I can honestly say that this is not the kind of environment for a person such as myself. If money were no object, I'd be out of here already. I am hopeful that I will find an appropriate retirement spot that I can enjoy. Please be careful about your decisions when looking for a retirement spot. Don't be blindsided.
Sound Check on NOISES in a Senior ParkIn today's post, I have waited over a year, nearly a year and a half, to go public with my experiences with unusual noise in a senior park in Leesburg, Florida. I live in Lakes at Leesburg, a gated senior park owned by Hometown America. I've been here full-time since December 10, 2015. Up until December 2017, it seemed relatively quiet if you don't count all the yard equipment being operated many hours a week or the frequent bass and low frequency sounds.
Something changed in December 2017 ... perhaps it had to do with a lot of turnover of snowbirds and new seniors with some grandchildren moving in. I did notice a big sale going on at Big Lots and Walmart for surround sound systems. I was noticing many systems with 5-7 speakers priced under $200. Perhaps people turned off their hearing aids at night and turned up the volume, not realizing how loud? Perhaps some people sleep with the TV going which is now connected to a surround sound system. It was December 2017 when I asked my neighbor if her Bose sound system was turned up, she said that I would never hear her Bose ... REALLY??? I remember expressing my frustration when I said, "I'm surrounded by sound ... it's coming from all around me." It is an awfully unsettling feeling.
Whatever the reasons for the increase in noise, I have been hearing noise from a variety of sources. Noise pollution can deeply affect one's health; especially if you are a senior! You probably will experience irritability, tension and nervousness which will in turn affect your ability to function in stressful situations. All of this will impact and increase your blood pressure. If you already have sleep apnea or a sleep disturbance, those will be exacerbated ... and even more so if you experience night time noise pollution. Noise has seriously affected me for the worse.
Sound Check in Senior Park - X marks some of the nearby sources
BTS Noise = Bahia, Tortuga, Sea Fern
Updated November 18, 2019
Hmmm, underground utilities? I had been told by yet another neighbor that they pumped out the storm drain system that runs down the middle of my street in December 2017. And, the gas lines near my side yard were impacted about the same time by a large tree on the street behind me that was removed. I entertained that thought by calling the City of Leesburg and spoke with a supervisor for the storm drain system along with a fellow from the gas department who came out to walk my lot. Sharing this thought of it being underground utilities made the park manager think I was nuts or crazy I do think ... especially since an old guy neighbor told me the park manager thought I was nuts and/or crazy!!! Very concerning.
Being an analytical person, I knew I wanted to prove that I am hearing noises when it should be quiet for sleep. I bought a decibel meter and began doing decibel readings ... especially when I was awakened during normal sleeping hours. I recorded a series of decibel readings from some six locations around the outside perimeter of my lot along with three readings taken inside.
|Decibel Readings LAL - January 24, 2018 - March 2, 2018|
A while after that, I submitted another copy to the woman hired to sell homes in this senior park for the owner. I suggested to her that maybe there was another home in this park that was quiet and that I could "trade" my home for that home. Again, no response!
On December 7, 2018 I began another log of the noises, this time logging time of day along with what and where I was hearing the noises. That became eight handwritten notebook pages which I recorded until January 19, 2019. It was obvious that the noise nuisance was not limited to a few sources, but now more than a handful.
|Aerial View of Lakes at Leesburg Homes|
BTS Noise = Bahia, Tortuga, Sea Fern
There is the phenomenon of the Worldwide Hum ... a Maddening Sound. I connected with a person in Tavares, Florida who has experienced that hum first hand for many years. Curiously, I found she actually lived a few miles from me along the same latitude coordinates. It is a possibility that the hum is contributing to the assortment of noises I am hearing in this senior park; I don't think I can rule that out.
|Phenomenon of Worldwide Hum - Leesburg to Tavares, FL|
Another resident complained of unusual noises before my complaint! See the map graphic below with the "O" on the right. This happened right before I moved in. I heard a lot about the noise complaints from the old couple just to the East of me. Interesting to note that their home is right in the middle of our two homes [who have experienced noise issues]. The park manager came out to check on this resident's noise, but he could not find a noise source. Her home and mine do fall on the latitude coordinate for the "worldwide hum" tracking into Tavares [see map graphic above].
