Q: I was awakened by loud construction at six in the morning. Will the police handle this issue? Are there any restrictions as to when construction can be completed?

A: Yes, the police will respond to a loud construction call and enforce city ordinances as necessary. When police respond, they will inform the person doing the work about the following construction restrictions within the city:

Construction, demolition, excavation, repair to buildings, spray painting and other maintenance improvements are restricted to certain times within the City of Santa Monica. General construction by private citizens and hired workers are able to complete their work between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. No construction is allowed on Sundays or major holidays such as: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. City of Santa Monica employees while conducting duties associated with their assigned duties have an earlier start time of 7 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Due to some construction equipment to be used, such as pile drivers, jackhammers, pavement breakers or similar equipment having a much louder noise capacity, they are only permitted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There are exceptions to these rules depending on the project being completed and with the approval of permit given by the city. Should this occur, the responsible party of the construction is required to notify persons occupying property within a 500 foot radius of the proposed construction.

If you are unable to resolve the issue by speaking to those completing the construction, please call our dispatch at (310) 458-8491. A police officer will be dispatched to advise the workers of the ordinance and have them cease until the appropriate times. Should officers need to return, they have the discretion to enforce the law through other means granted them by the city and state.

For more details regarding this city ordinance (4.12.110 SMMC) and other municipal codes, please log on to the City of Santa Monica website at: www.qcode.us/codes/santamonica.

Q: I read that the city has purchased new bike racks for the downtown area, but can you tell me what ordinance prohibits locking bikes to trees or other objects? There’s a big problem with this in my neighborhood and I don’t know who to call to get them removed.

A: There is no ordinance prohibiting specifically locking bicycles to trees. However, Santa Monica municipal code 3.12.370 prohibits anyone from leaving any property or other item unattended for a period of longer than 10 minutes on sidewalks, streets, streetscape, or public highways. (On the Third Street Promenade there is no timed grace period)

With that said, many Santa Monica residents and visitors use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation in an effort to help us become a “greener” city. Affixing their bicycle to a tree or post while conducting business may be necessary to secure their property, and at times the 10 minute limit described in the ordinance may not be sufficient for completion of their activities. In this case, as a police officer, I would first assess the circumstances before holding this person to the literal letter of the law. On the other hand, should someone leave their bicycle or other belongings affixed to a city tree, light pole, parking meter, or other fixed object in a public area, for a significant period of time that creates a hazard and/or blight for the area, I would address the matter accordingly. Should the latter become the issue, anyone may call our dispatch at (310)458-8491 and request the item to be “Red tagged” with a warning, informing the owner that the item will be removed by the police department should they leave it in the area. After a specified period of time, the police department has the capability of removing the property and holding the item(s) for safekeeping in our property room or other designated city storage area, where it can later be claimed by the owner.

Citizen Academy

The Citizen Academy is a free, 10-12 week program designed to give you an inside look at local law enforcement, including an overview of the Santa Monica Police Department’s functions, responsibilities and operational procedures.

The Academy meets once a week for a three hour evening session during the 12 weeks at the Public Safety Facility. Classes consist of lecture, discussion and demonstrations, and are taught by police executives, staff members and veteran police officers. Participants will also meet the Chief of Police, learn about community policing, criminal investigations, SMPD history, evidence collection/forensics, and driving under the influence.

Some of the activities you will participate in through the Citizen Academy include interactive video firearms simulation, a ride-along with a patrol officer, and self defense.

If you would like to participate in a future Citizen Academy class, please contact Community Relations at (310) 458-8474. An application, available online, will be required, and the following minimum requirements must be met:

• Be at least 21 years of age.

• Live, work or attend school in Santa Monica.

• Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions.

Today’s questions were answered by NRO Jeff Glaser (Beat 3: Downtown Area, including the Third Street Promenade). Phone: (424) 200-0683, e-mail: jeffrey.glaser@smgov.net.

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