No More Auto Businesses in Washington Park!

A couple weeks ago, a new auto business moved into the lot beside us. When we bought the house, an auto business was operating there, and we got along with and never complained about that business. If you have been following my work for any time at all, you know that I grew up in the automotive business, working for my family's 24-hour towing company that my parents ran out of our home. My husband and I are accustomed to automotive environments and the noise that is associated with that so we didn't think it would be a problem.

The new tenants have yet to put up a sign or tell us their business name, so we don't know what they're called, but they have been a nightmare, and have turned our formerly wonderful house and neighborhood into an industrial-sized hellscape of sound. They show up late at night and bang away at metal just barely 6 feet from our house, hang out loudly talking and listening to music at all hours of the night, as people drive by honking, and during the day the sound is unbearable, inescapable even inside our own home, at times exceeding 90 decibels, which is damaging to our hearing, because their work area is 6 feet away from our house with zero soundproofing at all between our properties. The outside areas of our house, like my front porch, which I use to relax and to do drawings for my live drawing project, have become unusable when they are working.

Because they are all so loud and unsafe with their work practices, creating an unsafe amount of noise for themselves as well as us, they are constantly shouting, and it is more than unnerving to have to hear this outside every day---it is causing unhealthy levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones. I have been very sick since the problems escalated. My cats are constantly on edge because to them it sounds like there are strangers inside our own home.

When the tenants next door see us at our windows, they begin harassing us, saying things loudly so we can hear them in an attempt to taunt us into coming out and fighting with them. When one of them saw me washing dishes at the window, he loudly said that I complain about them all the time because I'm a loser who doesn't have a job. Another time, again while washing my dishes, they started taunting me and baited my husband to come outside, where they then started screaming at us to stop complaining and to move to a new house. They bang open and closed the hoods and doors of cars while yelling "HOPE YOU DON'T MIND THE NOISE!" to bully and intimidate us. It is so disheartening to sit in the darkness of my house afraid to leave, being driven crazy by the sound inside, being harassed and bullied by the people next door, and watch neighbors walk by these people and say "Welcome to the neighborhood!" We do not feel safe or welcome here anymore. We cannot afford to move.

We are asking them to act like a real business, with real business hours that respect the people who live around them, and to add soundproofing to their property that doesn't block the view from our windows. They have yet to respond at all and remain extremely hostile and antagonistic. I have bought expensive "soundproof" (HA) curtains, as well as stapled pillows to the window frames, old blankets, extra fabric, anything I can find to muffle the sound as much as possible.

Because I can't look out the window anymore, it has affected my live drawing project drastically and I ended up shutting it down, after 6 years.

I have created a petition here asking for no more auto businesses to be allowed in the Washington Park area. I know nobody gives a shit, but it's the least I can do.

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