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Old 03-15-2018, 02:04 PM
 
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I live next door to a business that has an old noisey roof A/C. The metal case that encloses the compressor has fallen off on both sides and the front (there is a partial encasement with a metal sheet in the rear and on top). For the most part it just looks like a compressor sitting out in the open on their roof. If the compressor was completely encased it would be more quieter. Does anyone know if having a roof A/C with the compressor just sitting out in the open is allowed in Sarasota County?

There is a bit more to this story. The store in question went ahead and installed a new roof A/C parallel to the old one (in January). The new one is much more quieter. However they installed without getting the necessary permit. They have since applied for and received an "express permit" (after paying triple fees) for the new A/C. However this case is still marked as "open" by the county. Apparently Sarasota County has not approved the installation (yet). This new A/C was installed near the end of January. I don't see anyone working on it since then and they continue to use the old noisey A/C.

I filed an anonymous complaint with Sarasota County code enforcement - and the inspector marked the issue as "unfounded" because the noisey A/C is not new construction. He also mentioned the open permit for the new A/C - but refuses to take any action for the noisey old A/C currently in use.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:30 AM
 
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Well last night the compressor on that A/C was "short cycling" (going on and off about every 45 seconds). Today it's short cycling between 1 to 2 minutes. This is not normal so there is definitely some kind of problem. I'm hoping this causes the compressor to fail.

I did some research on the Sarasota County web site about this particular parcel and recent permit activity. On February 6 the company was issued a citation for "building without a permit" (for installing the new A/C without permit (along with a few other things). This is marked as still "open".

Then on March 6th (after paying triple permit fees as a penalty) - the company was granted an "express permit" to install the new A/C. This express permit doesn't expire until August 25th. In my opinion six months seems like a ridiculous long time - especially since this new A/C has already been illegally installed back in January (without permit). They had it up and running for a few weeks. Since then they've done no new work on it. Now I see how Sarasota government works. Obtaining those "triple fees" was their top priority - and once they got that they become very lax with the offending party. They're now reluctant to "lean" on the store owners about the problematic old A/C. The old saying "money talks".

Is this normal for a permit to install an A/C to be for six months?

Also I was wondering if anybody has an estimate for how long it takes an A/C compressor to die if it's short cycling like 60 times per hour?

Last edited by wondermint2; 03-16-2018 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,119 posts, read 7,652,223 times
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I can't answer your question but I have to wonder if the inspector was looking at the problem as an A/C problem rather than a general noise/disturbance of the peace problem. Did you specifically ask if the noise was a violation of the city or county noise ordinance? It may go nowhere but you do have a right to "quiet enjoyment" of your property. Maybe the noise approach might help. Also, is there any chance that talking to the owner and explaining the frustration might help? It's possible that they have no clue how disturbing the noise can be to you.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ID3modem View Post
Problem is that you say you live next door to a BUSINESS, so zoning laws will come into play in re decibel noise levels. I don't know what kind of neighborhood you live in with a business immediately next door as you describe...I don't know of a huge number of highly mixed-use neighborhoods, but I'm sure that just might be changing in the patterns of urbanization that I see
According to Sarasota County web site I live on a parcel designated as "CG" - (Commercial General). The store next door is also CG.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
I can't answer your question but I have to wonder if the inspector was looking at the problem as an A/C problem rather than a general noise/disturbance of the peace problem. Did you specifically ask if the noise was a violation of the city or county noise ordinance? It may go nowhere but you do have a right to "quiet enjoyment" of your property. Maybe the noise approach might help. Also, is there any chance that talking to the owner and explaining the frustration might help? It's possible that they have no clue how disturbing the noise can be to you.
Yes I reported it through the Sarasota iclick web site as an "other" problem (because it didn't fall into any of the dedicated category choices from which to choose on that web site). Then Sarasota routed the complaint as a "noise issue" to the code enforcement department. From there it was supposedly looked at by the inspector that covers my area. So I'm not totally sure what he based his decision on - but in my opinion the fact that the store in question has an ongoing issue (& permit) to get the new A/C installed "correctly" - probably played into his decision. Even though obviously the old A/C and the new A/C are two separate issues - and thus should be treated as such.

