Dear Editor:

After reading Mr. Schiavone’s letter regarding your story "Two Sides of the Fence: Music at Shackamaxon Puts Country Club, Neighbors at Odds," I feel the need to respond:
As I mentioned for the record in a public forum at the last Town Council meeting, I want Shackamaxon country club to thrive and prosper. I truly mean that. Their right to exist and operate a pool is 100% recognized by both me and (I believe) the majority of my neighbors.
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Neighbors have the right to build pools, but no neighbor has the right to be a consistent disturbance of the peace. Mr. Schiavone stated in his letter that Shackamaxon did not have bands playing until 1:00 a.m. I never asserted that. But it’s a fact that they did have one playing until approximately 11 p.m. at a volume that -- no exaggeration -- shook the windows of neighborhood homes. As a result, many neighbors called the police, and they were forced to pay multiple visits to the establishment. At that point, the music finally stopped. Your tax dollars at work, by the way.
No reasonable neighbor would have a band playing at window-shaking levels EVERY Saturday during July and August and pretend that his fellow neighbors would accept that. These events have driven people inside their homes when they are trying to enjoy their backyards with their families. That is invasive and abusive, and I encourage anyone – especially club management – to imagine the same happening to their family on a consistent basis. It is just plain wrong.

Owning a club in a well-established residential neighborhood comes with rights.  But it also comes with responsibilities – and that includes being a good member of the community who creates positive forces instead of disruptive ones.

Finally, as I cannot ignore personal attacks without setting the record straight, I’m establishing the following corrections:

  • The Planning Board did indeed mandate that a fence be installed with soundproofing. Read the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting from Feb 2014 as proof. (See page 8.)
  • In my opinion, any event titled “Drink Like a Founding Father” sends an irresponsible message - period. I take it as a tacit sign that the club has recognized this fact since they have now changed the name to “Fascinating Facts About Our Presidents.” Any event marketed as such makes me concerned for community safety, regardless of unbuilt roads that will be constructed in the future. Lastly, I never once asserted this event was to happen poolside.

Again I wish Shackamaxon success. But I implore them not to make it at the continued expense of the neighborhood they moved in to.

Mark Van Ostenbridge