When you reside in such a picturesque, relaxing location like Newport Beach, the last thing that you want is to hear construction noise. Undoubtedly, construction and repairs are inevitable, and some of these tasks bring more noise than others. However, after a long week of 9-5pm, you don’t really want your weekend being disturbed by noise pollution. As the residents and the Newport Beach city official felt the same, the Newport Beach city council had a unanimous vote to restrict noise pollution during the weekends, particularly on Saturdays. New restriction may disrupt the construction but is it the best outcome for everyone? Many local residents feel that it’s a great move as it allows the residents to have relief from the noise and even dust that is caused by construction. Not only that, the areas that tend to be affected the most are said to be denser areas. Besides, as mentioned, homes that are close to water.
These compact areas often have narrow streets and a greater demand for parking; therefore, construction doesn’t just generate noise pollution, but also affects the traffic and parking facilities. The Newport Beach City Council intended to apply new restriction for home constructions during the weekend, to relive the residents from some of the negative effects. Thus, the reasons as to why this restriction has been enforced are evident. In this article, we’re going to look in more detail on the effects of noise pollution caused by construction and we will also discuss how and which repair service may be affected or restricted in the designated areas of Newport Beach.
What areas are affected by the construction noise restrictions in Newport Beach?
As new noise pollution restrictions were primarily for denser areas, a popular California city like Newport Beach, a demand for new homes is increasing. While Newport Beach is a highly sought-after residential location by all types of homeowners, the recent statistics show that this Orange County city has a population of approximately 86,000 people. Furthermore, Niche.com describes Newport Beach as being “Living in Newport Beach offers residents a suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Newport Beach, there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.”
Niche.com goes on to describe that the homeowner demographic is diverse, as there is a lively nightlife, recreational opportunities, as well as having a high rated school system. For these reasons, it’s certainly understandable as to why the construction of new homes in Newport Beach in continuous. Not only that, the City Council’s decision to enforce these noisy construction weekends is a beneficial decision for the existing and new residents. Arguably, their decision to add these restrictions will make Newport Beach an even more desirable location to live, however, the question is what areas are mainly affected and will this prevent or stall any of the current construction plans? According to the LA Times the neighborhoods include:
- Bay Island
- Balboa Island
- Balboa Peninsula
- Corona del Mar
- Harbor Island
- Lido Isle
- Linda Isle
- Newport shores
Now, to answer part of the above question – will these restrictions delay the current construction plans? Well, yes and no, as it depends on the level of noise. Construction work is permitted if, according to the ordinance, the noise does not (or could) disturb “…a person of normal sensitivity.”
What do the new Newport Beach noise construction restrictions mean?
We have briefly highlighted that the new noisy construction restrictions can be beneficial for homeowners, however, does this affect the type of repairs or work that you can have done on your home? Particularly, if you’re living in one of the above-mentioned zones. There is no doubt that these noise restrictions come with benefits and hindrances, mainly for construction firms and workers. Not only that, one question that many Newport Beach residents may be asking is how can I complete emergency repairs or renovations at the weekend? First, we felt that we needed to include some of the restrictions, requirements, and exceptions of these noise pollution restrictions.
The LA Times highlighted that Newport Beach has already prohibited construction on Sunday and due to the increasing noise complaints (which we’ll discuss later), the new noise restriction was officially voted in and are now applicable. Bringing us back to the question: what do the new Newport Beach noise construction restrictions mean?
We’d like to highlight the recent synopsis of the restrictions, rendering to the City of Newport Beach. Below is a summary, which describes permitted and restricted noise pollution, caused by construction in Newport Beach.
- Weekdays – construction is permitted between 7:00-6: 30 pm
- Saturdays – construction is permitted between 8:00-6:30pm*
*These times are authorized, if the construction work adheres to: “the noise does not (or could) disturb “…a person of normal sensitivity” (as stated in the ordinance).
Sundays and Federal Holidays
Circumstances, which are exempt from the noise restrictions, under the City of Newport Beach Municipal Code 10.28.040 (Construction Activity) are:
- Emergency building constructions, only when authorized by the building’s director/owner;
- Emergency repairs to city facilities/amenities;
- Maintenance, construction and/or repairs that have been authorized by either the Department Director or City Manager
Psychological and physiological effects of noise
Noise pollution, whether it caused by construction or other environmental factors can be a serious issue. Moreover, noise pollution can have both long-and-short-term effects on homeowner/s physically, physiologically and physiologically. Thus, it is evident that the City of Newport Beach is striving to provide a healthy, noise balance for its residents.
