Several days ago, the Bellingham Herald ran a story (click here to read it) on noise in the downtown area. The focus was principally on the problem of noise emanating from night spots but it might also have been written about noise from some of our illegal rooming houses around town. I have said before in this blog that noise, litter, parking, etc., are issues tangential to the prime issue which is that of non-enforcement of our zoning codes. However, the commentary following the article is, unfortunately, representative of the commentary on illegal rooming houses and deserves a “look-see.” Aside from those postings which merely rant in a vulgar, uncivil manner, there is a central theme from those who oppose noise restrictions and who oppose ridding our neighborhoods of illegal rooming houses. That central theme is that of entitlement. The entitlement takes several forms. One is “We got here first – so you don’t have a say.” The second is “You should have known before you moved here.”
And finally - can anyone tell me why one cannot just turn the gratuitous noise down?
Moreover, the city will have to get a grip on this subject. As it moves toward the creation of urban villages where the commercial and residential meet, the issue of noise pollution in all its forms will invade the discussion.