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steady floodlights installed, bedroom looks like movie set

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steady floodlights installed, bedroom looks like movie set

Postby pinchofpoison » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:07 am

hi,

hoping someone knows the regulations on lighting; i couldn't find the info.

i live in a 5 story bldg surrounded by a community garden on either side, in residential upper west side manhattan. the buildings behind us, lining the garden (the backs of the buildings face us), have always had a few lights come on at night (nothing obtrusive), but last week extremely bright white lights were installed in their place, 2 for the back of each building (4 buildings total). These lights not only illuminates the small strip of space behind each building (roughtly 6 feet by 20 feet), but also floods the entire garden grounds with hallogen light which also poors into the windows of of every window in my building that faces the garden.

for some tenants, like me, our bedrooms are as bright as dawn with these lights. Everyone is very upset by them--babies aren't going to sleep easily and we are all hanging thick winter blankets over our windows at night.

what can we do? these lights are seriously disruptive :x
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Postby Anna » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:19 pm

Suggest that you & your neighbors in all bldgs affected by the light write a letter to whoever owns them and complain about the intensity; request that they be replaced by lower wattage.
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Postby lofter1 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:56 pm

I had a similar situation a couple of years ago when a building across the street installed new lights to illuminate the facade of their building. The trouble was that the lights weren't very well aimed and the spill shot across the street and into my place.

I wrote a letter to the building management across the street and started a good dialog -- fortunately the problem was taken care of within a week.

Suggest that you try the clear, firm but friendly approach at first. And try to get a contact person with whom you can talk to direct.

Good luck!
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:05 pm

Unfortunately some owners are not that considerate. We had a noisy bar in the area that installed flood lights that illuminated the entire avenue. You could see it five blocks away. If the lights are not flush to the building, they can (in some instances) be considered to be illuminated signs, for which they need a permit from the DOB. In some cases they can't make it legal depending on a variety of factors. That might not hold if they're illuminating an alleyway behind a building, but worth looking into.
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Postby Aubergine » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:00 am

If this reached the point of litigation, the most likely legal theory on which adjacent landowners or tenants might proceed would be prlvate nuisance, the appropriate remedy would be an injunction, and the appropriate forum would be Supreme Court.
New York Jurisprudence 2d Nuisances § 30

Casting of light

The casting of light on another's premises, the intensity of which is strong enough to seriously disturb a person of normal sensibilities, or to interfere with an occupation which is no more than ordinarily susceptible to light, may constitute a nuisance.1 With regard to a normal person, what constitutes the quantum of light held to be unreasonably disturbing varies with the factual situation. Certainly, people who live in a crowded urban environment must expect less than pristine, bucolic conditions and have universally been held to expect a certain "annoyance factor" not experienced by their country cousins.2 Disturbances predicated upon an offending light source must demonstrate a substantial and serious interference with the use of a premises to be actionable.3 For example, parking lots may become nuisances because of night lighting and the illumination from the headlights of motor vehicles patronizing them.4

FOOTNOTES:

n1 169 East 69th Street Corp. v. Leland, 156 Misc. 2d 669, 594 N.Y.S.2d 531 (City Civ. Ct. 1992).

Related References:
79 A.L.R. 3d 253.

n2 169 East 69th Street Corp. v. Leland, 156 Misc. 2d 669, 594 N.Y.S.2d 531 (City Civ. Ct. 1992) (erection and maintenance of an illuminated awning by a commercial street-level tenant directly below and outside of the proprietary lessee's bedroom window in New York City was not found to be a nuisance).


n3 169 East 69th Street Corp. v. Leland, 156 Misc. 2d 669, 594 N.Y.S.2d 531 (City Civ. Ct. 1992).


n4 Buffalo Park Lane v. City of Buffalo, 162 Misc. 207, 294 N.Y.S. 413 (Sup 1937) (holding that a floodlight erected on a tree and steadily glaring into a plaintiff's house led the court to conclude that a private nuisance was established).

81 NY Jur Nuisances § 30
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:08 am

Now that's interesting. As you say, that could come up in litigation.

Is there a cite for casting of sound or noise? I think that happens more often.

If there is such a cite, could you post that?
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Postby pinchofpoison » Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:08 pm

thanks all for your input, i really appreciate it :P
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