Residents of WeHo’s Norma Triangle Protest Loud Noise from Nearby Bars and Clubs

Residents of West Hollywood’s Norma Triangle neighborhood are coming together to protest loud music being played into the early morning hours from bars and nightclubs.

In emails to one another, to city officials, and to City Councilmember Lauren Meister, those who live in or near Norma Triangle have called out dozens of incidents and criticized the city for not appropriately responding. Norma Triangle covers the area north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Sunset Boulevard between Doheny Drive and San Vicente Boulevard.

“This has been an issue

disrupting the quiet enjoyment of our homes for a long time,” said Ramin Bastani in an email to WEHOville. “It’s an ongoing game of the ‘cat chasing the mouse’ that leaves the neighbors apathetic … after not getting help from the city. It’s gotten worse over the last few months / this year.”

Another neighbor, whose name is not being disclosed, said “I have been a resident in this neighborhood for nearly 30 years and I have never heard the level of noise from the clubs as I have in the past six months. It is so bad at times that I have had to keep my bedroom window closed and used earplugs to sleep. I have great concern about the noise this summer particularly with the addition of more commercial venues. The clubs obviously are not doing enough to curb the noise nor is the City of West Hollywood enforcing policy. This is becoming intolerable.”

Neighbors who are organizing themselves as “WeHo Noise” have complained that the city’s Code Compliance officers aren’t strictly enforcing West Hollywood’s noise ordinance, which bars “the using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. of any radio, musical instrument, stereo, television set, or instrument or device similar to those heretofore specifically mentioned for the production or reproduction of sound in volume sufficiently loud as to be plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more therefrom.” 

A business found guilty of violating that ordinance typically is issued a warning and can be fined for refusing to comply with the law. The fines range from $1,000 for a first offense to $5,000 for a third offense.

While the ordinance cites “plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more” as a violation, an interpretation on the city’s website alters that, saying that violations come from sounds not only audible but that “are so loud, prolonged and harsh as to be annoying to reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity and to cause or contribute to the unreasonable discomfort or disturbance of any persons within the vicinity.”

Bastani told WEHOville that one code compliance officer told him that “if we can’t hear the music from our home with the windows closed, then it’s not a violation” and “unless the music is audible for a continuous amount of time, it’s not a violation.”

The Abbey
The Abbey (Photo by Jon Viscott)

The Norma Triangle neighbors have called out the Abbey Restaurant and Bar for most of the noise. The Abbey and its adjacent bar, The Chapel, attract large crowds and have a lot of outdoor space with a large patio fronting Robertson Boulevard. A request for citations of clubs and bars for violating the noise ordinance this year has turned up only four, all in March, involving Mickey’s, Trunks, the Penthouse at the Factory, and Flaming Saddles.

David Cooley, owner of The Abbey and The Chapel, said it seems unlikely that the noise is coming from there.

“We’ve always kept a great relationship with West Hollywood residents, including the Norma Triangle,” Cooley said. “We work with Code Compliance regularly to make sure our sound system doesn’t exceed the set levels. Multiple times, Code Compliance has confirmed the noise is not coming from The Abbey. Every time a resident reaches out, we check the levels with our own sound meters to make sure we are staying compliant.

“There are many nightclubs and bars in the area and we’ve always tried to set a responsible example by respecting our neighbors and our community. Some outside promoters don’t run day-to-day businesses here, and just don’t care as much as we do about West Hollywood. We have been an active part of the community for almost three decades. We always try to do the right thing for the West Hollywood.”

Councilmember Meister has suggested that Danny Rivas, who heads the city’s Code Compliance Division, organize a meeting of bar owners and neighbors to discuss the issue. Rivas is in the process of organizing a meeting of bar and club owners. Rivas declined a request from WEHOville to attend the meeting and said it will not be open to the public.


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Josh
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Josh

Ok boomers

hifi5000
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hifi5000

A few months ago,I was in the city for a visit on a Sunday and decided to rest and watch the local dogs at the dog park near Santa Monica Blvd.While watching the dogs ,I begin to notice all the loud music and thumping coming from the boulevard.Rocco’s had just opened along with the new Hi-Top Bar and a few other new places I never seen before.I don’t remember it ever be that loud for a Sunday afternoon,but the local gay district is changing.There are more establishments than ever and I hope that continues.The city just needs to get a… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

There is a new hotel/condo on Sunset that has added to the problem. The Edition at Doheny has two towers; one was allowed outside the scope of the Sunset Specific Plan by city leaders. The hotel also has some open space in the rear near the residences on Harratt. They have proven to be bad neighbors. The sound is not only audible from my apartment at 1:45am on a Tuesday, but it could be heard on Cynthia and Wetherly as well. the sound is carrying downhill over the otherwise quiet neighborhood. Yes. We live in a generally noisy corner of… Read more »

James
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James

Clubs! Youngsters out at night! Loud music! You live next to the bars. No one feels sorry for you. I lived in Norma Triangle for 5 years. I heard the noise, you close your windows. Turning on AC and get over it. Its not gonna change. That 100,000 you spent on your home 30 years ago is probably worth millions now. Sell it (and sell it to a gay person that actually enjoys the area and doesn’t want to change it) then move somewhere you’ll be happy, cause it’s obviously not a happy place for you anymore. Or for goodness… Read more »

wehohello
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wehohello

If gay clubs didn’t play such God awful music none of this would bother anyone #BadTaste

DANIEL HERNANDEZ
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DANIEL HERNANDEZ

How can you really be so surprised that bars make noise and cities are not interested in strictly enforcing the rules?

