New York City is known as the city that never sleeps��and for good reason: the city noise can be enough to keep anyone awake 24/7. In a city packed with millions of people, who often live in tight quarters, New York City residents experience noise pollution from both external sources (construction, for example) as well as within residential buildings. Recent regulations have been introduced to address noise within the city. In addition, there are steps boards, shareholders and residents can take to lessen the amount of noise within co-ops and condos.
The Latest in Noise Regulations
Although New York City has had noise laws on the books for many years, recent changes to those laws reflect the current state of the city's noise-pollution challenges. According to the Mayor's Management Report, released in September 2007, "The 311 Customer Service Center received 1,163,177 NYPD-related inquiries in Fiscal 2007, which generated 383,688 quality-of-life-related service requests, of which 62 percent were noise-related."
"There wasn't any comprehensive noise code until the 1970s," says Steven R. Wagner of the law firm of Wagner Davis PC in Manhattan. "Noise control laws were a hodgepodge and the noise control code was an attempt by the city to locate the majority of the laws in one place. Updating them over time was an attempt to make them more accessible and enforceable."
"Originally the noise law was Local Law 57 of 1972, which was amended in 1985, overhauled in 1998 and then again in 2005. It became effective on July 1, 2007," says Wagner.
"The new noise code addresses the number one quality of life complaint in New York. In 2006, 350,000 noise complaints were made through the 311 system, so it really is the number one quality of life issue," says Michael Saucier a spokesperson for the New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).