Rock Lititz discord

By on October 22, 2014

Rock_lititz_014The honeymoon between Rock Lititz and its neighbors was short.

It was definitely not sweet.

Rock Lititz will remain closed until it figures how to prevent low-frequency vibrations that triggered about 50 police resident complaints during the facility’s initial 13-day concert-testing session – believed to be for Usher whose tour begins Nov. 1.

The company, at considerable cost, scrambled last week to find a suitable testing venue to accommodate its next scheduled client.

Don Engle, who spoke at a Warwick Township meeting on Oct. 15, is one of the nearby residents who in June voiced concerns and wrote letters about quality-of-life issues related to the then almost completed Rock Lititz Studio rock-rehearsal testing facility off Newport Road and Route 501.

The group received assurances from Warwick Township, Clair Global and Rock Lititz officials who graciously arranged a tour of the 52,000-square-foot facility – designed for on-site sound and stage testing for rock shows and other events such as the Super Bowl and Grammy Awards.

“We left there feeling very comfortable,” Engle said. “It was Clair…they’ll do it right.”

But residents at the Warwick Township Supervisors meeting Wednesday were told what they already knew.

It was not right.

Andrea Shirk, Rock Lititz General Manager, told an overflowing audience on Oct. 15 that low-frequency vibration emanating into nearby residences has forced the temporary closure of the spanking-new $7 million Rock Lititz Studio. (photo by Pat Burns)

Andrea Shirk, Rock Lititz General Manager, told an overflowing audience on Oct. 15 that low-frequency vibration emanating into nearby residences has forced the temporary closure of the spanking-new $7 million Rock Lititz Studio. (photo by Pat Burns)

Andrea Shirk Rock Lititz General Manager, told an overflowing audience that low-frequency vibration emanating into nearby residences has forced the closure of the spanking-new $7 million Rock Lititz Studio.

Residents accused the Warwick board of failing its due diligence, including failing to conduct its own sound study, in monitoring Rock Lititz.

“You failed to protect the people that live here – every one of you,” said Moorland Court resident Harriet Smith.

Smith, one of a dozen residents who said the vibration made them physically ill, said the testing had “tortured” the community.

Eric Fry said the vibrations have so severely disrupted home life that he wants to sell his house, but can’t because of decreasing property values.

“At this point, we’re going to stick in there ‘til spring,” he said.

Later Frye shouted the “C” word.

Before he could finish his sentence: “It’s ridiculous there hasn’t been a class action lawsuit…,” several presidents shouted “Yet!”

Lloyd Bedford joked that the building would not be a total loss if Rock Lititz were not able to continue as rock rehearsal studio.

“We would like to have a Walmart instead of this,” he said.

Supervisors agreed to hire an independent noise abatement consultant and draft a noise ordinance.

Rock Lititz, which has a considerable financial investment, has promised to solve the problem. It plans to hire architectural acoustics consultants and maintain an open dialogue with residents.

Shirk said the company will seek the proper DEP permits to move forward on plans to install a 300- to 400-foot tree barrier and earth berm to contain sound.

Shirk announced, as one of its action items, that “Rock Lititz plans to establish a method of communication with our neighbors to inform them of improvements in sound control and containment.”

“Rock Lititz appreciates the need for increased communication with its neighbors and has been working daily on creating a communications plan to keep our neighbors informed as we continue to address issues,” Shirk said Tuesday.

The plan includes sending a mailing that will give interested neighbors the option of receiving information updates by mail or a website specifically dedicated to communicating with them.

“As news happens, we will pro-actively alert subscribers with an e-mail to visit the website for an update,” Shirk said. “Our communications team continues to make daily progress, and our neighbors can expect to receive communications from us as early as the end of this week.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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