Construction project disrupts neighbors in Little Italy

“Every day is noisy. You don’t wake up in peace,” said Leyla Kaya.

SAN DIEGO — A construction project in Little Italy is frustrating people who live there, saying it’s disrupting their lives.

Neighbors tell CBS 8 that work wakes them up at all hours and they want to know if any noise ordinances are being broken.

The apartment complex is being built on the corner of Ash and Columbia.

“Every day is noisy. You don’t wake up in peace,” said Leyla Kaya.

Kaya’s patio overlooks the project. She took video on her mobile phone of the equipment being used on Saturday morning, saying it was taken at 4am.

She also took pictures of bright lights illuminating the area, saying they were taken at 11 p.m.

Another photo shows the light bouncing off the walls inside his house.

“I mean, it’s impossible to sleep. Even sunlight doesn’t look like this. It’s not normal. Why do they allow this? Unless it’s urgent, you shouldn’t go out and do this all the time,” Kaya said.

Kaya says it’s disrupting her life. Another neighbor, Patrick McCue is equally frustrated.

“It makes it harder to fall asleep and be ready for the next day,” McCue said.

Besides light and noise, McCue says additional dust and traffic issues are also a concern.

The two debate whether or not the project breaks the rules.

On sandiego.orgunder a city-wide municipal code, it states:

  • construction can only take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • and cannot take place on Sundays or public holidays

Coincidentally, a work notice was posted at Aqua Vista, with hours listed as 4am to 8pm.

CBS 8 contacted the city to find out what was going on.

In a statement, San Diego’s noise reduction administrator said:

“A construction noise permit is required for construction work between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sundays and holidays; See San Diego City Code §59.5.0404. A construction noise permit has been issued at this site for work taking place from September 17 to September 24 between 4 am and 8 pm each day, primarily to facilitate the pouring of concrete. This work necessitated the closure of the street and the implementation of traffic controls due to the constraints of the site and the need to ensure access for emergency vehicles and to minimize congestion during peak hours.

When issuing these permits, the requirement to obtain door-to-door notifications – recording the agreement or disagreement to work of all residents and all managers of hotels or motels, businesses or commercial facilities operating at night within a radius of 500 feet from the construction site – has been suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the requester was still required to post a notice on the site and request that all property managers notify all residents through their communication protocols.

— Tony Khalil, noise reduction administrator for the city of San Diego”

Still, Kaya and others say it’s clear the work is being done outside of those extended hours.

They hope that crews will stick to the permit and that in the future the city will consider how and when it issues these permits.

For this story, CBS 8 also contacted the builder, Swinerton, but did not hear back.

WATCH RELATED: Controversial multi-unit housing project completed in Talmadge (September 2022)

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