Jul 25, 2014
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What Kind of Noise Does the County Regulate?

Noise pollution was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (ACONA) Meeting

What Kind of Noise Does the County Regulate?

At a Tuesday meeting of the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (ACONA), a county official discussed what types of noise pollution it will regulate and what types it will not.

Cole Landowski, of the chief of the County's Environmental Hygiene program, said that any persistent noise that is above 50 decibels in a residential neighborhood can be regulated by the county.

His program, which is part of the County Department of Public Health, regularly investigates complaints from residents in unincorporated areas and will bring out instruments to measure noise levels if investigators feel it is warranted.

At Tuesday's meeting residents in attendance told him all the problems they faced to see if it would be regulated.  The problems ranged from troubles with churches renting out their spaces to people who throw loud parties, to one resident who said her neighbor's pool pump is so loud people in neighboring homes can't open their windows.

In either case, Landowski said his department could investigate.

But there were three noise problems mentioned by residents that would not fall under his department's regulatory power.  They are:

  • Loud boomboxes in cars
  • Leaf blowers
  • Dog barking 

Loud cars specifically do not meet the county's ability to regulate since they are not stationary.  Leaf blowers, though possibly noisy enough to be a violation, have a specific exemption under county code.

Dog barking is covered by the county's Animal Control department.

The department has an online form for residents who wish to report a problem.

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