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Muckafoonee

Neighbors and noise

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Dear Pulse,

 

If the audience is within hearing distance it can be effective to vigorously slap your forehead while shouting, "Shut up!  All of you just shut up!"

 

Schizophrenically,

George M.

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All, if you live in town and in a neighborhood where the houses are close, there will be "Ordances", against operating a busness in a residential area.

If someone complains to the City/Village/Town etc. They will come and shut you down. I would suggest you have an answer ready. Mine is, I am not operating a busness, " this is my hobby" or "I was sharping my mower blade. Just don't say "this is my bussness" or they will hang you faster than a speeding bullet. 

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Dear Gerald,

 

As an old City and County Attorney I can tell you that in many places all you need to do is get a home occupation permit or license.  The key is how much impact (actual or perceived) that you are having on the neighborhood.  If you are putting out clouds of coal smoke and jiggling everybody's dishes in a block radius with your power hammer you really are a nuisance and need to get your shop into a more appropriate location.  If you're not being loud and smelly you can probably get right with the local authorities.  Also, the local authorities are pretty good at distinguishing a righteous complaint from one which is generated by malice.  They see a lot of both. 

 

The worst thing that you can do is cop an attitude with the inspector.  Also, running your shop without any consideration of your neighbors is not a good way to get along with either them or the local government.  If you act like a jerk you will probably be treated the same way.

 

Finally, if you have a problem with the local government don't demand to know who complained.  That is generally confidential so to minimize retribution.

 

Probably the best thing to do is when you are really turning into a business from a hobby is to go into the local land use/zoning office and have a chat with them.  That can head off a lot of future problems.  Also staying under the radar is a good thing.  Don't give the neighbors anything to complain about.  You probably can't do much about the crazy neighbor who complains just to complain or has a grudge with you but you can avoid the real problems. 

 

Neighborly,

George M.

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A knifemaker in our group said the law showed up at his house because the neighbors said he was shooting fully auto weapons. He walked over and turned on his power hammer to show them his automatic weapon.

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  I keep my neighbors separated from my location as best as possible. Things are handled a bit differently in my neighborhood than other parts of the country.

 

 

Carry on

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Lyle: That reminds me of a story told by a Kodiak Island blacksmith.
His one time job was as boiler man and he salvaged lots of the industrial
machinery on Kodiak Island as it became obsolete. He's the only guy I
know in Alaska who has fully functional steam powered blacksmith shop
with multiple steam hammers.

 

Well, as things go,
speculators bought some acreage down the hill from him, built a
subdivision and then started complaining about the power hammer noise.
So, what's Reed do? Hook a steam whistle to the exhaust port on his
steam hammers is what he did. One twist of a valve and every blow lets
rip with a logging mill steam whistle SHRIEK!

 

The local
courts told the complaining neighbors they had zero case, the
blacksmith operation was not only grandfathered in but violated no
zoning or codes so stop bothering the police or they'd be fined.

 

Reed hasn't had to turn a whistle on in a long time. I LOVE living in a world where justice happens.

 

Frosty The lucky

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Frosty: Who is the Kodiak blacksmith? I was up there in the 70's and was the only guy in town with  a forge. There was a complete old shop down in Dead Man's Day or there about on the South end of the island from the San Francisco steam ship days when they came up to get salt salmon. We salvaged some stuff from there,but it was pretty costly getting anything from that end of the island. I welded for the Coast Guard there for a while and there were TONS of pretty decent coal left from WWll days. Spent a few more years there welding around the docks and canneries. I was the only horse shoer on the island too and kept the few horses there taken care of.

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Do you have my E-mail address Eric? I'd rather not post his name without permission. I've never been to his place and I don't know where it is. He's a member of the Alaska Association but never gets to meetings. <grin> We talk on the phone now and then, that's where I heard the story.

 

When I was drilling we did a lot of jobs all over Kodiak and I was always keeping my eyes open and asked everybody but never heard a peep and he's been on Kodiak since the 50's, maybe longer.

 

Next time I hear from him I'll see if I can get him subbed to IFI again but he isn't a big computer fan.

 

Frosty The lucky

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I've had no complaints . Back before cell phones I had a intercom in the shop so I could hear the house phone ring. Just fired some green coal, bay doors open smoke rolling out. Phone rang , I ran to house 100 yards away. Neighbor had a friend visiting . Seeing the smoke and me running . He told my neighbor to call 911 and he would run over and help. . She looked out the door , told him to calm down ,that's normal.

