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Old 19.02.2019, 15:16
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City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Hi there,

My husband and I recently moved, and thought we had moved to a quiet street. We spent a lot of time on the street prior to our move and made sure there were not any local businesses that could cause noise, as we had struggled in the past with a local cleaning company that began work with noisy trucks at 5:00 AM.

Unbeknownst to us (no signage), the back entrance of a local florist is located just two buildings down from ours. On Sunday night at 1 AM, a delivery truck showed up to unload boxes of goods - last night, they showed up at 3 AM. The noise is very loud and it is a residential street, so I'm not sure how they get away with it.

This is simply not OK with us, from my knowledge in Basel, business noise should only be during the hours of 7 AM - 11 PM. Is this universal? Is there anything I can do to fight this with the city? I'm sure flowers can be delivered at a more normal time!

Thanks a lot!
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:19
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

I think there are exceptions when it comes to perishables. I seem to recall a similar complaint (can't remember if it was on here or from a colleague of mine - it was ages ago) where they lived near the goods inward of one of the supermarkets which kicked off its deliveries at around 3am.

There wasn't a lot they could do about it as the business had been in operation before they moved in plus they are more or less forced to operate in the wee small hours for the business to work.

Have a word with them, maybe they'll try to keep the din down to a dull thump.

Or get some earplugs.
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:24
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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I'm sure flowers can be delivered at a more normal time!
Firstly, the flower truck is probably delivering to many different florists so some will be earlier and others later.

The deliveries are probably in the early hours so the florists have time to sort, arrange and make bouquets of fresh flowers ready for the shop opening times.

Not much you could probably do.

Don't move to a village - they can be quite noisy with people driving to work early and tractors passing at all hours.
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:46
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

I don't get it...in Switzerland, apparently you can't flush the toilet or play music after 10 PM (it is in my lease), but in the middle of the night you can park a big truck outside someone's house and loudly unload goods.

Time to buy a sound machine it seems...groan all you want to, but a quiet nights sleep is important to some, and we made a lot of effort to ensure it would be a possibility.
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:49
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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Don't move to a village - they can be quite noisy with people driving to work early and tractors passing at all hours.
Back in the late '80s, I lived above the local milk depo.

Tom
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:54
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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I don't get it...in Switzerland, apparently you can't flush the toilet or play music after 10 PM (it is in my lease), but in the middle of the night you can park a big truck outside someone's house and loudly unload goods.

Time to buy a sound machine it seems...groan all you want to, but a quiet nights sleep is important to some, and we made a lot of effort to ensure it would be a possibility.
It's sort of similar to the roads being off limits to big lorries during the weekend in Switzerland but the rule doesn't apply to the transportation of perishables or livestock.

With regards to your apartment, I'm sure playing music after 10pm is not allowed but I bet there's nothing there preventing you from flushing the toilet.

Just chalk it up to experience - next time you are house-hunting, ask around if it's quiet at night.
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:55
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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I don't get it...in Switzerland, apparently you can't flush the toilet or play music after 10 PM (it is in my lease), but in the middle of the night you can park a big truck outside someone's house and loudly unload goods.

Time to buy a sound machine it seems...groan all you want to, but a quiet nights sleep is important to some, and we made a lot of effort to ensure it would be a possibility.

What is in your lease and what the law is are two very different things
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Old 19.02.2019, 15:56
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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Just chalk it up to experience - next time you are house-hunting, ask around if it's quiet at night.
I did ask , to several people.

And it is really quiet, which is why it is more disturbing to be woken up by a sudden slamming truck door in the middle of the night.
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Old 19.02.2019, 16:01
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Would suggest that you ask your local Gemeinde on the rules.

Truly, I live in a wonderful area since many years but am happy here. I do need occasionally need ear-plugs to help me sleep when it doesn't otherwise come easily, due to church bells which ring every 15 minutes. Day in, day out.

Daughter that has grown-up here doesn't notice them however.
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Old 19.02.2019, 16:19
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Reminds me remotely of the property my ex-husband and I bought yonks ago.
Wonderful above Herrliberg, Zurich, a dream.

Nightmare when the small country roads started to be full of heavy vehicles
supplying an apartment building site on the way trundling past the quite road close to the ground flat.

Pregnant, cleaning the windows from the dirt every day (and my dog rubbing his nose), woken-up at 6am every morning from the bed shaking due to the proximity from the road. At weekends, being a great route for motorcyclists into the Swiss beauty, it drove me crazy, and made us move (and then divorce) at a financial loss.

