Riverview brings misdemeanor charges against Metro City Church

Photo by Sue Suchyta. The city of Riverview has filed 12 misdemeanor charges in 27th District Court against Metro City Church, 17760 Fort St., for disturbing the peace and violating limits on amplified noise.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. The city of Riverview has filed 12 misdemeanor charges in 27th District Court against Metro City Church, 17760 Fort St., for disturbing the peace and violating limits on amplified noise.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – The Rev. Greg Cahalan of Metro City Church said on social media Nov. 15 that the city brought 12 amplified noise and disturbing the peace misdemeanor charges against the church.

A city official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the city attorney filed 12 misdemeanor charges in 27th District Court in Wyandotte against Metro City Church, 17760 Fort St., for violations of Riverview code section 38-151, disturbing the peace generally, and 38-162, limits on amplified noise.

Mayor Andrew Swift, City Attorney Randall Pentiuk, Police Chief Cifford Rosebohm and City Administrator Douglas Drysdale did not respond to email requests for confirmation by press time.

Section 38-151 states that it is unlawful for any person to ring a bell, blow a horn or operate any noise-making device, or by mouth or voice make sounds and noises causing annoyance to others, or be likely to annoy or disturb others.

Section 38-162 defines amplified noise as any noise emanating from any device designed to amplify the human voice, music or other sound, from any electrical device used to amplify sound.

Plainly audible means any sound that can be heard by unimpaired auditory senses, including bass reverberation, and words and phrases need not be discernible.

It further states that it is unlawful to make, aid or assist in making any amplified noise from between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on public or private property or from a motor vehicle, that is plainly audible from 50 feet in any direction. From 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., sound must not be audible to anyone other than the operator.

Exceptions include emergency or public safety vehicles, sound emitted unavoidably during a job-related activity or for an authorized public activity which the city council has approved in advance.

Cahalan said in his posting that the proceedings were based upon complains from two residents living behind the church on Cranbrook, based on the sound generated by amplified music during worship services.

Christopher Benedetti and Florian Nowicki, both of Cranbrook Street, have repeatedly addressed the City Council during public meetings to seek relief from the amplified sound from the church.

Cahalan said the court will decide whether its members are in violation for the sounds generated during worship services.

The church has not received citations prior to this, Cahalan said. He said the church submitted a professional sound engineering report to the city documenting that worship service noise is below the the level permitted by city ordinance.

“On behalf of the church, I want to affirm our desire to properly address the reasonable concerns of individual Riverview residents,” Cahalan said, “while also working to protect and preserve the personal, commercial and religious liberties of all of the city’s churches, businesses and residents.”

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