Saturday, October 13, 2007

Noise and Residential Vacancies

Word comes this week that the southeast corner of H and 8th St NE is due for a major overhaul—from the current one-story mini-mall with parking lot--known as the H Street Connection--to a potential eight-story mixed-use development. (See the map)

According to a post on the Frozen Tropics blog, the project will feature retail, office space and residential homes.

Residential homes. Oof.

Either the living units must be adequately soundproofed or each resident will be receiving an unlimited supply of earplugs to endure the routine Saturday and Sunday amplified preaching.

The out-of-control noise pollution enveloped the neighborhood after the D.C. City Council in 2004 passed a law removing all volume limits for amplifiers used for the purposes of free speech.

The current property management company of the H Street Connection is well aware of the obnoxious noise and is an ally in the effort to turn down the volume—NOT to remove anyone from the public space.

Nonetheless, the noise-loophole is not good for long-time home owners in the District of Columbia.

Two formerly vacant and dilapidated homes in the H Street NE neighborhood recently underwent extensive renovations and currently are on the market.

The house closest to the noisy corner sat pristine and empty for more than a year until recently. The owner finally decided to rent it—to a group of Gallaudet University students.

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