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Most of my neighbors are working on cars, running chainsaws and the like, ATV's, ect(like I do), I'd think the little pinging and smoke coming from behind my place is even noticeable.

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I live in the country and my closest neighbors are my in-laws.  They like what I make and my Father-in-law often helps.  We also put up hay and run some cows, so there are plenty of things to make noise.

 

HOWEVER, the neighbor across the hayfield did stop by and ask what the noise was....when I first started running my tumbler.  My tumbler is a 100# propane bottle layed on it's side with +/- 30 pounds of fencing staples for matrix.  I can't even go near it without hearing protection.

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Neighbors can be a problem for sure. When I moved into my current house I had problems, first it was the smoke, nobody liked the smell of a coal fire, then when I switched to charcoal they were afraid I was going to set the desert on fire, then when I switched to propane it was the noise. I didn't think my hammering was any worse than the cabinet makers saws, routers and air compressor going all day but I suppose I was mistaken. I would have the county inspector drop by to check me out even when I wasn't doing anything at all because of my neighbors complaints. Turned out there is almost always one super righteous nosy person in every neighborhood and I had one on my tail and she didn't like me, no way no how. Every time she would hear a hammer blow on anything she would call in and complain about me "pounding on that anvil" and to get an inspector or the sheriff out there to stop it. When she finally was put in a care home by her children I got peace but she about drove me and the county nuts. Sometimes you just can't win with your neighbors but you still need to try.

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Right now my shop is outside of my father in laws barn. About 30 yards from their house. I go over and alot and they have never once complained about the noise. I will be moving my shop closer to my house sometime this year. I have a 25 x 30 building that im moving into as soon as I get a new door built for it and all the junk thats in there moved out.

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If you are inside a building, simply closing the doors and windows may help with outside noise.  I run a 75# Reiter air hammer at 220 blows a minute and it is definitely obnoxious to anyone close by if the doors are open but with the doors shut it is barely discernible outside.  It helps that my shop is well insulated.  We live near a pumping station for a large gas and oil pipeline and the pumps were really loud even several hundred yards away.  The owners put up some baffling and it cut the noise drastically.  You might consider some portable baffles (similar to welding curtains) made from insulation board or perforated ceiling tile to absorb the sound, especially on the side toward your neighbor.  It will be easier to fend off complaints if you have made an attemt to mitigate the noise ahead of time.  Getting a permit for a home business and making it legal won't make it quieter.

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Thanks to congress the local BNSF railway lines keep my Victorian home rattling with their absolutely deafening horns day and night.  A couple years back a neighbor came to the back fence complaining that the noise and smoke was drifting into their nursery window a block down.  She had to shout over the train horn the entire time.  I had trouble understanding her because it was just above 40 degrees out and it seemed odd to have a nursery window open in such weather.

 

Nevertheless I shut it down since she'd rather trudge through snow to yell at me than shut a window.

 

On the other side of the fence I had a neighbor with a diesel pickup who was an early riser.  He'd go out and start his truck and leave it idling in the shared driveway for nearly an hour every day around 4:00 a.m.  At the time our baby had colic which left me desperately sleep deprived.  On several occasions the baby would just fall asleep when he'd crank the engine and wake her.

 

The most frustrating part for us was that he could park in the street which was equal distance to his front door.  When the truck was running in the street it didn't wake the baby.  Despite asking nicely several times and asking not so nicely several more times I couldn't get him to stop waking the baby every morning.

 

Finally I installed a 6" square bollard exactly 1/2" to my side of the property line in the driveway.  He couldn't park his truck in the driveway and open the drivers side door.  He only had to hit that bollard twice before he finally decided to park in the street from then on.

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My neighbor three doors down on my very suburban, typical street had a garage sale this weekend, the sign said "tools" so like a moth to a flame, there I went.  Got in conversation with the guy and his wife, whom I admit i only know to wave at, and mentioned that I was looking for stuff for blacksmithing, since I'd taken up the hobby about a year and a half ago.  Interestingly, and the reason I'm resurrecting this older thread, is they both said they had NO CLUE AT ALL that I was blacksmithing in my backyard. ????   They're both retired, they're home all the time because he runs his own little business fixing up golf carts, but both said they had NEVER heard me back there?   I had spent about 6 hours forging just the day before, when they were out setting up the garage sale, but both in separate conversations genuinely stated they'd had no idea.   ???  

