Sylvania dispute may cancel benefit concertsWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A dispute between the owner of Toledo Harley-Davidson and a group of Sylvania Township residents may pull the plug on the dealership’s annual benefit concert series this summer.
Tim Sherman, who owns the dealership at 7960 W. Central Ave., claims individuals who oppose development on the strip are singling him out. He says his shows, which in past featured Whitesnake and The Charlie Daniels Band, provide entertainment for people of all ages and raise money for several local charities.
”I’m an easy target,” Sherman said. ”They seem to throw away the fact that it’s a community pride thing.”
Those hoping to prevent Sherman from hosting shows in the dealership’s parking lot this summer say they are fed up with excessive noise and traffic the concerts bring. The group voiced its concerns to the Sylvania Township Board of Trustees and temporarily got its wish when the township police department denied Sherman a noise ordinance exemption for an April event.
”I appreciate his commitment to the community,” said trustee Dee Dee Liedel, ”[but] we do have commitments to the community overall and this is one of those areas where interests are not aligned on all sides.”
Though Sherman was denied an April concert, he said he still would like to have others in the summer. However, he said the township board hasn’t given him a definitive answer on whether it will permit the events, which typically run from 6-10 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday, though some have been on weeknights.
”I don’t want to come off as the guy going against the stream,” Sherman said. ”I’m just looking for an answer.”
Sherman met with Liedel to discuss the issue and said he was encouraged because she appeared willing to come to a fair resolution. He said he is scheduled to meet with trustee Pamela Hanley April 3. Trustee Carol Contrada did not return calls.
Sylvania Township police Capt. Robert Boehme said the noise ordinance requires events similar to Sherman’s to have an exemption to the law because of the excessive noise they produce. However, he said any impunity to the ordinance expires at 10 p.m.; some of Sherman’s events ran past the cutoff.
Boehme said he’s unsure if the township will approve exemptions for future concerts because of the many complaints it received from residents after last year’s events. He said even if Sherman can adhere to the 10 p.m. deadline, he still wouldn’t please the opposition.
”He may think he may [finish before
10 p.m.], but that doesn’t help our problem about these people that are adamantly against it,” Boehme said, noting the township hasn’t completely ruled against the concerts.
The township’s indecisiveness, Sherman said, is preventing him from scheduling future events. He said it normally takes two to three months of planning to book national acts. He stressed his goal isn’t to make trouble for the township and its residents.
”I am very, very concerned to make sure that our goal as the Harley-Davidson dealer is not to cause trouble for the township,” Sherman said.
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