Few things rile suburbanites more than noise. Many suburban residents have chosen life on the Twin Cities’ fringe for its peace and quiet, as well as its neighborliness.
Those competing values set the stage for a furious, nearly decadelong debate about the use of speakers and microphones in the parks of Brooklyn Park.
It pitted community groups against neighbors.
For years, many homeowners said large, noisy groups of revelers, often with a trailer of speakers and DJ equipment in tow, ruined the serenity of neighborhoods near parks.
This community clash crescendoed this winter when a fed-up City Council banned all amplified sounds in city parks.
Members of the Liberian immigrant community, who rely on outdoor venues for events and celebrations, filled the City Council chambers to express their displeasure.
Now a compromise has been reached.
The city will control the volume and duration of music and speeches piped through speakers by requiring that revelers rent sound equipment from them.
City-owned speakers and microphones will have a limited volume and can be used only at designated times and locations.
Those times will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Oak Grove Park.
Those who rent speakers and microphones also must attend mandatory equipment training.
“You can’t get the equipment until you learn how to use it and how to be an effective reveler,” said Brooklyn Park City Manager Mike Sable. “It’s a compromise solution.”
There will be improved security protocols, too.
The compromise passed the council narrowly, on a split vote.
Sable said the plan is a pilot project.
City leaders will evaluate how it’s gone this fall.
Stay tuned: We may not have heard the last of this often noisy issue.