John J. Van Houten
J. J. Van Houten and Associates, Inc., Irvine, CA 92714
Noise ordinances provide objective standards which are used in the resolution of complaints, disputes, and land use compatibility concerns. However, application of the prevailing ordinance standard may indicate that compliance exists without adequately addressing the nuisance which motivated the complaint. The frustration of relentless noise and its related nuisance can be the motivation for litigation. Legal action may be the only remedy for its ultimate abatement. This paper will consider low levels of noise, less than the prevailing public agency standard, and will explore justification for the resolution of the nuisance which they may cause. Sources of such noise include a neighbor's pool pump/motor or air conditioner, industrial equipment, transformers, combustion burners, pumping units, water flow in pipes, etc. Noise ordinance standards which prevail in California will be reviewed, and nuisance criteria will be identified. In addition, case histories will be discussed which will provide examples of the resolution of the nuisance caused by low level noise.