Not to mention the flies which invaded our every space when the cows were in the field next door.

Same neighbours though, same rules.
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Old 19.02.2019, 16:34
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

In general, silence is to be observed between 22h-6h. Call the local police when this happens again, at least let them know that it happens and deal with it appropriately.
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Old 19.02.2019, 16:40
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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This is simply not OK with us, from my knowledge in Basel, business noise should only be during the hours of 7 AM - 11 PM. Is this universal? Is there anything I can do to fight this with the city? I'm sure flowers can be delivered at a more normal time!

Thanks a lot!
The problem is, flowers are distributed during the night so the local big-lot centers can have them distributed by 5am or so. So some noise during the night may be unavoidable, but that doesn't mean you have to accept everything.

Do you have your windows open or closed at night? If the former, close them. If the latter, consider measuring the amount of noise. It's much easier to argue based on numbers than on "they kept me awake all night".
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Old 19.02.2019, 18:07
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Go figure - I get a red box from “Papa Goose” stating “I want to hurt local business, and it’s no wonder the Swiss get cheesed off at expats”.

First of all, I am not an expat. Second of all, I have no desire to hurt business and believe there is a solution other than delivering goods at 1-3 AM in a crowded residential area. The Swiss are notorious for noise complaints, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this foreign born resident looking for a solution.

I will speak with the city to see if there can be a solution, even with the windows closed, it is still loud enough to wake us up. Thanks to most of your for your tips. Again, I purposely moved into what I thought was a quiet street without business disturbances. I guess I should set up camp all night when looking for the next place.
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Old 19.02.2019, 18:48
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Talking to the people from the store if the level of noise is above what is normal for the circumstances is something not to be considered.....

If you are sensitive and they have normal noise, than you just picked the wrong house.
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Old 19.02.2019, 18:55
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

I don’t think a large freight truck unloading goods outside my window in the middle of the night is normal noise equivalent to a heavy footed neighbor who showers at 3 AM.
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Old 19.02.2019, 19:07
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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I am not an expat.
You're Swiss?

Tom
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Old 19.02.2019, 19:59
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Rather than going the offical route first, have you been into the flower shop and asked them to ask the driver to keep the noise down a bit? At least with the slamming doors etc. Not much you can do about the arrival/departure.
Buy some flowers while you are at it to make it less confrontational.
A good chat may expose why 'it is what it is'.

I doubt you'll get a cease and disist order.

These trucks, for the most part, are from the Netherlands, and as the others have said, have to get around a lot of deliveries.

It's a difficult one, if it's bad in the winter, windows open in the summer doesn't look promising.
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Old 19.02.2019, 20:40
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Yea, I definitely will soon...only my first week in the flat and I don’t work in Bern, so haven’t had the chance. I wanted to check officially, not by naming and shaming, but by finding out the rules in order to see what could be done.
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Old 20.02.2019, 10:16
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

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I don't get it...in Switzerland, apparently you can't flush the toilet or play music after 10 PM (it is in my lease)
You can do both.

As for yet another one of your issues: not much you can do. I highly doubt anyone would forbid deliveries during the night. Flowers, bread, anything really that is perishable to some degree or other doesn't magically show up in the shelves at 6 or 7am in the morning when the stores open. They have to come from somewhere and at some time, i.e. the night.

The truck is two blocks down and for how long, 15, 20, 30 minutes? I highly doubt it's as noisy as you make it out to be. If you're a light sleeper, then find a way to deal with that or move out of a city/town to somewhere where you're far away from anything, instead of going off on the deep end and "fight it with the city".
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Old 20.02.2019, 10:38
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Re: City noise disturbances from businesses, what are the rules/laws?

Here's an anecdote... perhaps some variation of this could work for you.
A friend owned a little shop. Sometimes when he arrived in the morning, there was trash all over the street. He tried ensuring his own trash was locked up, and then had a look in the municipal bins at the end of the day. He deduced that the truck/people who deposited a big bundle of free newspapers at the bus-stop may be bumping over the bins. One evening he asked someone who lived near the shop to go, late at night, to put out a cardboard box with 6 cans of Coke and a big sign: "Good morning! For the newspaper delivery staff."
About a week or so later, he did so again.
A few weeks later, one of the delivery men popped in and asked whether the gift, much appreciated, were from this shop-owner. They chatted about what it's like to have to work so very early in a job that largely goes unnoticed. In that context, the shop-owner asked the deliver man to please pay attention to the trash bin. And that was the entire problem... solved.
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