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Noise Goes Both Ways
updated: Sep 18, 2012, 11:53 AM
By Daniel Cohen
It seems SB is talking a lot about noise lately. Helicopters, private parties, concerts, honking, sirens,
train horns, etc... are all part of the city soundscape. Although, I am curious to know if there is any
followup if the dB levels were exceeded at the Bowl.
Noise pollution is real but I must confess I am a little bit miffed at people complaining about noise
lately. Recently a friend was tying the knot at my house, the ceremony was nearly interrupted when
police arrived. A neighbor had called them, without ever talking to me, to complain about extremely
loud music. The party was in fact nearly a block away and we had to ask them to keep it quiet for 20
mins during the ceremony, we were not playing music at my house yet and had not even had the
ceremony. The police understood this but could not do anything about it and would be required to give
me a ticket if the neighbor called again (actually they called it a citizens arrest and I would need to go
before the DA). The neighbor in fact has never spoken to me, nor am I 100% sure what neighbor it is (I
do know they are across the street). I would have liked to politely tell them they got the wrong house?
After dinner we played the music softly, while listening to the loud music a block away. From the street
in front of my house all you could hear was the other party, that is how low we kept the volume. All the
while knowing that a confused neighbor might call the police at any minute to shut down our friends
wedding party and be ticketed for other peoples noise. This is just the latest development.
I have also received nasty, threatening, anonymous notes about my dogs barking ... sometimes when
my dogs aren't home! And I listen to a half dozen dogs barking all day in the neighborhood when mine
are quiet at my feet on the rare occasion I work from home. My dogs dont bark much when I am home,
certainly less than most dogs on the block. I have resorted to spray and static collars, hoping that my
dogs wont bark when nervous or when the neighborhood dogs start barking. I dont know if it is
working, I would like to ask the bothered neighbor but I can't.
Any workman, tree trimmer, electrician, carpenter, gardener, also report being yelled at, sometimes
profanely. I have gone out of my way, being appreciative of peace and quiet myself, but get the same
reaction regardless. I have demanded the gardener use an electric blower, even though none of the
other gardeners in the neighborhood will. I only allow work like tree trimming or light handy work to be
done between 9AM and 4PM. I know I am a good neighbor, and because of these complaints I make a
point to ask the houses that immediately border mine if they are bothered, they responded "what
noise?" (these are homeowners that work from home or are retired)
At this point I feel harassed and cant do anything about it because the neighbor wont even come talk to
me. I would write a letter hoping to find a resolution and live amicably, but it could be any one of at
least 3 neighbors. Sorry just venting but noise frustration can go both ways. I would appreciate any
helpful suggestions on how to identify and approach this neighbor.
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