Fans cheer for Thundercat on opening night at Maine Savings Pavilion in May. The owner of the concert venue says many issues that prompted noise complaints from neighbors have been resolved and the company will work to resolve any outstanding problems. Jill Brady/Staff file photo

The company behind a multi-use development in Westbrook said Friday it is committed to being “transparent, proactive and dedicated” to resolving complaints about noise generated by outdoor concerts at the site.

Waterstone Properties responded Friday to a Sept. 5  letter signed by all nine Portland city councilors with its own letter containing data they requested on noise generated by a dozen shows staged since May 26 at the Maine Savings Pavilion at the intersection of Route 25 and Larrabee Road, where the Rock Row project is under development. The site is only a short distance from the Portland city line.

The 2019 concert series concludes on Sept. 28 with a show by country musician Chris Young, but the concert promoter, Waterfront Concerts, is already advertising tickets for a show next May by the rock band Vampire Weekend. If it doesn’t seek to schedule more than the 16 shows authorized for this year, Waterfront Concerts will automatically be approved for the same number next year, Westbrook officials said.

Waterstone’s response letter said that data show none of the shows exceeded decibel limits agreed to under the land use permit issued by Westbrook, or standards set by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The volume was turned down at a July 28th show as a “proactive” measure because noise levels approached, but did not exceed, the decibel limits.

The letter also says complaints about noise called in to a telephone line set up by Waterfront Concerts dropped from about 400 for the first concert to 30 during the most recent concert on Aug. 31. For many residents who had complained, “the problem has been resolved,” Waterstone’s letter said.

The letter also said that the developers and Waterfront Concerts view addressing the noise complaints as a process, and it did acknowledge that residents of the Nason’s Corner neighborhood off Brighton Avenue in Portland say noise remains a problem.

The company said it has worked with a sound consultant, changed speaker heights and built “software audio models” to create a more efficient sound system at the pavilion.

“Several of those previously impacted residents attended the (promoter’s) latest public hearing on Sept. 9th to say they ‘couldn’t hear a thing now’ on concert nights and thanked us for being so responsive,” the letter said.

In addition, Waterstone Properties pledged to continue to listen to concerns, hire an acoustics expert to see if there are “reasonable, actionable solutions” to mitigate noise and visit individual homes in Nason’s Corner to determine if there are specific issues causing the problem.

The letter also took issue with two items in the councilors’ letter, including one that said complaints have “fallen on deaf ears.” The company said it has taken action and responded to the complaints.

And, the company said, an allegation that 20 young adults were taken to the Maine Medical Center emergency room during the Aug. 30 concert “with complications from intoxication” weren’t accurate. Instead, according to Waterstone’s letter, Westbrook EMS logs indicate that seven people were taken to the hospital and only one was related to alcohol use.

The letter concluded by saying that nearly 17 percent of the concert-goers are from Portland and many of the dozens of people who have jobs at the concert site are from the city.

“It is in the best interests of all to mitigate this problem as amicable neighbors, not as adversaries,” the letter said.

The letter was sent to Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, who said that he asked a council committee to take up the response. Neither Strimling nor Councilor Brian Batson, who wrote the city’s letter to Waterstone Properties, responded to email requests for comment Friday afternoon.

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