(Ben Paton) #1

Hey MHV,

At the space tonight we had one of the neighbours have a bit of a go at us. I went and had a chat with him to calm him down. I think I have dealt with it somewhat however there are a few thing we need to be mindful of.

Despite what our space is zoned as we are located near where people are living. This means we shouldn’t be marking lound noises at all hours. If you wouldn’t do it at home don’t do t at the space. We shouldn’t be using power tools past 8 and close the shed door. We should probaly be out of the messy work area by nine. Unless your being super quiet.

If one of the locals approaches you about what your doing please be polite but you don’t need to be walked over. Try to come to some aragenment then and there to fix the short term problem. Also please let one of the commitee members know what happened so we can keep an accurate record.

Another thing is and I know we have been working on this. We need to keep the external of the space looking clean. I think it will go a long way with our neibours if we keep the space looking professional. I know the space can go from looking neat to looking like a junk pile very quickly. So we all need to be vigilant all the time in this regards.

(Ben Paton) #2

A bit of a follow up in regards to the zoning, I have talked to someone at the EPA. Our zoning doesn’t mean exactly what Property Group led us to believe when we first moved in there. This means that we basically have to abide by normal residential zoning laws. Now this means that we have to keep our noise down and be very mindful of when we use power tools in the shed because technically noise above the ambient is a violation. There are some fair use exceptions to this however they are limited to no more than 40hours in an eight week period. Which as you an all understand isn’t going to be a long term fix to any potential issues, so we don’t want to have to rely on them to get us out of trouble.

At this point I don’t know how we are going to deal with this going forward but I am sure we can work it out.

(ian) #3

I know I have been guilty of some noise, but kind of hoped that there was enough distance between near by houses to lessen the impact a little. I will try and go about things in a more noise aware manner.

Was there any indication of particular times they are more sensitive? - eg is there favorite show at 4pm or something?

Do you know is this a recent thing or have they been unhappy for a while?
Since the air compressor went home I have been trying to generate and contain saw dust to the front of the workshop / car park where it can be cleaned more easily. Clearly this is no longer a viable solution.

(Ryan Mitchell) #4

I’m trying to dig up the relevant regulations, I know in Victoria there’s a cut-off point at night, and before then nearly anything’s permitted (Dad’s a chippy, he knows how to make noise in residential areas, it’s his job).
It looks like the regulations in Canberra for both music and power tools are as follows

In residential areas of the ACT, noise can’t exceed 45 dB between 7am and 10pm or 35 dB between 10pm and 7am.

However that does not mention at what point the noise is measured.
At the point of origin? The edge of the building? The edge of the property?
I’m going to look further.

… From THIS defunct website, it seems more reasonable.

Maintenance or repair work including the use of power tools.
Note - All equipment must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
7:00 am - 8:00 pm Monday to Saturday.
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday and public holidays.
Note - Noise exceeding the standard may only be emitted for up to 40 hours in any eight week period.

That standard being

  • Daytime levels in quiet residential area: 35-45 dB(A).

Which gives us 5 hours per week above 45dB, Measured at the point of our fence closest to the neighbours, being the east corner/east fence (something I totally just made up, but until someone can tell me any regulation which actually specifies the point of measurement, this will do).

In short, this gives carte blanche to make as much noise as we want, for up to five hours per week, exceeding 45dB, until 8PM.
If I wanted to be cheeky, I’d put a couple noise probes around the fence, and one in the workshop (To make sure the noise increased as it got closer to us, not decreased (to eliminate external sources)), and anytime the noise level exceeded 45dB start adding to a counter. For every second above 45dB, or for every fraction of a second, add one to the counter. So long as there aren’t 18,000 seconds of noise over 45dB, before 8PM, each week, we can tell the neighbours politely that they are wrong.

(Ryan Mitchell) #5

Ian, I believe the complainant simply said that “They go to work at 5AM” and that they needed their sleepy-byes.
This complaint was made around 8PM. Given this coincidentally matches the cutoff, I’d say we shouldn’t have to worry about him any more, so long as we follow the regulations of keeping quiet after 8.

(Ben Paton) #6

I am in the middle of having a conversation with the person from the EPA who is in charge of noise issues and would make the determination if there needed to be one.

The area we are adjacent to is 35db (even during the day) and we take on that sound profile. Basically that means any noise above ambient is an issue at anytime of the day. However there are a number of exceptions to the rules around maitinence, building, approved building works etc. However the one that would cover us is limited to 40 hours of noise during an eight week period. I am going to talk to the person from the EPA on how it is measured time wise. I get the feeling it is not the amount of time over the noise limit but rather how long the noise could be expected for.

I am going to be meeting the gentleman from the EPA at the space some time next week and he is going to have a look at a few things and help us out. So far he seems to be of a positive mind set in helping us find a solution. Even to the point when I said we were looking at some controls he said “don’t jump the gun” so I think he is in a positive mind set.

In the mean time we just need to be mindful that we have neighbours and not make noise that can be heard outside of the space after 8pm. It is not hard and I am sure we can all mange it.

I do think that two noise probes isn’t a bad idea. One on the corner of our fence line and one in the work shop. This way we can show what the noise profile of the area is. If the outside one goes off at the same time the work shop one does then it is our noise in the soundscape. If the outside one goes off and the workshop one doesn’t then it is the soundscape of the area. If the workshop one goes off but the outside one doesn’t then it shows we are not effecting the local sound scape. I am not quite sure how much this would help but information is power in regards to this sort of thing. Especially if the soundscape is regularly above 35db without our help.

(Jamie Reid) #7

Thank you Ben, I very much appreciate you taking active positive actions to finding solutions. If you need another committee rep at the EPA meeting, let me know :slight_smile: