Category of Protective Zoning: Nuisances, (Limits on Noise, Light, Odors, etc.)

Nuisance is a legal term and refers to a certain type of disturbance.  

For example: imagine a neighbor moves in next door and decides to construct a slaughterhouse in their backyard. The smells that waft over into your yard are so horrible that you're no longer able to use your outdoor space without becoming nauseous and ill. Even if the neighbor has all of the appropriate permits, a court can still find that they have to stop slaughtering because they have created a nuisance. The neighbor may have to shut down the slaughterhouse or compensate you for the loss of your backyard property.

One way to think about nuisance is that it comes from the idea of trespass. With trespass, a person has physically crossed over into your property without your consent. With nuisance, someone has sent something - often intangible - onto your land without your permission.  In our example, the air particles carrying the noxious slaughterhouse smells are trespassing into your yard.

Local rules and ordinances are, in some ways, simply a formalization of nuisance laws.   Instead of people having to bring nuisance lawsuits against their neighbors who own slaughter houses, they can simply point to odor limits in their local ordinance and the neighbor must comply.

The following are some examples of ordinances that limit various types of nuisances.

Type of Protective Zoning Language: Noise Limitations

Fracking infrastructure can be incredibly noisy. Addressing noise in your ordinances is an excellent way to ensure that your community is not disturbed by pervasive construction noises that might sound like living next to a jet engine.

Click here to read more about Noise Limitations

Type of Protective Language: Odor, Exhaust, and Vibration Limitations

Similar to extreme noise, excessive odors released by fracking activity can constitute a nuisance that the township has the right to limit or restrict.  Particles in the air from exhaust can also cause chronic illnesses and can be limited by your local ordinances. Local ordinances can also create limits to vibrations that might occur as a result of construction.

Click here to read more about Odor, Exhaust, and Vibration Limitations

Type of Protective Language: Lighting Limitations

Developers may need or just prefer to do some types of drilling and fracking activity at night.  When they do this, they use very large industrial lights to illuminate the construction area. For many people, the intrusion of such powerful lights can disturb sleep and cause health problems.

Click here to read more about Lighting Limitations

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