Westbrook resident Doreen Delcourt, second row in red, speaks in support of the Rock Row concerts at the meeting Monday. In front of her is Jennifer Silverman, in blue. Chance Viles/ American Journal

WESTBROOK — Rock Row officials touted fewer concert noise complaints Monday at their monthly community meeting.

The meeting was less attended than previous meetings, but there were complaints and support all the same.

Four concerts since the last community meeting June 10 drew about 70 complaints each to the official complaint hotline, down from an average of 150 calls each about the first two shows. Rock Row continues to adjust its setup to reduce noise carrying out into the community.

Some residents at Monday’s meeting, however, raised concerns for the next show, slated for July 28.

“I am not against Rock Row,” said Jennifer Silverman, a Colonial Road resident. “My issue is that what one person can tolerate is different from someone else, and for sound sensitive people bass is the worst.”

Silverman, joined by a few other Portland and Westbrook residents, said that despite efforts to reduce noise, their houses still shake with the bass, and sometimes they can even hear the vocalist or announcer.

“I am pleased you are trying your best, you are listening, but how long will it take for the amphitheater to get closed in and for noise to go down,” Silverman asked.

Rock Row officials said that the process to enclose the amphitheater, which they believe will cut down noise travel, could take two to three years.

“That is not acceptable, this is an immediate problem,” Silverman said.

Rock Row community liaison Lynda Adams addresses the meeting, which was far less attended than previous community meetings regarding noise issues. Chance Viles/American Journal

Silverman noted that her family members, who she said are noise sensitive, have been leaving home during the shows to avoid noise.

“My concern comes in the future when they have to worry about working. … I moved to Westbrook (from Portland) for a certain idea, but this noise level is different and more disturbing than traffic or dogs,” she said.

Other residents showed up at the meeting to show their support for the venue, noting the economic benefits and claiming that noise in their neighborhoods was minimal.

“I live two streets over, I hear nothing,” said Doreen Delcourt, who lives off Main Street by the Dairy Queen. “The marching band is louder than this. Rock Row brings revenue. McDonald’s here hasn’t seen revenue like this in years, I have never seen a line like that through the door there, and I have lived in Westbrook my entire life.”

Delcourt also hopes that Rock Row will help keep taxes down for residents, and said the economy will only boom with the planned businesses and residences at the multi-use development.

Rock Row officials said their efforts to address the noise issue has been trial and error but the drop in complaints leaves them optimistic.

“We are tweaking things, lowering the PAs, we put the sub-woofers on the ground but found that with the clay below the soil, that made it worse, so we raised the sub-woofers again,” said Brian Kaplan,  project coordinator for Waterstone, the Rock Row developer.

Kaplan made a note of the streets where complaints came from during the meeting so that mobile noise measuring devices could be set up in those neighborhoods during the next show. With each data point made by the system, Waterstone is then more equipped to adjust the speakers and address the noise, he said said.

The next community meeting will beheld Aug. 12 at the Westbrook Community Center. The next show is set to be Joe Bonamassa on July 28.


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