Highland Park, News

‘Unbelievable that this has gone on this long’: Noise complaints against Albion Highland Park continue despite previous fines

A Highland Park family is still looking for answers to a noise pollution problem that they say has drastically eroded their quality of life years after first bringing the issue to the attention of local officials. 

Jody and Peter Mordini both addressed Highland Park City Council members during a meeting on Tuesday, May 28, to say their family is still experiencing “physical and mental” suffering from a noise nuisance created by 40-plus air conditioning units that are part of the adjacent Albion Highland Park apartment development on Green Bay Road. 

The Mordinis appeared in front of the council in July of last year to urge the board to take action on the noise pollution created by Albion’s units. 

As previously reported by The Record, Highland Park officials then days later stated during an administrative hearing that a sound test conducted by the city’s community development department showed that the Albion Highland Park building was in violation of the city’s sound ordinance. 

Albion Highland Park, 1850 Green Bay Road, is branded as a luxury-apartment development that opened in 2021 just north of Central Avenue off Green Bay Road. To its north, Albion abuts single-family homes along Sheahen Court, where the Mordinis live.

Jody Mordini told the council on May 28 that the family is not doing well as the sound nuisance has not improved and is only growing louder due to the incoming warmer temperatures. 

“My feeling is that our family did nothing wrong and you can’t put a price tag on the amount of physical and mental suffering our family has gone through the past four years,” she said. “Albion is not playing by the rules of the city of Highland Park’s ordinances. They need to make it right and we do not want to hear the sound of 43 AC units from the inside and outside of our home.” 

Mordini concluded her remarks by saying that “enough is enough” and pleading with officials to “fix the problem.” 

“The sound nuisance currently exists year-long but is especially louder now that we are approaching the summer months,” she said. “We have suffered for four years.” 

Following the remarks from the Mordinis, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering expressed frustration that the situation has not been resolved. 

“There’s no reason that this is still continuing,” she said. 

During the July 2023 meeting, Rotering shared similar feelings of disappointment toward the situation. 

“I feel like the Mordinis have been going through this for years. We keep getting explanations and studies and this, that and the other thing. Enough,” Rotering said in 2023. “So, how are we going to fix this?”

Other councilmembers joined Rotering this year in highlighting their displeasure with how the situation has played out. Several councilmembers called for working to determine a specific date in which the noise issues must be resolved, and if it’s not, moving forward with “significant consequences.” 

Councilmember Kim Stone said “it might be time to rip the Band-Aid off and suggest they replace the units with something quieter. … It’s not acceptable that this continues to go on.” 

“It’s getting warm, we have an opportunity to make these (sound) measurements and I think that they need to be advised that if this is not completely solved by a certain date, regardless of the cost, that we’re going to have absolute enforcement,” Councilmember Anthony Blumberg said. 

Board member Yumi Ross added that she supported “taking every step possible.” 

City Manager Ghida Neukirch said during the May 28 meeting that representatives from Albion have been installing mitigation measures to try and remedy the situation. Those measures include additions that were placed on the northern elevation in an attempt to diffuse noise. 

Neukirch also provided an update to the council during the June 10 meeting, saying that city officials have “been working very closely with the developers, the Albion team, as part of their development, and in regular communication with the family as it pertains to their concerns.”

Per Neukirch, city officials met with the development team the morning of June 10 to review what efforts have been made thus far and to determine what the next steps are. 

The Albion team “immediately” hired a sound engineer to conduct a sound study following the noise concerns that have again come to the forefront.  

Neukirch shared preliminary results from the report and said that it is in the process of being finalized. Once it’s ready in its final form, it will become public record and will be shared with the Mordinis, Neukirch said. 

The City of Highland Park will have its own sound engineer conduct an additional test that will take place when outdoor temperatures increase, per Neukirch

During both the May 28 and June 10 meetings, Neukirch clarified what the city’s role is in the process. 

“As a city, it is not our job to identify what actions that a developer applicant needs to undertake,” she said. “It’s our job to review solutions that they develop and work to identify if they meet our code regulations.” 

Rotering concluded by again reiterating that the situation has lingered for far too long. 

“I understand what protocols are but I also understand that this is a family that has been putting up with far too much for far too long, and there needs to be some penalty that gets the attention of these property owners for them to cure this,” she said. “This is unbelievable that this has gone on this long.”

Albion, according to local officials, has previously been fined for violating the city’s noise ordinance.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

Related Stories