|Another Noise Complaint in Senior Park Nearby - "O" to the Right|
Image Updated November 18, 2019
When the weather is a little cooler, windows being open impact the noise levels. When it is cold, you can hear the A/C unit blowers which make a different sound than the air-conditioning unit. Some A/C units that are older can be particularly noisy when operated. Decibel readings from my carport register 71-72 decibels for the next door A/C unit. That's pretty loud when you consider it runs quite a bit of the time in warm weather. I can't comfortably sit in my carport when it is running.
|Decibel Meter Reading of 71.8 - Next Door A/C Unit - December 3, 2018|
What to do? I would say if you are a light sleeper or have normal to sensitive hearing, you may NOT want to move to this senior park. I am now guessing that this may be the same for other senior parks! If you can, perhaps try to rent for a month or two in a senior park and see if the noise isn't a significant nuisance for you.
NOISE UPDATEUPDATE November 18, 2019 -- we are approaching TWO consecutive years of unwelcome neighbor noise during the night and into the day! This is nuts!! One of my sisters recently commented about it all, "that's what a trailer park is." "Oh my," I told her, "now I know!" This isn't a resort, it's a trailer park folks!
Beware the supposed "sounds of music" or should I say low frequency, vibrating bass / subwoofer sounds! It is now after 9am on Sunday, April 7, 2019. I have been hearing the same annoying low frequency sounds since they woke me at 1am. That's 8 hours of consistent droning non-appealing, irritating sounds. There were similar annoying sounds the past Monday night. These irritating sounds fill my house so that there is no place to see a quiet refuge for sleep ... you just don't get any quality sleep.
Monday, April 8, 2019 ... holy smokes, forget about getting any sleep this night and into the morning of April 9th. The incredibly annoying and irritating low frequency bass sounds started up at 9pm! It was like this the previous Monday ... not sure what is special about Monday, but the noise can still be heard ... that's nearly twelve consecutive hours. It was 11am and then later at 3pm and about 3:10pm that a neighbor was cranking up their sound system so that I actually felt the vibrations. Then, again, right around 5pm the system was cranked so high that my living room window was shaking! That makes me think right next door where there has been a flurry of activity the past several days. How inconsiderate and rather juvenile ... this is supposed to be a senior park after all. I sure wish the management would enforce quiet time and deal with the noise makers here.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 ... since 9am, I have been aware of a low din of low frequency bass ... kind of like that worldwide hum, only I can point to where it is coming from ... next door and across the street. It's one of those sounds that once your ears hook into it, it can get on your nerves ... and it does!
Thursday, April 11, 2019 ... I woke up to the low frequency HUM! Friday, April 12, 2019 ... 10am, I am hearing somebody's bass to the East, SE of me. Saturday, April 13, 2019 ... an incessant, annoying low frequency noise! It's 8:30am and I have been hearing the same, droning irritating sounds for quite some time. Like you want somebody to flip the switch and turn it off already.
Sunday, April 14, 2019 ... It started before 1pm ... sounds like there must be a PARTY going on because the bass sounds are louder than normal. Listening to all the incessant noises all week long, one is not prepared to deal with this additional unwelcome noise.
Monday, April 15, 2019 ... IT has been going on since the early AM hours. It is now past 10am and IT is still going on. It is an incessantly irritating bass/low frequency sound.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 ... Last night was a sleeping pill night as I weighed the options of trying to sleep while listening to the incessant annoying sounds. It is 1:30pm and I have been hearing one of the most annoying low frequency / bass sounds for over an hour. THIS sound is one of the MOST irritating. I can't imagine the people behind the sounds don't realize how bad it is on the receiving end.
Repeat on the daily noise issues ... it continues and doesn't seem to want to change or end.
Sunday, April 21, 2019 ... It's 9am on Easter Sunday. The low frequency, irritating bass sounds have been going on since Saturday early. All night long ... at Midnight I got out of bed and took a sleeping pill ... not what I wanted to do, but necessary to get a few hours of sleep. This sucks literally!!!
Friday, April 26, 2019 ... It was later in the morning when the sounds of motorcycles could be heard roaring down US-441 into Leesburg, Florida for BikeFest. The sounds continued throughout the day, sometimes a bit stronger, until winding down around 8pm.
