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Winfield addressing golf course noise
By Robert Sanchez | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/17/2010 12:17 PM | Updated: 5/17/2010 4:18 PM

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Winfield officials hope a compromise can silence an ongoing controversy over noise at Klein Creek Golf Club.

Residents living in neighborhoods surrounding the golf course are complaining about pre-dawn sounds of lawn mowers groundskeepers use to maintain the golf course.

The residents want Winfield to enforce its village code, which states noise from landscaping equipment can't start until 7 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. weekends.

"All we want is a good night's sleep," said Martin Adeszko, a neighbor who lives near the first hole.

But John Weiss, who bought Klein Creek Golf Club a year ago, is seeking a revision to the noise ordinance that would make the golf course's landscaping operation exempt. He told the Winfield village board in February that proper golf course maintenance includes mowing before dawn.

After talking about the issue on three occasions, Winfield board members on Thursday night are expected to discuss a possible deal between Weiss and the residents.

"The golf course ownership was asked to work on some type of compromise with the homeowners," Village Manager Curt Barrett said. "It will be up to the village board to decide if they feel the golf course has presented a satisfactory package of compromises on the noise issues that would warrant the board approving the variance request."

Resident Tanya Anderson, who lives near the eighth hole, said the controversy started last summer, when landscaping work was beginning as early as 5 a.m.

"It just drove us crazy," she said. "It's too early. So we started complaining."

Village officials confirm numerous complaints were made last year about violations of the noise ordinance, many by anonymous callers. The golf course ended up receiving seven citations and three warnings. In past years, there weren't any complaints filed against the course, officials said.

As part of the proposed compromise, groundskeepers won't leave the maintenance building until 5:30 a.m. during the prime golf season between May 1 and Sept. 15. That means the actual landscaping work wouldn't start until about 5:50 a.m. It would start later - about 6:20 a.m. - during the fall and early spring.

Weiss declined to comment on Monday.

However, Adeszko said he believes the proposed compromise is "totally unacceptable."

"Nobody wants lawn mowers waking them up at 6 a.m.," he said. "That's ridiculous. We want it peaceful. We want them to follow the village ordinance just like everybody else."