Conversations with Kingsbury assured me that the problem would be taken care of. "How can we let this problem persist in our neighborhoods while trying to address the same problem downtown". He didn’t follow through.
I met the "environmentally conscious" Machlis at City Council’s Environmental meeting examining heat pump noise. After discussion, the three members voted unanimously to keep the current noise restrictions and end the absurd interpretation being used by the Planning Department, allowing a heat pump to be placed within 5 feet of a neighbors property.
Sometime after the meeting Machlis changed her mind. It could have been because Machlis herself had a heat pump installed. Though not located in the setback, her heat pump would likely exceed noise code for 2 reasons: its proximity to the neighbors property, and that it is between her house and her neighbors, such that extra noise reflects off of her house toward the neighbor.
Maybe it doesn't bother this neighbor - but what would happen if a new one moves in someday? Machlis wanted to add a 'buyer beware' clause so that any new neighbor couldn't complain about the noise - even if it were in exceedance of noise code.
Ever had a "night from hell" because the hotel room you stayed in had an ice machine just a few feet down the hall? If you have, then welcome to my world. No, I don't live in a cheep hotel. I'm speaking of the conditions at my home in the Carlyon-North neighborhood. The noise making culprit is a heat pump installed in a code-violating sideyard setback location, conveniently one foot from the property line between my house and my code-violating neighbor.
18 months is a hell of a long time to have a heat pump spewing noise into your home and property, but that's how long it's been. We can't have a family discussion around the dinner table without having to talk over the monotonous machine rumble. Outdoor barbecues are no longer palatable. Reading C. McCarthy (or OMC) in the living room takes a hell of a lot more focus and breathing control than it used to. Then there's the bedroom.
My wife is ready to move. I'm ready for months of counseling. But hey, from City of Olympia's standpoint, that's probably a good thing, stimulating the economy and such. Sorry, couldn't resist one cheap shot.
Is there anybody else out there who put in a noise complaint to the City, then the City respond that noise level was within compliance? If so, they were probably pulling your leg the same way they were pulling mine. How about set backs - anyone challenged something in the set back and had the City respond nonsensically? I'd like to hear from anyone with these types of experience.