Letters to the Editor

SLO noise complaint system leaves some confusion: What constitutes an ‘event’?

Partiers on roof shortly before it collapse at 348 Hathway in San Luis Obispo in 2015.
Partiers on roof shortly before it collapse at 348 Hathway in San Luis Obispo in 2015.

Concerned with San Luis Obispo’s new program regarding noise complaints, I called the Police Department to clarify the definition of “events.”

According to Christine Wallace, any number of people can constitute a party or event — two couples having wine in the backyard, a family barbecue or anything that generates noise that someone might complain about. Fines can reach $1,000, and offenders get one warning within a 9-month period of time.

The best part is, events must be registered a week in advance. No more impromptu invites to friends and family to stop by and enjoy the outdoors. In fact, Wallace mentioned the department gets many calls and complaints about TVs being too loud. Can you have a party with your TV?

This vaguely written program appears to be geared at unruly, large events, but how will this be differentiated from ordinary gatherings? If you live next to Mr. Scrooge, he can complain about your party. If it was registered, reviewed and approved by the outreach manager a week in advance, you get a whole 20 minutes to tone it down. And if you don’t, you’ll be fined? It makes one wonder if this is about generating cash or truly making neighborhoods “safer.”

Maureen Taylor, San Luis Obispo

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