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The Noisy Business Next Door, What Is a Neighborhood to Do?

“Hey, could you please keep it down?” He yells down from his window. “Why don’t you move?!” comes the sharp retort from a bar patron below.  

He is 41 years old, a new father.  He understands that living in a densely populated city means opening the windows at night comes with a fair amount of city noise.  Sporadic blasts of car horns, the clacking sound of the L train, and the hustle-bustle of a large and vibrant city have become a familiar sonic background for him and his growing family.  On some level, he even takes pride in taking comfort in the familiar sounds of city living.

Yet, the backyard patio of the restaurant next door crosses a line.  Mostly unregulated, the raucous noise from the backyard patio bar drives him to distraction and keeps his young son up at night.  Without question, his residential neighbors share the sentiment.  The problem is:  they don’t know what to do.  How can you push back against the noise?     

The Delicate Balance When Residents and Businesses Share the Neighborhood

When it comes to city living, there is a delicate balance that all involved must carefully navigate.  That balance falls between the neighborhood residents’ desire for quiet enjoyment of their property and business owners’ right to run their establishment.  Business owners have a right to make a living, and the community has a right to have quiet and the ability to sleep at night.  Finding a happy medium can be a significant challenge.  

This article will discuss what you can do if a business (like a restaurant or bar) is disrupting your neighborhood.  If, after reading this article, you have more questions about how to push back against a disruptive business in your neighborhood, then I welcome you to contact me at 1818 – An Advocacy Group.  Learn more about what my representation can do for you.  Contact me today.  I have the resources and experience to make sure that your interests are effectively and zealously represented.

What Impact Does a Disruptive Business Have on Your Neighborhood?

A loud club, never-ending construction, or even a building’s loud ventilation system has several detrimental effects on you and your neighbors.  Here are just a few of the things that result from a disruptive business next door.

Quiet Enjoyment

First and foremost, the most immediate impact of a disruptive business next door is your ability to live a normal life.  There can be no question that your daily routine is severely impacted by barking dogs, loud music, or other noise.  While a subway train can come in at about 120 decibels and a live rock music show could be 130 decibels, a noisy restaurant is not far behind at about 80 decibels.  Dealing with that constantly will impact your quality of life. 

Property Values

Finally, noise from the business next door is not just an annoyance or a health hazard – it will also impact your pocketbook.  Ask any real estate professional. They will tell you that properties in close proximity to noise sources, like airports, railway lines, and busy streets, are typically valued lower in the market.  Indeed, if a residence has high levels of background noise, making sleep difficult, then it is a less desirable property.           

Accordingly, a disruptive business next door could have a significant impact on your ability to sell your home at some point in the future.  That alone should give you some incentive to put a lid on the noise from the business next door.

What Can You Do About It?

It is a sticky situation when you want to keep a neighboring business’s noise level down, but you do not want to ‘rock the boat’ too much because you regularly see these people.  Often, residents will resign themselves to the existence of the noise and do nothing.  Or sometimes, in a fit of anger, someone will abruptly call the cops.  This all-or-nothing reaction is not ideal.  The best advice tactic is to take a graduated approach and start with a soft touch. 

First, try to work it out with the offending neighbor or business owner directly.  Discuss the issue respectfully and with tact – you might even want to come with a peace offering like cookies – so the neighbor is aware of the problem.  After that initial discussion, if there is no change, then step up to warning the neighbor with an ‘if-then.’ Provide the neighbor with the local noise ordinance and indicate that if they continue, then you may be left with no choice but to call the authorities.  At this point, you also may want to suggest mediation.  In most cities, there are mediation services available for free.

If the noise continues, then you should call the proper authorities, whether it is the police or other municipal official.  Finally, as a last resort, you should seek the help of a lawyer experienced with noise and neighborhood issues.

Getting a Disruptive Business Shut Down

Sometimes neighbors, particularly commercial neighbors, are unresponsive to reasonable complaints about noise or other disruptions.  And with business neighbors, sometimes the only thing that will make them listen is putting their business in jeopardy.

Any club, bar, or restaurant that serves liquor needs a liquor license.  Thus, retaining an attorney who understands liquor law and other municipal regulations can help you put a business’s liquor license in play.  That could be the key that gets the business to listen to reasonable quality of life requests.  

Further, if the business’s conduct is atrocious, then an experienced attorney can work on your behalf to get the establishment shut down for good.  While your first move out of the box should not be a threat to get a business shut down, there comes a time when that might be your only viable alternative.  

Conclusion

For that new father who is just trying to get his baby to sleep, there are options to deal with that disruptive restaurant with the outdoor patio bar below.  Call an experienced lawyer to help you get the quiet enjoyment of your property that you deserve.  

To learn more about what the right representation can do for you and your neighborhood, contact me today.  I have the experience you need to help you push back against businesses that disrupt your neighborhood.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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