Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood
February 9, 2006
3823 W 2nd Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
RE: Property Located at 3507 NE 44th Street
Dear Ms. Roberts,
Over the last many years, the Laurelhurst Community Club has received complaints from neighbors about the disruptive and noisy behavior of tenants residing in your Laurelhurst home located at 3507 NE 44th Street. Our Board of Trustees does its best to respond to concerns from neighbors. We wanted to let you know about the complaints. Our goals are to encourage everyone to be good neighbors and to point out potential Code violations should we notice any. We hope that you and your tenants will work with us.
Over the years, there has been a chronic problem with tenants residing at your Laurelhurst home who host loud and rowdy parties. Police are frequently called. There have been four parties since September 2005. One party did not wind down until 4 a.m. when the police were called. In warmer, dryer weather, parties migrate outdoors, thus intensifying the disturbance of nearby neighbors. The neighbors who share that block with your rental property consist of professionals (attorneys, professors, a paralegal, some with children, and retired persons). Your tenants do not seem to recognize the importance of peace and quiet to their neighbors.
Noise is a significant quality of life and safety issue. Citizens are confronted with an increasing level of noise that contributes to sleep disturbance, increasing stress levels and adverse impacts on one’s health. With this in mind, we hope you will work with your tenants to address these issues.
We would also like to alert you to Seattle’s noise ordinance. It is the policy of the City’s noise ordinance to “minimize the exposure of citizens to the physiological and psychological dangers of excessive noise and to protect, promote and preserve the public health, safety and welfare.” The noise ordinance prohibits residential disturbances between the hours of 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights) and 7 a.m. The Code defines “residential disturbance” as noise associated with a gathering of one or more people in a residential zone that is “frequent, repetitive or continuous and is audible to a person of normal hearing…” Another provision of the Code prohibits public nuisance noise, defined as “any unreasonable sound which either annoys, injures, interferes with or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of damage may be unequal.” Still another provision of the Code prohibits public disturbance noises, including loud and raucous, and frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds. The Code also establishes maximum sound levels and makes it unlawful to exceed these levels.
Both the Department of Planning and Development and the Seattle Police Department enforce the noise ordinance and landlords may be held accountable. The provision prohibiting residential disturbance violations makes it unlawful “for any person to knowingly allow real property under one’s possessor control to be used for a residential disturbance.” A residential property with three or more noise violations in any one-year period is subject to an abatement action against the property owner and/or tenants by the City Attorney’s office. This can be a lengthy, expensive process for a homeowner. In addition, there is a $250 fine for noise citations issued by the police.
We hope you will work with us and your tenants in addressing the noise disturbances at your Laurelhurst home. It is important that your tenants understand that if they are going to live in a neighborhood of professionals and families, they need be mindful and considerate. Please share Seattle’s noise ordinance with your tenants. A copy can be found on the City’s website at http://www.seattle.gov/dclu/codes/noise_ord.pdf.
Thank you for your assistance in resolving these problems. If you have questions, please contact us.
Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
206-525-5135 / Fax: 206-525-9631
cc: David George, Noise Abatement Coordinator, Department of Planning and Development; Acting Captain Mike Washburn, Seattle Police Department, North Precinct