I haven't spoke to the store owner for several reasons. One reason is that if they are now under a time constraint to get the new A/C up to proper code with the county - it's doubtful they would want to spend much resources on the old A/C (which right now is kind of serving as a temporary stop-gap until the new A/C is approved).

It's kind of strange last night I didn't hear the compressor come on at all. Whereas the previous night it was short cycling in 45 second intervals. Today the compressor just seems to be running all the time. Over the past several years they've had to change the compressor several times - which isn't normal. So there's probably some underlying issue that makes it run "strange". I actually prefer it if the compressor runs all the time (as opposed to short cycling every minute). From inside my bedroom it's much less noticable that way. I can deal with it. Outside it's more noticable when it's running all the time but not so bad on the side of the house farthest away. It's just that short cycling overnight that is most bothersome. When the weather gets hotter if I run a fan in my bedroom that will help mask outside noise also.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
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Noise issue, if disturbing your sleep at night, you have a noise complaint. As to the permit, permits have a basic time period. A builder and subs can take out a series of permits, but the actual work may take place several months subsequent to the permitting. Given that some counties may take well over 30 days just to issue a permit (Charlotte County for example), proactive permitting is common.

As to closing a permit, it took 60 days to close out a permit for a storage building we had installed.
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:03 PM
 
807 posts, read 1,317,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
Noise issue, if disturbing your sleep at night, you have a noise complaint. As to the permit, permits have a basic time period. A builder and subs can take out a series of permits, but the actual work may take place several months subsequent to the permitting. Given that some counties may take well over 30 days just to issue a permit (Charlotte County for example), proactive permitting is common.

As to closing a permit, it took 60 days to close out a permit for a storage building we had installed.
In your opinion is it normal for the guts of a roof A/C to just be sitting out in the open and not in any kind of case? Obviously if it was in a case (like every other A/C I've seen) it would be less noisey. However the inspectors comments (from the Sarasota web site) were "not new construction", "unfounded" and "currently open permit to install new A/C". Seems to me he was implying if the A/C in question was new it wouldn't be allowed without a case - but since it's "old" it's OK. IMO just another bunch of bureaucratic nonsense.

As I mentioned previously the metal case that encloses the A/C (compressor, fan, etc) has fallen off on both sides and the front (there is a partial encasement with a metal sheet in the rear and on top). Unfortunately my house is located to the front & side where the A/C encasement has fallen off.

Last edited by wondermint2; 03-18-2018 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:28 PM
 
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Metal does not stop sound much.
If the business was willing to spend a couple hundred bucks, a small "knee wall" made of a layer of cement board and exterior gypsum cladding board (or similar) would stop a LOT of the noise toward your house.

But at this point it seems better to wait until the new unit is installed.

Heck, you could even tell the biz owner you'd buy the materials (probably less than $150).....
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:22 PM
 
807 posts, read 1,317,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
Metal does not stop sound much.
If the business was willing to spend a couple hundred bucks, a small "knee wall" made of a layer of cement board and exterior gypsum cladding board (or similar) would stop a LOT of the noise toward your house.

But at this point it seems better to wait until the new unit is installed.

Heck, you could even tell the biz owner you'd buy the materials (probably less than $150).....
This situation keeps getting more strange. I've determined that this store is now using BOTH the new and old A/C. From the Sarasota County permit web site it says the new A/C is a 5 ton package unit and 60,000 BTUs. I don't have the exact square footage of the store in front of me now - but it's not large by any means. It's about the size of a small convenience store. So why would they need to have both the new and old A/C running? Isn't the new one a decent sized unit?

Also I was able to see from the Sarasota web site that there are two new issues raised against them by the inspector on March 20. The first is for "Real Property Compliance - Debris". (They throw trash all over the place outside). It says reinspection is scheduled for April 4. The second issue is listed as "Zoning Compliance". It says description "BU". I think BU is a code for commercial retail or something like that. It also said under permit - sticker "No". So I'm not sure what this zoning issue is all about. That's listed for reinspection on April 23.

Then there is also still an open issue from February 6th for building without a permit. (They completely remodeled the building without permits).

And there is an open "Express Permit" issued on February 26 to install the new A/C. (It says the permit adminstration is still open). I believe that means that the new A/C still has to pass an inspection to be approved.

Last edited by wondermint2; 03-28-2018 at 01:48 PM..
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