To the editor:
Thank you for your story on the approval of the Classical Movements special use permit, “Classical Movements permit approved,” in the March 18 Alexandria Times.
You covered both sides of the issue but did not point out that Mayor Justin Wilson and City Council failed to address any of the concerns of the homeowners whose property is directly adjacent to Classical Movements.
Classical Movements has not been honest in its dealings with the city or its neighbors. They made a point of saying the pandemic was the reason they were forced to offer these live events, but the fact is that Classical Movements had been planning this from the moment they purchased the property. They told us so when they moved in.
They claimed that because they did not hear from the city, they assumed they needed no permits for these concerts. Really?
Council also made no mention, even though I did, that Classical Movements held a wedding with amplified music the very day before their hearing. There was no place in my house where I could go to avoid the sound. I was unable to hold an online meeting, as I was working that day.
Classical Movements has also erected a structure in their garden of approximately 10 feet in height without the requisite approval of the Board of Architectural Review. They continue to claim they were unaware of the laws and regulations. I find that claim disingenuous.
We have lived in this house since 1987. We know what city life is like: traffic, blaring horns, airplane noise, people coming back from restaurants on King Street. All of that is ambient sound, white noise. It is not the same as regularly scheduled events that continue for hours unabated. Not one person who is directly affected by these concerts testified in favor. All those in favor are completely unaffected by these events.
I hope that when my fellow Alexandrians attend these concerts, they keep in mind that this so-called beautiful music masks something very ugly. By patronizing Classical Movements concerts you are contributing to the inability of my wife and I to enjoy our home for the purpose it was intended.
We have at least 40 concerts and other events to look forward to; 40 weekends of not being able to sit in our yard with friends to have a conversation; 40 weekends of not being able to read a book in my sunroom or watch television because the music is so loud it sounds like it’s coming from inside my house; 40 weekends of my neighbors’ two small children being unable to sleep because events are continuing until 9 p.m., with cleanup thereafter.
So, please enjoy the concerts, but don’t forget the ugliness you are contributing to and think about whether you would like 40 concerts inside your home when all you are trying to do is enjoy some quiet.
-Guy Lamolinara, Alexandria