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Major construction project disrupting neighbors in Little Italy

"Every day is loud. You don't wake up in peace,” said Leyla Kaya.

SAN DIEGO — A construction project in Little Italy has people living there frustrated, saying it’s disrupting their lives.

Neighbors tell CBS 8 the work is waking them up at all hours, and they want to know if any noise ordinances are being violated.

The apartment complex is being built at the corner of Ash and Columbia.

"Every day is loud. You don't wake up in peace,” said Leyla Kaya.

Kaya's patio looks out over the project. She took cell phone video of equipment being used Saturday morning, saying it was taken at 4 a.m.

She also took photos of bright lights illuminating the area, saying they were taken at 11 p.m.

Another picture shows light bouncing off the walls inside her home.

"I mean, it's impossible to sleep. Not even sunlight looks like that. This is not normal. Why are they allowing this? Unless it's urgent you should not be going out and doing this all the time," said Kaya.

Kaya says it's disrupting her life. Another neighbor, Patrick McCue is just as frustrated.

“It's making it harder to fall asleep and be ready for the next day,” said McCue.

Aside from the light and noise, McCue says the added dust and traffic issues are also a concern.

Both wonder whether or not the project is breaking any rules. 

On sandiego.org, under a city wide municipal code, it states:

  • construction can only take place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • and cannot occur on Sundays or holidays

Coincidentally, a notice of work was posted at Aqua Vista, with the hours listed as 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

CBS 8 reached out to the city to find out what's going on.

In a statement, San Diego's Noise Abatement Administrator said:

"A Construction Noise Permit is required for construction work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. during weekdays and Saturdays and all-day Sundays and holidays; See San Diego Municipal Code §59.5.0404. A Construction Noise Permit was issued at this site for work taking place on Sept. 17 through Sept. 24 between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day, primarily to facilitate concrete pours. This work required the street to be closed and traffic controls to be implemented because of the site constraints and the need ensure access to emergency vehicles and minimize traffic congestion during peak traffic hours. 

 When these permits were issued, the requirement to obtain door-to-door notifications —recording the agreement or disagreement of work by all residents and all hotel or motel managers, businesses or commercial facilities operating at night within a radius of 500 feet of the job site— was suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the applicant was still required to post a notice at the site and request that all property managers inform all the residents via their communication protocols.

 -- City of San Diego Noise Abatement Administrator Tony Khalil"

Still, Kaya and others say it's clear, work is being done outside those extended hours.

They're hoping crews will stick to the permit and in the future, the city will consider how and when its issuing those permits.

For this story, CBS 8 also contacted the builder, Swinerton, but have not heard back.

WATCH RELATED: Controversial multi-unit housing project completed in Talmadge (September 2022)

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