Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Dealing With Noisy Neighbors

Sorrento95@aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 97-11-28 08:45:17 EST, Eric writes:
> >I have just completed a Model Noise Ordinance for the
> >State of New Jersey that deals specifically with this situation.
> > It is a performance code, which means that the standards
> >are set in decibels as measured on the A-scale. Enforcement
> >of a performance code involves the purchase of a meter and
> >training the officer in its use;
>   I find this very disappointing.  I know Rutgers is taking a lot
>   of leadership in this area, and if your solution is to write
>   laws based on decibel readings then I see litle hope.
>   I don't give a damn what the decibel meter says.  If I can
>   hear the noise in my house -- or even in my yard -- it's
>   too loud.
>   Ordinances need to be written on a common sense basis.
>   If a cop can hear an auto stereo from a distance of 30 feet,
>   he ought to be able to write a ticket.
>   For stationary sources, if a noise-maker's recreational noise
>   can be heard beyond his property line, then the cop ought
>   to be able to write a ticket.
>   Laws based on simple audibility and distance rules can be
>   easily enforced, without a lot of expensive training and
>   equipment.   Already I have heard my local cops say things
>   like "we can't afford all the training and equipment" to enforce
>   the noise ordinance.

I agree with most of this, though not all.  During certain hours of the
day you almost have to go with a decibel reading -- there are just too
many noises/sounds that are part of daily living that we're going to
have a hard time eliminating (or finding enough people to support such a
goal).  You know my feelings on noise in general and I do like decibel
readings provided they are reasonably set -- oft-times the toerance
levels are set way too high. 

My biggest problem with this approach (while in the home) is that kids
pounding around upstairs will not be likely to register on the decibel
meter such that it would violate any statutes.  Stereo music will/might
do this, but foot stomping is mostly a nuisance noise that renters are
often expected to "deal with."  Usually, that means moving.  It isn't
right and it isn't fair, but it is usually the only answer (once
peaceful efforts have been tried and, as is usually the case, failed).

Bob S.

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