Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

February 11, 2002

Mayor Greg Nichols, Seattle City Council and City Attorney Tom Carr
Municipal Building
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104-1876
Fax 684-8587

RE: Changes to the Seattle Noise Ordinance

Dear Mayor Nichols, Councilmembers and Mr. Carr,

The Laurelhurst Community Club joins other community organizations in supporting improvements to the Seattle noise ordinance to give the Seattle Police Department and the Department of Design, Construction and Land Use a practical and proportionate mechanism for enforcing reasonable noise standards.

According to official reports, the police receive 12,000 noise complaints each year. It is likely that thousands of other incidents go unreported for various reasons. One conclusion from this statistic is that the current noise ordinance fails to serve a useful purpose, otherwise why would there be so many complaints. We need a noise ordinance with teeth. We support an enforcement mechanism that allows the police and DCLU to issue civil infraction tickets to violators of the ordinance. We also support retention of the "clearly audible" standard in the public nuisance section of the Code. Noise is a serious public health issue and the problem will continue to grow unless we take immediate action to strengthen the current law.

In 1999, the Seattle City Council passed an improved Noise Ordinance by a wide margin. Unfortunately, that measure did not become law. While the overall issue is complex, the 1999 experience has convinced us that a workable, enforceable and practical solution is within reach. We believe that in cooperation with other community organizations we can build on the important work of 1999 and help craft a measure that serves the residential and business communities.

We strongly encourage you to reopen the issue of improvements to Seattle's noise ordinance. Thank you for considering our views on this important issue. We look forward to working with you on this matter.

Sincerely,


Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
525-5135 / FAX 525-9631
jeannieh@serv.net

cc: Diane Sugimura, DCLU


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