On the one hand, I guess I'm grateful - I try to be REALLY sensitive about when I forge, I've taken great measures to quiet poor Peter so he sounds about as emasculated as a PW can be, but still....  how could you not hear that?!   (And no, based on my normal conversation with both, neither have hearing issues).  

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Could it be that it's a sound they are familier with from their chield hood and just never noticed, Spanky? Thanks to the Great Depressian horse powerd agriculture held on in the US untile after WWII. Infact "hoover waggons/bennet buggys" were a farly commen sight from 1930-35. 

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My neighbors are great.  In the past it always hasn't been so, that is before I learned the secret.  The secret is being a great neighbor yourself.  I am always ready to help a neighbor out.  I am always ready to help with heavy stuff, tractor tilling, trenching, etc.  I do handyman stuff for an infirmed neighbor.  I help out any way I can.  Since I have a shop and equipment stuff that is easy for me is a big deal to them.  Also I never run power equipment before 8:00am on weekdays, 9:00 on Saturdays and 10:00 on Sundays.  Being a good neighor is like putting money in the bank (these days even better).  You build up goodwill and when there is a problem it seems like a minor issue rather than turning not a Hatfield and McCoy situation.  In the 5 years I have been at our present location I have never had a complaint from anyone.

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A little blacksmith noise would be desirable to us, we are neighbors to a shooting range used 7 days a week 8 AM to dark plus the police train there.  I'm a shooter and seldom notice the shooting unless the police are there, but the small dog kennel next to us drives me nuts!  Our old neighbors across the road never heard the dogs and the shooting drove them nuts.  They moved 2000 miles away.  One hears and complains about what they want. 

Neighbor relations do go a long ways a new neighbor moved in across from our other farm nose stuck in the air hardly even waved but the morning we had 35" of snow and his blower wouldn't start and his wife needing to go to work things changed.   I showed up with my 6' snowblower on the tractor had him cleaned out in about 5 min and cleared our road to the paved road followed closely by his wife  they now break their arms to wave.  Even their dog stopped barking at us and comes over and lays on our porch if we are out there in the evening. 

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To get to my Shop, there's a half-mile of private driveway, ... and no neighbors can be seen from that location.

Not having any of my own, ... I've enjoyed reading everyone's "horror stories".

It makes paying my Property Taxes a little easier to swallow .....

 

.

 

 

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The shooting comment reminded me of a time I was buying some land in New Mexico.  I asked the Realtor about shooting on the property and his response was great, "Just be careful, in New Mexico neighbors shoot back".  My kind of place.

When I lived at higher elevation I used to snow blow the whole neighborhood with the tractor mounted snow blower.  One neighbor complained because some small pebbles that were on the surface of the road ended up in her yard.  After that I did the whole neighborhood except near her house.  I know it was a character flaw but I smiled every morning I saw her out there shoveling away.

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I live in a town in a ground floor flat but I have the garden. I dont care what my neighbours think. They party during the week regularly and dont give my boy trying to sleep a thought. So im more than happy to go out in the morning ona day off and beat steel. My anvil sits on pallets  so the sound can resonate a little but its the right height for me. 

When I move home itll be a different story and ill sound proof the anvil. 

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The shooting comment reminded me of a time I was buying some land in New Mexico.  I asked the Realtor about shooting on the property and his response was great, "Just be careful, in New Mexico neighbors shoot back".  My kind of place.

When I lived at higher elevation I used to snow blow the whole neighborhood with the tractor mounted snow blower.  One neighbor complained because some small pebbles that were on the surface of the road ended up in her yard.  After that I did the whole neighborhood except near her house.  I know it was a character flaw but I smiled every morning I saw her out there shoveling away.

​Not blowing the neighbor's snow reminds me of a situation a couple decades ago. The new commissioner of weights and measures decided State highways maintenance trucks were no longer exempt from the scales and we'd be weighed and fined just like everybody else. No sander leaves the yard within weight limit and doesn't carry an overweight permit either. Highways Maint used to plow the scale houses gratis so we stopped. This really ticked the new commissioner off so he refused a permit to haul a power high tower. 130' long one lowboy in front and another running in reverse in back. The idjit wasn't paying for electric either so the electric company shut every weights and measures facility off, scale houses, regional and capitol offices every THING went dark less than half an hour of the power tower being refused permission to use the road. State departments don't charge each other unless it's a special situation.

The governor asked nicely so the power was turned back on and the NEW commissioner was a much more reasonable fellow than the ex-new commissioner.

Funny how things go round come round eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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