Too many ignoring the city's noise rules

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The CBJ noise ordinance is not working. Three times in one week I've had to phone police to force developers to comply.

First it was roofing after 10 p.m. on a weeknight. Next it was driving pile at 7:40 on a Sunday morning. To add insult to injury, after I called about the pile driving on the new cruise ship dock and it actually stopped 30 minutes later, the roofing site fired up their blow torches at 8:14 a.m. and my fingers were again dialing the police. How can it be that so few, and the same, Juneau construction companies continue to forget the rules of the game?

For the record, the hours of operation for construction is 7a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends. These are pretty generous hours, huh?

I know the CBJ and tourism industry are committed to best management practices (BMP) as Juneau develops it tourism industry. Yet, the perpetual violation of the noise ordinance violates the trust between residents and the tourism industry. Even though BMP would suggest that industry, government, and residents work together on a voluntary basis, as it stands there is not enough civility or common sense to ensure fairness and respect.

For instance, some might say that if such deference were given to the community, enforcement and punitive fines are not necessary. However, after the third time in a week I begin to feel the futility of BMP. This idea needs some teeth.

For the record the fine for operating a construction site off-hours is $100. For industries that reap large profits from downtown waterfront development, this fine is mere lint in their pockets.

There's mounting distrust, yet the tourism industry asks why. As downtown residents, we never know when the impact of tourism-related construction will affect us, be it at 7:40 on a Sunday morning, or 10:30 at night when I am trying to sleep. The noise ordinance is not working for the residents of Juneau, it works for the developers.

Sweet dreams!

Jeremy Neldon


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