Saturday, April 27, 2019 ... Ah, a motorcycle leaving the park at 5:13am along with more motorcycle sounds on US-441 for BikeFest. And, it's 8:10am and my feet are vibrating! I'm in the back East side of my house in my guest bedroom/office on the computer. I thought somebody's house was being pressure washed. I came to the front kitchen window and see Stanley Steemer across the street. Most interesting how loud that sound is across the entire front of my house [double wide] and radiating down the side and back of the house. It is 80.5 decibels at my carport side entry door. Stanley Steemer was done by 8:30am ... once they stopped, I could hear the low frequency bass sounds of a sound system or two nearby.
Saturday, April 27, 2019 ... It's 9:10am and now I am hearing a pressure washer from across the street and two doors down. I can hear it throughout my home with a side entry door initial sound reading of 69.3 decibels. The pressure washing of that house stopped at 9:55am. Then, just after 10am, lawn mower and edger started up on the other house across the street. 10:15am the edging has been extended to that other house across the street that had Stanley Steemer earlier. And, it appears the pressure washer has now moved to the house three doors down and across the street!! By 10:30am, the lawn mower and edger were done ... so it was relatively quick on the yard work noise at 30 minutes. Something odd that somebody seemed to be adjusting their sound system up with the louder sounds of a bass. OMG, just crazy on the variety of noises as it doesn't come from one source or one neighbor but is a layering on of different sounds. At 10:45am the pressure washing seemed to be done. Just crazy!
Saturday, April 27, 2019 ... Wow, tell me this is going to end?! It's 10:55am and it looks like pressure washing is now going to start on the third house this morning ... across the street and down one! 11am ... pressure washing is ON. It is interesting how the three houses being pressure washed by the same male person seems to be on a schedule to the minute! I sure am hoping there isn't a 4th house being pressure washed nearby next!!!! Good news that 11:25am pressure washing seemed done ... maybe the pressure washer broke?
Monday, April 29, 2019 ... Something woke me at just before 4am. Finally got up around 4:30am. It is now 6:50am and have been listening to these consistently annoying low frequency bass sounds for a couple of hours. Like there is NO break to the droning on of irritating noise. 10:45am I stepped outside to listen for location of the bass, which sounds like definitely across the street, one of two noise locations; a location to the side of me; and quite possibly a third location behind me and across the street! It's enough to make one testy!! Enough already ... turn it off.
Saturday, May 11, 2019 ... The noise has been continuing over the past days of May. It was 2:20am today that I was awakened by the low frequency bass sounds of someone's sound system. I slept on and off until I awakened some 5 hours later. Fast forward to 12:50pm ... that noise has been continuing without a break. It is coming from nearby. I wished they'd turn it off already. It is so inconsiderate!
Monday, May 13, 2019 ... It is 9:20am and I am still hearing what I was hearing all through the early AM normal sleep hours ... that incessantly annoying low bass sound. I was up at 4am and came outside to see which direction the noise was coming from. My whole house was encompassed with noise ... there was no quiet zone for sleeping. To have that noise continue for hours is very concerning. I am very irritated!!
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 ... Today's doctor appointment did not go well. One of the first things he had to say to me had to do with the negative health effects I am experiencing from the continual sleep deprivation due to noises in the senior park. Monday night was especially noisy. It was a sleeping pill night. But, the sleeping pills have been a major concern. The doctor said emphatically to me, "you are AGITATED." To that I responded about the neighbor across the street's Bose sound system running all night and how I can hear a neighbor's sound system behind me and another to my side. He said I need to move. YES I do, but how and where? On a limited fixed income a senior like myself cannot just pick up and move and hope it is a quiet place with thoughtful and considerate neighbors. Writing this it is the morning of Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Last night topped Monday night with noise. There is such a layering on of noises that you cannot easily say one noise source is topping the other for aggravating sounds. I do believe I figured out what extra noise and vibration was on top last night. Guessing the neighbor who backs up to me had his air compressor plugged in and charging in the shed that is in line with my two bedrooms!!! Early Wednesday morning, he turned it on and started nailing and sawing in the carport. I can spit nails!!!
