Nicholas P. Miller
Harris, Miller, Miller, & Hanson, Inc., 429 Marrett Rd., Lexington, MA 02173
Guidelines and standards have been developed that identify the relationship between noise levels and land uses. These relationships were intended to define what land uses were ``compatible'' with specific levels of noise, but, in doing so, took into consideration not only public health and welfare, but also such concerns as the rights of property owners, available technology, and feasibility. The inclusion of these basically economic concerns meant that the noise and land-use compatibility guidelines would not necessarily protect people from all the adverse effects of noise or, perhaps more important, even identify when and where adverse effects might occur. This distinction between land-use compatibility and averse effects on people has generally been lost or overlooked. It is time to make this distinction clear. Case histories where pursuing land-use compatibility did not protect people from the adverse effects of noise or identify these adverse effects are discussed. A language and approach are proposed for clearly differentiating between the concepts of land-use compatibility and identification of disruptive effects.