We Need Some Noise Abatement!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My road has a random assortment of falling-apart trailers, semi-mobile homes (trailers with additions built on or above them), permanent dwellings and light industrial use buildings. The concept of zoning may not yet have arrived in my neighborhood.

About two weeks ago, I noticed a new noise from the direction of some large sheds near the lake. It is louder on warmer days, starting around mid-afternoon, and increasing in volume into the night. I have not yet met the neighbors with the sheds down the road, and hadn't thought about the sheds until the noise started. It's a steady sound, with almost no break in it, like some high voltage electricity, or a strange broadcast--maybe they're trying to scare away migrating Canada geese or starlings?

One especially warm evening, I went to bed, only to realize I could still hear the noise...with all the windows shut! As I lay awake fuming at the inconsiderate nature of people who would keep their loud machinery going, I started wondering what I could do about it, and if so, how would I report these people without appearing un-neighborly. (This is the first place I've ever lived where people don't honk at each other driving down the road--even if they get cut off--so I definitely don't want to earn a reputation as that "jerk-from-the-city".) In the county, do we even HAVE a noise ordinance? Who would enforce it, and how would I report it? I imagined calling the county police department complaining of a noise down the street "somewhere," not being able to accurately describe it, or even predict when it would happen--good way to make friends with the local law enforcement.

Advil PM helped me fall asleep sometime after 2 am. I drifted off vowing to talk to the neighbors and see if they knew anything about the noise and what they might do about it. Perhaps Dottie, our wonderful realtor, or Fred, the former homeowner, might know something about the noise history and what to do about it.

The next morning, I took the girls to school and in chatting with one of the other parents about the weather, she asked if I've heard the frogs now that they're waking up. Frogs? Yes, I think maybe I have.

Good thing I didn't report any noise ordinance violation--though it might not be a bad idea to fine the inconsiderate frogs.

This sound is obviously frogs, unless you think it's coming from a semi-industrial shed in your neighborhood.


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