Naperville Too Noisy For City Officials

Naperville must really be a wonderful place to live, based upon what city officials consider problems, including noise from lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and delivery trucks. What a great world this would be, if those were the problems of concern in other cities.

In Chicago, it’s gunfire, in Boston, it’s a bomb, and in some towns it’s the sound of silence because nothing is happening, no construction, no jobs, and little hope. But in Naperville residents get irritated because they can’t sleep-in in the morning, or take a nap in the afternoon, or have a party on their deck in the evening, because it’s too noisy. What is a Naperville resident to do with such inconvenience? Call 911? I’m sure it’s happened.

In Naperville, you call a council member, or at least that’s what council members say. Who knows if that is really happening, or just an excuse for a council member to appear to be a problem solver for a problem that doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s the council member who is upset about commercial landscapers getting an early start on the day, while the council member wants to doze until noon time.

Not only are the lawn mowers and leaf blowers getting in the cross-hairs of city officials, so are grocery store delivery trucks. Naperville city officials and residents want their avocados, charcoal, and six-packs of beer, when they want them whether if it’s early or late, but they don’t want delivery trucks making noise, especially at the newly opened Mariano’s at 75th and Naper.

I can think of many places where noise is at a minimum, including deserts, mountains, jungles, and the Grand Canyon, but that’s not Naperville. Now as Naperville city officials begin to approve more and more Water Street projects, just imagine the amount of noise that will be created.

It’s amazing how supposedly one resident can call a council member about a supposed problem, and the Naperville city council is poised to pass another ordinance for over-regulation, but when thousands of residents sign a referendum for action about an issue (Smart Meters), it falls on deaf-ears of the council. Or when hundreds of residents attend a council meeting about an issue, the city council expresses empathy but does nothing to address the issue. Or when tens of tens of Naperville residents voice their concern about annexation of land, the council respectfully acknowledges them, but ignores their position.

If lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and delivery trucks, are going to draw attention and action of the city council, then I might as well jump on the bandwagon and express my problem with noise in Naperville in one word. Birds. Every morning beginning at about 5 am, I hear birds chirping, non-stop. I’d call a council member to complain, but I doubt the Watchdog would get any satisfaction. Something needs to be done to stop this intrusion on my serenity. How about an ordinance limiting the number of trees, or the number of branches per tree. Then to make matters worse, every night about midnight, I hear an owl and see it perched on my neighbor’s roof. I think the council should regulate the height of roof tops to be high enough to lessen if not eliminate the hoots of owls.

Show 8 Comments


  1. Jim Haselhorst

    Council action that appears to be the result of a small number or perhaps single complainer is nothing new, this is after all how we got the ordinances restricting the db level of sound coming from your sound system that can crosses over the property line into your neighbors yard as well as the Lumen level of light that crosses into your neighbors yard from you yard lights, leaving trash cans at the curb the day after they are empty, parking RVs (boats, construction vehicle) on your property were they can be seen from the street for more than 2 weeks, etc. In light of these ordinances the consideration of this ordinance is neither surprising nor significant.

    The Smart meter and annexation issues were not driven by residence action but federal and state actions that drives mandates for change at these levels of government that will impact our city whether our city officials act or not. To be proactive in these matters only benefits residence.

    As to the 5am bird noise, when someone can show me a db meter reading proving this bird noise is as loud as the noise of a commercial lawnmower then I’ll start listening. But considering there are federal laws requiring the operators of commercial lawnmowers to wear hear protection and no such similar legal requirement for bird watcher while listen to birds sing, I am pretty certain I won’t be wasting any more of my time on this issue.

    • Bob West

      You are probably correct in that most laws and ordinances are a result of complaints. But, to the watchdogs point, everyone wants whatever they want whenever they want it, but don’t want to be inconvenienced. According to staff the refrigerator truck was only running from 7am to 7 pm and fell below the maximum allowed decibel level, so what’s the complaint? Hinterlong claims it is unacceptable but that is his opinion. Really? Who approved the current ordinance?
      He made the comment that had he known at the time he wouldn’t have approved the variation but isn’t that his job to know everything he is voting on?

  2. Dennis Grillo

    Every day someone in my area including town houses is getting lawns cut. All day every day I have to listen to lawn mowers and leaf blowers. I thought there was an ordinance limiting the noise. It is really aggravating

    • Jim Haselhorst

      There are various noise ordinance. There is an ordinance restricting operation of commercial equipment to between, I believe, 7am to 7pm. But this does not apply to equipment that would be considered regular residential equipment like a walk behind mower or electric leaf blower.

  3. Dennis Malchow

    Is there a noise ordinance for when a Country club can begin cutting or leaf blowing around homes that are on the course? Where I live the course begins blowing off the driving range at 5:20 am. We are right next to the range and has become very annoying.

    • James Haselhorst

      If they are located in incorporated Naperville and subject to city ordinance then yes. The city recently placed restriction on commercial law care operations. If I remember correctly they can not begin before 9am and must end by 7pm, but call city hall to verify these restriction.

      The problem is that some of these clubs and golf courses are either actually located within neighboring city’s limits or they are in unincorporated Naperville.

  4. Arun Hermon

    I live at 3011 Kentshire circle
    My neighbor who lives in 3009 Kentshire
    Plays his music system way too loud sometimes till
    11.30 at night
    What do you suggest I should do?

    • watchdog

      Politely ask him to turn it down. If that doesn’t work, then ask him to play music that you enjoy.

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