How to Deal with Noise Problems
Last updated August 1, 2007 | Bookmark this site | Contact us > RCTA Home Page > Noise Problems

We are all accustomed to urban noise, but things have definitely gotten worse in the last few months. The sources are primarily construction, special events, and drunks leaving bars and restaurants.

Contrary to what you might think, there are solutions. The Police Department is actually required to address these problems. The trick is knowing how to work the system effectively.

The main thing is to call the city dispatch center at 553-0123. Their computer system tracks the number of complaints received, and government bodies such as the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control check how many complaints are lodged against a specific address. The more complaints in the computer, the more likely they are to act. So it is important that you call.

Here are some guidelines. Keep these handy so you can call when a problem is happening.

1. Try to get the street address of the restaurant or worksite. Check the phonebook while you are waiting.
2. Call 553-0123. Always be professional and patient.
3. Ask the dispatcher for the tracking number assigned to your call. They must give you the call number, and this tells them you mean business. It also makes follow-up a whole lot easier.
4. Tell them you have a concern about noise and/or work permits. Both of these issues are "Required Service." They must respond to these calls, and you can let them know you are aware of that in case you get the runaround.
5. Emphasize that you would like an officer to come by. If that doesn't work, politely ask to speak to their supervisor. (I have spoken to the director of the call center, and this is his advice.)
6. If the dispatcher says something like "The work is permitted, call the police station," ask how they know that. (That is a common runaround.) Ask what hours is the work permitted for? Who issued the permit? (Having a permit does not mean they can work anytime they want.)
7. If you can, tell them you will accept a call back and go meet with the officer. I'm sure they are under a lot of pressure to not tell a construction crew to stop and go home. So your presence balances out the pressure points.
8. When it is "high-impact" noise, emphasize that. That is another key term that has special meaning.
9. Emphasize that there are 320 homes at Rincon. We are city residents. We are used to city noise but this is excessive.

Keep the Tenants Association apprised of the situation. Our email address is to the left.

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