Are West Hollywood noise complaints concentrated?
This is the second part of our analysis of a database of noise complaints received by the City of West Hollywood in 2014 and 2015. The first article was “What West Hollywood noise do people complain to the City about?“. We found that two-thirds of complaints were related to construction, local businesses, and gardeners and one-third were about resident-generated noise, including pets.
This article looks at whether and how those complaints were concentrated. As before, loud parties and similar noise issues are probably underrepresented in the database, because many of those complaints went to the Sheriff and not the City.
Concentration of West Hollywood noise complaints by location
We wanted to know if certain locations were responsible for a disproportionate share of noise complaints. We standardized the street addresses in the database and counted the number of complaints per address. Addresses with multiple complaints may have gotten them from multiple people or from a single person who complained more than once about a continuing/recurring noise.
The chart below shows that the top 5% of addresses attracted 28% of the complaints. The next 15% of addresses got 25% of the complaints. Together, that’s 20% of addresses getting over 50% of complaints.
Concentration by business type and geography
The top 10 locations for complaints about business noise included a dance club, five restaurants or similar businesses, three hotels, and one other business. Six were on the city’s westside and four were in the center part of the city.
Among the top 10 locations for resident-generated noise (including pets), six were on the city’s westside, two were in the center part of the city, and two were on the eastside.
Persistence of noise complaints
We wondered if the noise issues persisted from year to year at locations with the most complaints. We looked at the top 50 locations in 2014, regardless of noise type. Of those, 60% got complaints again in 2015. We also tried looking backward: of the top 50 noise locations in 2015, about 45% already had noise complaints in 2014.
What kinds of complaints were more likely to persist from year to year? The persistence rate was 35% for business noise complaints. In other words, one-third of locations subject to business-noise complaints in 2014 also got them the following year. It was different for construction-, gardener, and resident-generated noise complaints. Only about 15% of those locations had similar complaints the next year.