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Noise can have impacts in LW


On a daily basis, Security is called regarding noise complaints, and those calls are on the rise.

Residents complain of power tools breaking the weekend peace, blaring televisions, noisy morning walkers and loud music late at night.

Noise complaints take the No. 2 spot of all incident reports, according to Security. This is a problem that erodes community peace and unity as proximity to neighbors makes everyone vulnerable to those who disturb the peace.

Noise pollution impacts millions of people on a daily basis. Exposure to loud noise can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances and stress, according to health experts.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines noise pollution as “unwanted or disturbing sound,” explaining that “sound becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such as sleeping or conversation or disrupts or diminishes one’s quality of life. The annoyance can have major consequences.”

Older adults are especially at risk simply because prolonged or obtrusive noise can trigger physiological changes in the nervous, hormonal and vascular systems, resulting in potentially long-lasting consequences.

Because noise can be detrimental to health, most municipalities have noise ordinances, which are laws that limit allowable noise levels at different times of day for different zoned areas (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial). The maximum allowable noise levels are typically higher during daytime hours and lower during nighttime hours.

In Leisure World, most Mutuals limit when contractors can work, prohibiting work on weekends and holidays, for example, and limiting weekday hours from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The City of Seal Beach has a community noise ordinance that is designed to protect the peace and has designated noise zones and time periods when noise levels can intermittently exceed allowable limits.

Generally speaking, it’s fairly easy to comply with community noise rules by just being courteous to your nearby neighbors:

• Speak conversationally or even at a lower volume on those early-morning group walks when fellow LWers may still be asleep.

• If you are hearing impaired, use closed-captioning on your television so you can turn down the volume.

• Limit your noisier pursuits. For residential properties like LW, the standard noise curfew is from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.

• Know the rules in your Mutual so you plan remodel or construction work within allowable hours.

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