Prior to these restrictions, several homeowners made noise complaints regarding the constant construction in Newport Beach. Further, according to the LA Times, when speaking to Mayor Diane Dixon, she explained that the noise construction would happen every Saturday, and all day, therefore, it sparked many residents to make complaints during several city council meetings. Additionally, the Newport Council understands that sometimes construction is unavoidable, especially in a growing city. Thus, as seen in the section above, construction is permitted, provided that it adheres to the mandatory sound levels. When speaking to the LA Times, Seimone Jurjis, who is the City Community Development Director, she describes these restrictions as being a compromise.
Many of us work 9-5 jobs, in an office or onsite and when the weekend finally comes, we do want to do our household tasks but we also want to relax. The persistent and consistent noise complaints regarding noisy constructions seem to be disrupting for most homeowners and noise pollution doesn’t just prevent us from relaxing, as mentioned above, it can also have detrimental effects on our well-being and health. For instance, Sound Acoustic Solutions highlights that one of the main physical effects is tinnitus or loss of hearing. They also demonstrate how several hearing experts agree that persistent exposure to more than 85 dB of sound is possibly detrimental. Moreover, this article explains that approximately 30 million Americans have daily exposure to dangerous noise levels.
So, what is classified as a dangerous noise level? We thought that we’d list some sounds that many of us hear daily, to help you understand which things/sounds create the highest volume.
Please note, that these sound results, were taken from Sound Acoustic Solutions.
- 20dB Clock Ticking
- 30dB Birdsong
- 40dB Quiet room
- 50dB Moderate rainfall
- 60dB Dishwasher
- 70dB Vacuum cleaner
- 80dB Alarm clock
- 90dB Lawnmower
- 100dB Pneumatic drill
- 110dB Rock music
- 120dB Car stereo
- 140dB Firearms
- 150dB Rock music peak
These sound levels are all well and good, but what is classed as a safe noise level? Moreover, what is the noise level that is permitted in Newport Beach on Saturdays?
According to the Newport Beach: General Plan for Noise: “Environmental noise levels are generally, considered low when the CNEL is below 55 dBA, moderate in the 55 to 70 dBA range, and high above 70 dBA.”
Therefore, when we consider that a vacuum cleaner or even a lawnmower is not that far away from a pneumatic drill, we can understand why these restrictions have been put in place. Not to mention, noisy weekend construction has been a re-occurring problem for Newport Beach residents. That said, one could pose the argument that most homeowners won’t be able to do any household tasks, like vacuuming or mowing the lawn. Nor, could they have any renovations or constructions to their home. And what happens when you need an emergency repair? As many repairs and renovation tasks require heavy, and very frequently noisy power tools. As mentioned above, emergency repairs and construction tasks are exempt from the new noise restrictions.
And when it comes to our field of expertise, garage doors, there are certain services like garage door installations or garage door repairs that do not generate noise pollution. We’ll look at this in a little more detail as we feel that if you live in Newport Beach, or are considering relocating, you should understand the violations.
Noisy Construction Violations
Since the new noisy construction weekend restriction was only passed in June this year; the official fines are yet to be released, however, we found that any violations would apply to the existing “Loud and Unruly Gathering Ordinance (LUGO).” Now, this ordinance includes residential noise, for instance, a social gathering, as well as environmental noise, like construction. Fig. 1, taken from the official Newport Beach Police Department website, demonstrates the violation and fines process.
Surprisingly, any noise pollution violations, not including construction noise, seems to be accompanied by a hefty fine system. While some residents may not be happy with the existing fine scheme, it seems to remain in place, if not stricter, due to the new noisy construction restrictions on weekends.
How do the noisy construction regulations affect garage door repairs in Newport Beach?
The answer is quite simple as most garage door work, both repairs, and installations require a minimal amount of power tools. For instance, drills. Although the drill is used briefly, it adheres to the “time frame” of noisy construction, in the ordinance. Nonetheless, if the drills were used continuously, then it would not be exempt from the noisy construction regulations. As garage door repair companies do use power tools which generate minimal noise, we would like to note that for some garage door installations, larger power tools may be needed. For instance, a jigsaw. Overall, most of the work, maintenance, and repairs on garage doors, do not violate the noise regulations in Newport Beach.
Still, before we leave you, we would like to highlight that the installation and repair tools noise levels differ between the zones and cities noise levels. Therefore, we recommend that you check the noise restrictions in your location, prior to scheduling any type of repair, maintenance or renovations.