Riverside trustees voted 5 to 0 last week to allow Mollie’s Public House, 31 Forest Ave., to host live music up to 156 times a year despite continued protests from a neighbor who says the bar can’t keep the noise down.

At their meeting March 21, trustees agreed to the recommendation of the village’s Plan Commission that the Irish pub be granted a special use permit for the additional live events for a six-month probationary period.

“I hope I’ve proven myself to the committee and everybody else in Riverside that my actions speak louder than words,” said Brian Carroll, who opened Mollie’s Public House in March 2010.

The special use permit also received the endorsement of two members of the Riverside Township Chamber of Commerce, Alex Gallegos and Eric Sundstrom, at the March 21 meeting.

Perhaps sensing that the village board was inclined to grant the permit to Carroll, Alisa Jerz, whose family lives across the street from Mollie’s Public House, urged village officials to re-examine Riverside’s noise ordinance, which requires residents to lodge formal complaints before police will issue citations.

“We don’t want to be forced into a role where we have to call police all the time about excessive noise if it occurs … just so we can lives peaceably in our own home,” said Jerz, who has fought the permit idea since it was proposed to the Plan Commission.

“Hopefully the police would be more proactive with more frequent patrols in place on nights on which Mollie’s has scheduled live entertainment,” Jerz said. “Without an incident or complaint 14 years before this, I don’t now want to get into an ongoing controversy with Mollie’s Pub or its patrons.”

Village Manager Peter Scalera responded that the topic of the noise ordinance would be coming before the village board in April. It’s likely the ordinance would be amended to allow officers to sign complaints based on their own observations.

One other neighbor also voiced disapproval of the permit. A woman who lives in an apartment in the same building as the pub said, in a letter read aloud by Trustee Jean Sussman during the meeting, that her medical condition required her to get a good night’s sleep.

Trustees, without additional comment, approved the permit.

Conditions of the probationary permit require the Riverside police department to submit a report detailing police activity at the bar during the probationary period. The village board can revoke the permit at any time for cause.

In addition, all music must end one hour prior to closing time and must occur indoors with doors and windows closed. The bar can’t utilize outdoor speakers, and is limited to three music events per week.

Under the village code, restaurants in the central business district are allowed eight live music events per year. If the business wants to host more than that, it must get a special use permit to do so.

-Bob Uphues