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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Police for Code Enforcement

Since the MIPD already issues citations for obstructing sidewalks and are called out for rental party houses, why not add disturbing the peace with noise pollution (see emails below)? And if so, why not transfer the code enforcement budget over to the police department? At the risk of appearing cynical, if a contractor knows that a guy with a gun is going to show up to inspect the new plumbing, you can rest assured that the plumbing will be completely code compliant. After all, somebody has to enforce the rules and regulations and laws ...

Attached are 2 emails regarding persistent
A/C noise in my side yard and pool deck. There was noise deadening material
applied to the inside of a stockade type fence surrounding the subject air
conditioner which eliminated the noise violation levels and this was the
condition when the new owners bought the property.

Some time after, they removed the foam which increased the noise above the
allowable levels and Eric had the foam put back. To improve privacy, they
installed a 6 foot plastic fence along the property line. A few months later
they again removed the noise deadening foam which increased the noise levels
beyond code coming over the fence in my side yard and our pool deck. Eric
has now refused to recognise the excessive noise which is at the same levels
he mitigated in the past.

Keeping in mind that their stockade enclosure can easily be increased in
length and width if circulation was an issue and that "ear level" for some
is above 6 feet and my pool deck is 1-2 feet above grade which certainly
puts the noise at my ear level, I believe the City has taken an unreasonable
position. When the issue was first considered by the City, Eric said the
noise code extended to the sky above the property line.

Code Compliance needs a complete overhaul (Olmstead, Wardle and the
boss,Thompson) in this city perhaps putting it in the hands of the police
where whims and personalities are less likely to influence decisions.

From: "Sam Shniper" 
To: "Eric Wardle"
Cc: "Pam" ,
"Steve Thompson" ,
"Steve Olmsted" ,
"Marco City Council"
Subject: Code Enforcement
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2009 09:26:30 -0500


The air conditioner noise, that both you and I measured at 1051 Bond, which
comes right over their fence, is 61dB at 6 foot 2 inches above ground level
at my property line. This is TWICE the allowable limit.

You have tried to enforce this code requirement three times and despite
achieving initial compliance each time, when you went away the noise
returned. Your efforts have failed due to the neighbor's resistance to
insulating and/or upgrading their equipment permanently. Since they bought
this property when it was in compliance, giving up is not the answer and is
not fair to the victims. This neighbor obviously has an issue with code
compliance which should be taken up by the Code Enforcement Board.

If the Chief of Code Compliance won't continue to enforce the City Code, we
will hire a lawyer to have action taken and will ask the City to encourage
their Code Compliance Chief to fulfill his code enforcement responsibilities
and not waste our money and the City's on lawyers.

From: "Eric Wardle" 
To: "Sam Shniper"
Cc: "Pam" ,
"Steve Olmsted" ,
"Steve Thompson"
Subject: RE: Report on your measurements yesterday
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 09:49:52 -0500

Mr. Shniper,

I have copied a couple sections of the City Code below.

Sec. 18-102. Intent and purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of this article to regulate uses and
activities in the city in such a manner as to prevent excessive noises,
which degrade the quality of life, disturb the public peace, and
jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city.
It is further the intent of this article to recognize that factors such
as the time of day, location (e.g. proximity to residences), necessity
of public projects for the public good, and necessity of sounds
incidental to allowed uses and activities must be considered in
balancing the protection of public peace and individual freedoms.

(9) Fans and air conditioners. Operating any noise creating fan or
blower, air conditioner, compressor unit, pool heaters, pool pumps, heat
pumps, or the electric motor or any engine used to drive such device,
the operation of which causes excessive and unnecessary noise, unless
such noise is muffled and deadened by adequate noise compression and
muffling devices to minimize annoyance and disturbance to persons within
range of hearing.

As you can see this is not a black and white issue. Your neighbor has
taken reasonable measures to buffer the sound of the AC, keeping in mind
the need to allow air circulation for protection of the pool pump and AC
compressor. In the previous incidents you refer to I never took a
measurement at the height of 7 feet. I took readings at ear lever on
the property line and the adjacent property owner installed buffering
devices to reduce the sound to an acceptable level. That has not
changed; taking a measurement at the same location there is no
violation, this case is closed.

Eric Wardle
Chief of Code Compliance
City of Marco Island

-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Shniper [mailto:SamS10@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:16 AM
To: Eric Wardle
Cc: Pam; Steve Olmsted; Steve Thompson
Subject: RE: Report on your measurements yesterday

Mr Wardle,

Since we agree that the measured noise coming over the fence is again in excess of the City Code, similar to the excess noise which you have mitigated numerous times at this location in the past, what enforcement action have you taken this time to re-achieve compliance?

Sam Shniper
1061 Bond Ct.
-----Original Message-----

From: Eric Wardle [mailto:EWardle@cityofmarcoisland.com]
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 4:43 PM
To: Sam Shniper
Cc: Pam; Steve Olmsted; Steve Thompson
Subject: RE: Report on your measurements yesterday

Mr. Shniper,

The measurement I took during my inspection on November 5, 2009, was directly above the six foot fence located on the property at 1051 Bond Ct. Subsequently, I reviewed the building permit issued by the City for the installation of the fence and have discovered the fence was not installed on the property line. The fence was actually installed approximately 6 inches away from the property line. Therefore the reading obtained on the November 5, inspection was not actually at the property line. I can only acknowledge that the measurement at the property line was in excess of 55db when measured at a height of approximately 7 feet. The reading measured at a height of 6 feet at the property line was below 55db.

Eric Wardle
Chief of Code Compliance
City of Marco Island


  • Has anyone had unreasonable judgments from Code Compliance they would like to share? You could help reverse the arrogance.

    Citizens to Preserve Marco Island Zoning

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:55:00 PM  

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