I live in this direct area too… it’s noisy mostly on weekends. The popularity of the area provides many benefits to us…food, entertainment, recreation, property valuations that are fabulous.

The area you bought into so many years ago doesn’t exist anymore. .. adapt, please.

SCOTT SIGMAN
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SCOTT SIGMAN

Like I have always said, location location location—Next to High Schools and Middle Schools ALA Malibu- better expect noise but they banned lights at night for two years. Live by the stables well? Equestrian Ring expect loud announcements. Live by PCH loud CARS and MOTORCYCLES on the weekend. I Have played all the clubs and used to go to clubs. EXPECT NOISE. Ear plugs work wonders. Living on Sweetzer now, A street that has more pollutions then most others. Yep Have machines to measure. Loud all day long here and on weekends. I live with it and great head phones… Read more »

JF1
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JF1

I don’t live next to a bar. I don’t live next to a club. I live a 1/4 mile from the blvd. and shouldn’t have to put up with the sounds coming from the establishments there. And according to our city’s code…I shouldn’t have to. That’s why I chose to live where I live because I didn’t hear anything. The city allowed these bars to open up their walls and they put rules on how loud things can get so no one is disturbed in their home. Now the city is not enforcing those rules.

EasyresolveMove
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EasyresolveMove

Ohh please thanks to these bars and restaurants it has made it a popular destination thus increasing property values… if you want quiet move to Calabasas lol or even better Wyoming.

JF1
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JF1

thanks for your very thoughtful comment. Happy Holidays

Eli Rivera
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Eli Rivera

I doubt if there is any way to run a discotech dance club or bar with an outdoors areas and not disturb an adjoining or adjacent residential district. Let’s face it WEHO was not built as a loud music venue destination. It evolved into what it is. As the Abbey started life as a quiet little Coffee house and has evolved into an major discoteque club complex and entertainment bar. Now you can likely guess that David Cooley and his Lawyer Mark Lehman who likely represents most of the WEHO LGBTQ buisness owners have had their buddies at City Hall… Read more »

Weho Truth Talk
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Weho Truth Talk

Flipper was in Weho in the 1970s, pride was here in the 1970s, the Carnaval has been here awhile too. Weho didn’t just “become” a party town, it’s been one for decades.

JF1
Guest
JF1

Yes, luckily the state stopped the 4am closing.

Casey
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Casey

I have to say to Mr. Cooley that the residents have had issue with your club a few years back and thanks to Mr. Aubel, we enjoyed a few years of relative quiet. Having said that, on any given night you can walk from your establishment down towards Melrose and can still hear your club’s music/bass down by SUR. So if you’d like to maintain a good relationship with the community, how about having your staff take a quick walk down Robertson and see if your sound is traveling further than it should. Then adjust your sound system accordingly and… Read more »

Craig
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Craig

The bars/clubs could turn the music down by 10% but if you moved to West Hollywood for a quiet life, you picked the wrong place.

JF1
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JF1

Craig, I picked my home’s location in west hollywood because it was far enough away from the boulevard that we never heard a thing. That has changed in recent years. The city has a code for a reason. We are asking that they enforce their own rules…or why bother to have them. Without them, nobody nowhere would be able to get a decent night’s sleep.

Hamburger NOISY'S
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Hamburger NOISY'S

Though not located by the Norma Triangle, Hamburger Mary’s is another establishment that has been consistently allowed to violate the noise ordinance after 10 pm – they used to rage every night until 2 am until we were proactive in looking into the noise ordinance parameters and were SHOCKED to learn they needed to quiet down after 10 pm. I was told by code compliance they’ve been fined this year, but according to this article, they haven’t. Living within close proximity, unfortunately neighbors and I have to constantly report their offenses in order to sleep – sometimes having to call… Read more »

JF1
Guest
JF1

yup!

ControlTheNoise
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ControlTheNoise

Another one that blasts music is Rocco’s.
Rocco’s was a “bait and switch”. They presented themselves to the neighborhood and city as a restaurant with bar.
But then turned into a club that happens to serve food.

WeHo needs to enforce the noise code put into place to create harmony among residents AND businesses.

SIGN PETITION
Guest
SIGN PETITION

yup!

Weho Truth Talk
Guest
Weho Truth Talk

I went to West Hollywood, why is it so noisy? I went to Alaska, why is it so cold? I went to Las Vegas in July, why is it 110 degrees? I went to Oklahoma, why are there so many Republicans? West Hollywood is an internationally known tourist destination for LGBT people. Its bars are internationally known. It’s a space for LGBT people who are closeted or unable to express themselves at home. These bars did not open in West Hollywood six months ago. The Abbey has been here for decades, LGBT pride has been here for decades, the Halloween… Read more »

JF1
Guest
JF1

It’s not what you mind or what I mind. The city creates a code so that ALL can enjoy where they live, work and play. The code was created so that all are kept in consideration and if the code was enforced, there would be no complaints.

Randy
Guest
Randy

I completely agree with you, as someone who lived on Larrabee, behind Micky’s for five years. However, this situation is indeed complicated, if there is a code that is being violated. Me, personally, I knew where I was moving into, and just closed my windows at night. Looking at the map graphic above, to say that people can hear a high level of noise north of Keith Ave from the Abbey, seems ridiculous to me. Perhaps I need to go up there on a Friday night and hear for myself.

JF1
Guest
JF1

yes, when I chose to move here I did because I didn’t hear anything. We are at a high elevation and with no buildings blocking the sound, it travels up hill to us. Not everyone hears it but no one should. that’s the point.

Jason
Guest
Jason

HAHAHA I high elevation. I didn’t know there was a Mount Weho. Let me know where the summit it so I can mark it off my list of high peaks I have climbed.