Noise Complaint Appeal Delayed Another Month

Elm Grove resident Stephen Dolan will wait another month to find out whether he will get to present his case which calls for Wheeling officials to revisit complaints of excessive noise coming from Sledd Co.’s 83,000-square-foot distribution facility near his home.

Dolan on Dec. 8 appealed the city’s decision last fall that noise from Sledd Co’s East Cove Avenue distribution facility is within allowable limits. But with only four of its five members present Thursday, the Board of Zoning Appeals tabled Dolan’s request for appeal for a second consecutive month.

Member David Ellwood was absent, and Dolan said he would prefer the full board be present to hear his argument. The board customarily gives applicants the chance to defer their requests when one or more members is unable to attend, Chairman Martin Sheehan said.

If a similar issue happens next month, however, Dolan will have to proceed or withdraw his request, because board bylaws don’t allow an issue to be tabled a third time.

City Solicitor Rosemary Humway-Warmuth said the city will argue the board should not hear Dolan’s appeal because it was not filed in a timely fashion, and declined to comment further.

Following Thursday’s meeting, Dolan, a resident of 163 Idabelle Ave., said noise from the business is disrupting life for him and many of his neighbors. He said the sound of tractor-trailers and refrigeration units continually wakes him up at all hours of the night.

“It’s affecting quite a few of us. … My wife sleeps in another room so she can get some rest,” Dolan said.

Last May, after neighborhood residents complained about lights and noise from the business, the city Planning Commission approved an amended site plan calling for the company to forbid truck drivers from using their main headlights while on site and plant additional trees to block light and noise. But complaints persisted, leading the city to hire a consultant to look into the situation.

Tom Connelly, assistant director of Wheeling’s Economic and Community Development Department, previously said the study – done on two nights while the warehouse was operating and on a third when it was idle – found the facility was not in violation of the law.

Sledd Co. officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In other business, board members Sheehan, Sherry Sligar, Steve Johnston and Ronald Sinclair voted to grant Tri-State Petroleum’s request to install a new canopy at the Marathon gas station at 2110 Warwood Ave.

The canopy would be the same size as the one already in place, but a new variance reducing the required front setback in a C-2 Commercial zone from 10 feet to about five feet is required to remove and replace it.

Board members also reappointed Sheehan as chairman and Ellwood as vice-chairman for another year.

The board’s next meeting will be 9:30 a.m. March 20 at the City-County Building.