Legal Question in Construction Law in Oregon

How early can construction companies start working?

I moved into my apartment two months before construcion started outside my window. When i moved in it was a park and my apartment complex never told me that construction would be taking place. I work nights and it is hard for me to sleep, so my question is how early are construction companies aloud to start in the morning, without breaking any nuisance laws. And also should my apartment reduice my rent, since they never told me about the construcion when i moved in. Thanks for your time.

Asked on 8/03/04, 1:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Susan Burns Law Office of Susan Ford Burns

Re: How early can construction companies start working?

Local zoning laws and noise ordinances determine when construction companies can cause noise. From your zip code, it appears that you live in Portland. Under Portland code, construction companies can start at 7 a.m. and must finish by 6 p.m. The also cannot work on Sundays. There are exceptions to this , but these are the general rules. Other localities may have different rules.

Whether the apartment owners have an obligation to you depends on whether they have any control over the construction. If they are doing the construction, then it is possible that they should have notified you before you rented the apartment. On the other hand, if the construction is being controlled by someone else, like the neighboring property owner, then it is outside their control and responsiblity.

The City of Portland code section on noise follows:

18.10.060 Construction Activities and Equipment. (Printable Version)

(Amended by Ord. No. 159276 effective Jan. 24, 1987.)

A. Maximum sound levels: No person shall operate any equipment or appurtenances thereto in commercial construction activities which exceeds 85 dBA, when measured at 50 feet (15.2 meters) from the source. This standard shall not apply to trucks (see Section 18.10.020), pile drivers, pavement breakers, scrapers, concrete saws and rock drills.

B. Night, weekend, and legal holidays limitation: From 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the following morning, and 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 7:00 a.m. the following Monday, and on legal holidays, the permissible sound levels of Section 18.10.010 shall apply to all construction activities except by variance or for reasons of emergency. The exempted equipment of Section 18.10.060 A is not exempted during these hours. For purposes of this Subsection, construction activities on a public road within a zone shall be considered as taking place on private property within that zone.

C. The adjustments to permissible sound levels established in Section 18.10.010 B apply to Subsections A and B above.

D. All equipment used in commercial activities shall have sound control devices no less effective than those provided on the original equipment, and no equipment shall have an unmuffled exhaust.

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Answered on 8/03/04, 6:39 pm

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