By Karen Billing
In response to some complaints about leaf blowers, Rancho Santa Fe Association board director Roxana Foxx asked that there be a discussion about the Association’s ability to control offensive noises. The request was made at the board's Nov. 3 meeting. The Covenant doesn’t give the Association direct control over noise, it mostly relies on people to be good neighbors.
“Noise is something we deal with on a weekly basis,” said Arnold Keene, associate planner. “Peace and quiet is something we all seek out.”
Keene said he gets calls about loud parties, animal noises, construction work and the occasional leaf blower complaint, although not as many as in years past.
Keene said he’s found that often having a conversation with the neighbor is enough to solve the problem. For some animal noise issues they have called in San Diego County Animal Control and the Association tends not to get involve with loud parties — the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol will step in and if it’s a case of disturbing the peace they may refer it to the sheriff’s department.
“The main complaint we get is construction happening before 7 a.m. or into the evening hours or contractors playing their radio,” Keene said, noting that he has a good relationship with many of the builders in town and is able to resolve a lot of those problems.
Per the regulatory code, construction is allowed within the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
As for the leaf blowers, the policy is that they may be operated between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Foxx said one of the members who complained about the leaf blowers lives in the village and works from home, hearing the noise all day long. There’s not much that can be done about it, save for a conversation with the neighbor or the alternative option of using a rake.