Q. I live near a business district and sometimes one of the restaurants receives deliveries from large trucks very early in the morning. They also dump their trash very late at night. Both activities are incredibly noisy in my quiet neighborhood. Is there anything that can be done?

A. Businesses have a vested interest in keeping good relations with their neighbors. Restaurants in particular actively seek a close relationship with their neighbors, not only because it makes good business sense, but also because they seek to have neighbors as regular customers. When a noise related issue arises, first consider seeing or calling the owner or manager of the business. They may simply not understand the effects their operation is having on the surrounding residences. Politely explain the situation and suggest some alternatives that will work for both you and the business.

Mutually agreeable solutions are easy to come by. If a mutually agreeable solution can’t be found the Santa Monica Municipal code (4.12.150 (a) (1 & 2) SMMC) does prove some guidance in these situations. If a business is located within 100 feet of a residentially-zoned property a business can’t take deliveries of goods, merchandise, or food between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The business also can’t throw out trash, recycle, use power washers, or clean equipment or furnishings within the prescribed hours.

If you don’t feel comfortable contacting the offending business, contact the neighborhood resource officer (NRO) for your area and he will assist you in finding a solution and/or enforcing the law. Find your NRO on the Santa Monica Police Department’s website at www.santamonicapd.org/nro.

Q. What is the law regarding being on the grassy median near the Fourth Street and Adelaide Avenue stairs. I remember reading in the paper a while back it was illegal to be on the median. Is that still the case?

A. The law was modified in March of this year. Previously, the law allowed only walking or jogging in the median; all other activity was prohibited (4.20.010 SMMC). The revised law allows for walking, jogging, respite, exercise (without equipment) and similar limited activity that is not commercial in nature.

The use of the median for any commercial purposes is not allowed. Exercise equipment, massage tables, and any high-impact activities are also prohibited. However, yoga mats, beach chairs, and picnic blankets are perfectly acceptable.

If you choose to enjoy the stairs and median, remember it is a residential area. Be extra respectful of the neighbors by keeping radios low, properly disposing of empty water bottles and trash, and not walking on or working out on the lawns of residents. When approaching, entering or exiting the stairs, be cautious of passing vehicles. Don’t hang out and stretch in the road in front of the stairs. For your own safety, you should always use the sidewalk whenever possible, but if you choose to walk in the road, don’t wear headphones or ear buds that restrict the ability to hear approaching vehicles. It is the pedestrian’s responsibility to yield the right of way to vehicles in the roadway.

How to file

If you should find yourself in a situation where you may need to file a police report and don’t know how to do it, call the front desk officer at (310) 458-8495 or the Communications Center at (310) 458-8491. The officer or dispatcher who answers your call will ask you some questions to determine whether a report is necessary and how you should go about completing the report. Depending on the situation, you may be directed to come to the Public Safety Facility, or wait for an officer to be sent out to the incident location within Santa Monica. In some minor cases, you may also be able to complete a report at one of our substations listed below.

• Downtown Substation, Third Street Promenade, (310) 458-8588;

• Pico Neighborhood Substation, (310) 458-2281;

• Pier Substation, (310) 458-8450;

If you are advised to come to the Public Safety Facility at 333 Olympic Drive, go to the front desk in the lobby of the first floor (entrance is on Olympic Drive) and let the officer know that you need to file a police report. Please keep in mind that Monday through Friday, the hours between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are the busiest times for the Public Safety Facility. While we do our best to accommodate everyone as quickly as possible, you may encounter a long wait during these times.

This column was prepared by NRO Adam Gwartz (Beat 5: Montana Avenue to north city limits, Ocean Avenue to 26th Street.) He can be reached at (424) 200-0685 or via e-mail at adam.gwartz@smgov.net.

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