More on Noise Nuisances in HOAs-Barking Dogs, Loud Kids

Here we go again on noise. I wrote about noise complaints in February in this blog and suggested some things to consider if you have to deal with a noise situation. Then, recently, I committed an entire E-newsletter to a recent noise case that should have bearing at least on situations where owners change out carpeting for hard surface flooring without regard to CC&Rs restrictions related to nuisance, the requirement of architectural control, and insulation requirements. (You can find it in the E-news archives on my website at

Here’s a new twist I received in response to the E-newsletter.

Here we go – the email: [Barking dogs vs Noisy kids.]

”I have enjoyed your newsletter for years.  Where I have an issue is that I take my dog to a dog park, run out his energy and, yes, he may let out a yelp when he sees his friends during our walks.  But, I have no recourse when people let their kids run, scream at the top of their lungs for hours under my windows – and this is in a driveway.  Even with the best double-pane windows closed, I can’t make a phone conversation on a land line.  This place was built as an adult only condo back in the 1970’s.  Then the laws were changed.  There is no place for kids and no place that can be converted to a playground.  So they use the driveways, which is unsafe and right under everyone’s bedrooms and living rooms.  Why can’t parents be responsible and take them to the parks we already pay for?  Do the rest of us have any rights?  I don’t want to see kids get killed and I would like to get my sanity back.”

An interesting analogy, I guess, a dog yelping in excitement at seeing his friends vs. kids yelping in excitement of play outside a window. I wonder if the owner really sees this as the same thing.

I walk by a neighbor’s dog every day that sits up on a table on their front deck and barks insanely every time someone walks by, and it is even worse when the person who walks by is walking a dog because the dog yelps continuously and strains on its leash, sounding like it is going to gag to death.  Sometimes I am listening to my Ipod and the offensive barking is startling and takes me off guard. It is a lot more annoying than if it was kids yipping in play on the deck.

That said, I will say I would not especially like either one going on under my open window. My adult kids would be fine with it. They have kids themselves and live in a busy court where there is kid noise all the time in the summer when it’s nice outside. I suspect they would be bothered though by any constant dog barking.

People have different feelings about noise. When my 90 year old father read my E-newsletter he called me and said “What’s people’s problems – why don’t you tell them to just wear earplugs?”. This from a man who has never shared a wall a floor or a ceiling with anyone else, lives in a 3000 square foot home on a golf course by himself and managed to get a single room recently when he was in the hospital … and, oh yeah… goes a little crazy when my grandkids are around. Maybe he was joking.

Noise pollution is no joke. Neither is the issue of kid play when there is no place for it in a development that tried to be an adult community until the Federal Fair Housing Laws changed an opened up the neighborhoods to families with kids.

Don’t take this as judgment in any given situation. Only those experiencing it know how it makes them feel. It is impossible to judge any situation without having first hand knowledge of exactly what is going on, what the parties are doing to resolve it, if anything, and how it affects the quiet enjoyment of property (a legal term for enjoyment of one’s property).

To see the E-news I dedicated to the problem of noisy and offensive kid play in the streets, go to the E-news archives on my website, and check out the September 2014 newsletter.

I suggest this isn’t the last time I will be talking about it either.

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One Response to More on Noise Nuisances in HOAs-Barking Dogs, Loud Kids
  1. blogging
    April 11, 2015 | 7:30 pm

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