My advice when it happens to you—move
I used to live on a quiet street. That all changed when my next door neighbor sold her home to a developer nearly a year ago. Since then it’s been a daily dose of 7am wake-up calls complete with loud voices, beeping equipment and noisy, repetitive music. Sundays are supposed to be the lone “no work” day but I’ve often had to yell-off sabbath-breaking crews with pleas of “We need some peace around here.” Another neighbor has called police numerous times for violations such as:
- Crews working during undesignated hours (or days)
- Blocking driveways with trucks
- Trespassing on adjacent properties
- Playing music at high volume
Don’t get me started on the dust, dirt and debris. Keeping a clean car, driveway or sidewalk is impossible. Breathing in god-knows-what is inevitable. Heaven forbid the Santa Ana winds kick up; I’d recommend a mask and goggles.
Remember, before construction comes demolition, and they demolish everything–grass, trees, shrubbery–everything–gone. Wildlife gets evicted too. I used to feed peanuts to squirrels that lived in a palm tree. I don’t see them anymore. In fact, right where the palm tree stood is now a yellow port-o-potty. And I challenge you to stand near the site when they come to empty the thing on Tuesdays. The pungent aroma fills the entire block.
You may ask, “Is there anyone to call? What are the authorities doing?” The answer is yes, there are people to call–the police, city inspectors–you can call them all, and you know what happens?
“It’s a civil issue,” they say, meaning I would have to take the developer or construction company to small claims court for car wash reimbursements or go higher, to the state level, under nuisance laws. Oh sure…I want to spend the next year in court because I have nothing else to do. Thanks, but no thanks.
The good news is they are nearly finished with the four-unit complex. The bad news is the house on the other side of me has just been sold to a developer, a fourplex on the corner has also been sold and the owners of the house two doors down are “seriously considering” offers.
Take it from me, if they start demolition and construction near you–move. Just move.
Sal Rodriguez is a lifelong Los Angeles resident.