Milw. Co. Supervisor Patti Logsdon (Franklin) rips the Rock

Supervisor Logsdon spoke during the citizen comment period at tonight’s meeting of the Franklin Common Council and used her time to focus on a longtime issue that doesn’t seem to go away: Complaints about the noise at Franklin’s Ballpark Commons.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on this issue last fall:

Neighbors have complained for years about noise levels at The Rock in Franklin. A new sound study seeks to provide answers.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bob Dohr and Erik S. Hanley
September 16, 2022

Visitors gather around the fire pit at The Rock Snowpark in Franklin on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. Because of neighbors' complaints about noise, Milwaukee County is conducting a six-month sound study to learn more about the noise levels coming from The Rock Sports Complex.

Fireworks, concerts and exciting baseball games are inherently loud, but many neighbors are making noise of their own, claiming sky-high sound levels are coming from The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin.

So Milwaukee County has spent $200,000 on a six-month study to find out if The Rock is next-level loud or compliant with code.

The county has contracted Resource Systems Group, Inc. to conduct the study on The Rock, 7011 S. Ballpark Drive.

The study, which started in July and will wrap in January 2023, consists of two types of monitoring, attended and unattended.

Attended monitoring is just what it sounds like. Someone is there with the audio recording equipment, listening and observing activities as they occur. During an attended monitoring session, multiple locations can be visited.

Six attended monitoring sessions are scheduled for the duration of the study.

Unattended monitoring involves continually recording audio information at three, fixed locations for the six months of the study.

The three unattended locations are on West Hawthorne Lane, on the east side of South 76th Street, and near the ski hill. 

The Hawthorne Lane and 76th Street locations are in Franklin. The monitor near the ski hill is in Greendale.

Both types of monitoring serve an important purpose, project manager and RSG senior director Dana Lodico said.

“Unattended monitoring provides continuous data during periods with and without events,” Lodico said in an email. “We can use the unattended data to compare event days/times to periods without events and/or compare events to each other.”

She said the data also provides reference points for them to use during their attended monitoring so they can be sure they’re comparing “like to like” between sites.

Neighbor calls noise coming from The Rock a ‘nuisance’   

Lodico shared information about the study during a series of three public meetings streamed on Aug. 29. 

Each meeting started with the same presentation, then time was provided for public input. 

Joy Zingales lives right across the street from The Rock in Greendale. She said the windows in two of her family’s bedrooms face The Rock and they’re often kept up or woken up by noise coming from the facility.

“It seems to be a lot of bass, it seems to be treble — it’s different all the time for us,” Zingales said. “Most of our noise either comes from the speakers on the Little League field and/or the Umbrella Bar, but if the wind is blowing in our direction, we hear everything the stadium has to say loud and clear.”

She said people don’t realize how intrusive the noise can be, especially when one hears it 180-plus days of the year.

“Unfortunately, the county helped create the nuisance. Now they have to help fix it,” she said.

Clarice Vichich lives west of The Rock in Franklin and has called to complain about the noise but said “it’s very depressing to live in a city that doesn’t care about the citizens.”

She often retreats into her basement to escape the sound.

“I just say to the neighbors, ‘I can’t handle it anymore,'” she said. “I sew in the basement, so I live in my basement. We have a porch. You can’t enjoy sitting on your porch. I love to garden. My yard has been in the paper, it’s been in Better Homes. I work at this property and I can’t enjoy it anymore. It’s just sad.”

Vichich thinks the sound is terrible for mental health. “I think it’s like torture,” she said.

Noise is ‘destructive’ to quality of life, Franklin neighbor says  

Another Franklin resident, Dana Gindt, called The Rock “a lovely facility” but said she is excited the sound levels are being evaluated because they have caused harm to her family and neighborhood.

“I know there’s a lot of people that enjoy going there,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that people should be harmed and sacrificed for some people that want to go to the activities.”

Gindt lives half a mile from The Rock and said the sound has been a public nuisance for nearly a decade.

“It’s destructive to my quality of life, quiet enjoyment, my children are disturbed at night,” she said. “The dog is very upset. It sounds like people are yelling in my front yard throughout the game, so we think that someone’s in our yard.”

The underlying zoning district for The Rock Sports Complex, P-1 Park District, has a maximum permitted sound level of 55 decibels, according to the city of Franklin’s Unified Development Ordinance. However, the Ballpark Commons project was approved for up to 79 decibels at its boundary.

Steve Taylor, executive director of the ROC Foundation and 17th District Milwaukee County supervisor, last October called the noise and light study/audit “a waste of taxpayer money and staff resources.” He touted the legally binding developer’s agreement with Franklin as his reasoning.

Neither Taylor nor ROC Ventures CEO Mike Zimmerman responded to multiple requests for an interview now that the study is underway.

County supervisor said she’s heard from both supporters and detractors 

Milwaukee County Supervisor Kathleen Vincent, whose 11th District covers Greendale and includes areas adjacent to The Rock, said she’s keeping an open mind on the topic.

“Obviously, I’m new to the board and I am coming into this very open minded with the understanding that there have been months if not years of complaints that have come from there,” Vincent said in a phone interview. 

“So I have heard from people that are upset about it, but I have to tell you, I’ve also heard from people, and from Greendale as well, who actually support The Rock and think it’s a great thing.”

Vincent stressed that her priority is in representing her constituents, not taking a stance.

She did say she wants to “sit down and talk” with Zimmerman so she can learn more.

“I’m a pretty reasonable person and I’m sure he is too, so hopefully, regardless of what comes of this sound study, I’m just hopeful that there can be kind of a happy medium met,” she said.

Some audio information from fireworks has already been gathered 

Some attended monitoring sessions have already taken place, including for fireworks shows that occurred Aug. 6 and 20, Lodico said.

Additional fireworks data could be captured during unattended monitoring as well, she said.

In total, Lodico said they’ve conducted four attended monitoring sessions — Aug. 6 and 20, as well as on Aug. 27-28. Each of the surveys included multiple residential locations.

Preliminary results from the sessions will be provided to the county once RSG has completed its data analysis for each event, likely in the next few weeks, Lodico said.

In terms of the overall study, after the sound monitoring concludes in January, the data will be analyzed.

A final report, including recommendations, is expected to be issued by spring or summer 2023.

One thought on “Milw. Co. Supervisor Patti Logsdon (Franklin) rips the Rock

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs – May 2023 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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