Laurelhurst Community Club†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Serving 2800 Households in Seattleís Laurelhurst Neighborhood



                                                                        May 28, 2004



Mayor Greg Nickels

7th Floor, City Hall

600 Fourth Avenue

P.O. Box 94726

Seattle, Washington  98124-4726


Re: Enforcement of the Residential Noise Ordinance


Dear Mayor Nickels: 


Noise in residential communities directly affects our quality of life and helps define the attraction of a neighborhood as a place to live.  Neighborhoods near the University of Washington have particular problems from party houses or other chronically loud and boisterous activity.  We were disappointed to recently learn from the University Park Community Club about enforcement issues with the noise ordinance.


Recent revisions to the Seattle Noise Ordinance held the promise of clear progress in enforcement of reasonable standards for neighborhood courtesy by authorizing police officers to issue citations on the spot when noise reaches objectionable levels.


The Laurelhurst Community Club receives complaints from neighbors about parties, and loud businesses on a regular basis.  We have a strong interest in seeing the citation process succeed.  Now that problems have arisen in University Park, we hope they will be addressed and that operating standards will be established that serve the community generally.


Regarding the citation process, we are experiencing a practical problem, which should be addressed at this time.  Response times are very long, given the relatively low priority of noise complaints.  When officers arrive several hours after the complaint, they might naturally be reluctant to issue a citation, since the responsible people may be gone, and the objectionable behavior long since past.


The solution might be to provide clear guidance, and periodic reviews of practices in this area.  The citation process should be exercised and given a chance to work, particularly in the case of repeated complaints from the same address.


Even one or two citations can have a big effect on behavior, and official sanctions make a clear statement about community standards.  If residents feel the citation is unjust, they may appeal.  Even if the citation is voided, the message about community standards has value and meaning.


The Laurelhurst Community Club encourages training and guidance for responding officers in favor of using the citation process as provided in the city ordinance.  With proper review and good judgment, we feel that all residents will benefit from improved conditions and better relationships in the neighborhood.




Jeannie Hale, President                                                 Stan Sorscher, LCC Trustee

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE                                  3716 NE 43rd Street

Seattle, Washington  98105                                          Seattle, Washington  98105

525-5135 / fax 525-9631                                             522-7660                                              


cc:  Chief Gil Kerlikowske, Seattle City Councilmembers, Diane Horswill, SPD Crime Prevention Representative, Pat Wright, LCC Crime Prevention Representative