffic noises are rarely loud enough to shake the house and die down after about 8PM, it’s tolerable. On the other hand, these parties frequently continue until 12:30AM, and sometimes as late as 2:00AM on work and school nights.
Recently my frustration with this has caused me to begin regularly reporting the noise to the police. When the police visit me after talking with the restaurant owner they tell me that a.) he asserts I’m “harrassing” him by calling in noise complaints, b.) they expect he will wait until they leave the area and then turn the volume back up (which he frequently does) and c.) even though they can write him $500 citations, if he’s “baking in” the price of the ticket into the banquet fee, it’s not much of a deterrent. Their suggestion? Take it up with code enforcement. (Code enforcement’s suggestion? Take it up with the police.)
In short, as the laws are currently written and with ordinary police practice being first visit, a warning; second visit, a ticket, he is operating with impunity and can effectively make as much noise as he likes.
As you may know from reading my blog or having met me in person, I have a wife, children, and a daytime job. My kids are frequently kept up past their bedtimes with this noise, and it’s very difficult to fall asleep with the house being battered by the sound of this music from over 260 feet away. Not to mention the fact that this is not a sparsely populated area; there are many residences nearby; mine is not even the closest one. Being the average, ordinary sleep-deprived American that I am, once I’m kept up until 2AM in the morning, getting up on time for work the next day is nearly impossible, and my sleeping schedule is compromised for several days afterward.
Law and order demands that repeated violations be dealt with progressively more severely; it’s the only way the law is a true deterrent to anti-social behavior. When will the Sterling Heights noise ordinances be rewritten to allow the police to move beyond a slap on the wrist for chronic offenders?