Saturday, December 7, 2019 ... I can honestly say that there hasn't been a quiet day or night since I last reported more than a month ago. Around 2pm, I was out in the street in front of my driveway and could hear the bass of a stereo from the house at the "T" of my street and the adjoining street. I've also been hearing low frequency noise coming from more than one house that is around me. It is pretty crazy the continuous noise going on here.
Sunday, December 29, 2019 ... same OLD story on all the noises. Been listening to somebody's stereo bass all night and now all day ... it's 3pm and I've been aware of that same low frequency bass / subwoofer since 3am !!!
What ALL am I hearing? Who am I hearing ... how many different neighbors? Will IT ever end. Why not? Help!!!
RISING LOT RENTSFor me, I closed on November 30, 2015 with a monthly lot rent of $479. By January 1, 2018, my monthly lot rent had increased to just under $519 with some nearby at $535. That's $40 a month on the increase in three years time. I suspect I should easily hit $535 next year which while mean $56 a month which is a lot more than Social Security cost of living increases! It's nothing to sneeze at. The lot rent includes trash, sewer and lawn; however, I have been doing my own lawn for nearly 3 years ... and cleaning the street of leaves and other debris! There's been no rebate for me cutting my own lawn or doing the street. An old man down the street recently stopped in his golf cart to tell me that since I'm NOT getting paid for doing the street, I need to stop. LOL
FIRE TAXNow, do NOT forget to pay your annual fire tax on time! I forgot last year because there is no reminder. I was shocked that I forgot all about the fire tax and that the aftermath was so threatening! I received 3 copies of the same threatening eviction letter from the park manager with a hefty $50 fine! A letter was left on my door step; one letter was mailed normal mail; and a third letter was sent certified with a return receipt. I believe some 24 or more residents got that treatment. Last year the fire tax was $167.72 and increased 10% this year to $184.12. So, I paid it January 1st although it is due on or before March 1st in a lump sum, one time payment.
DOUBLE STANDARDSLawn Maintenance By the Park: Well now! The park manager paid me a personal visit to scold me on my mowing the back yard with my bagging lawn mower a bit too far into the neighbor's yard. He even took the time to show me the lot lines next to the gas meters. It seems my next door neighbor had notified the sister of that back yard resident that I mowed too much ... she notified the park manager and he came to visit me. Now, I told him why I had done that. The guys mowing that yard were lifting up the front end on the push mowers and emptying them into my yard. I'd try to push my lawn mower through that extra debris and have trouble doing that. I didn't think that was very hospitable or neighborly to give me her lawn debris, so I mowed a strip to help them out by picking up the extra debris. So much for my kindness, eh?
I just saw the news story on the ten women suing the FBI for discrimination. Listening to their stories, it hit me that there is a bit of old boy discrimination going on here!!
THEN, the neighbor in the back corner started having the park do her lawn. What does that mean for me? Well, the guys and a gal drive those big old park mowers through my back yard, around gas meters which are half in my yard, to get to a strip of weedy grass that is barely one lawn mower width. And, mowing that 4+ ft. wide strip, the positioning of those large park mowers is to blow the weedy debris into my newly mowed yard and river pebbles!! So, double standards that it's OK for the park to operate their lawn mowers in my yard so that they can get to the other person's yard. I don't think so!
Lawn Edging and Mowing Contracted By Residents: I've been watching some unusual and "aggressive" edging being done on nearby lots by yard people who live in the park and by a few who are actually park employees doing lawn maintenance during the day. On May 28, 2019, it was after 6pm when a female park employee started "edging" the yard next door to mine. I was sitting in the living room watching TV when I heard several loud hits on the side of my house! It was like a spray of bullets hitting my house. The edger had kicked up stones that looked like pieces of concrete from the side of the carport. I cracked the blinds and looked where she was and yelled out, "what are YOU doing??" She was at the carport support beam with a dented downspout where you could see the concrete pad torn up and exposed. She seemed to realize something had happened and paused for a moment. I could see several small white stone lying on the carport concrete nearby that came from the stones that she sent flying into my house and windows. Then she started back up!!
Since it was extremely hot and bright at 6:40pm, I didn't examine the side of my house until the next morning. That was when I found a number of knicks in the siding and on the down spout where the sage green paint was gone and you could see the white of the aluminum! I looked around on the ground and found 4 pieces of stone that looked like concrete. Looking at the next door neighbor's carport and support beam, I saw two pieces of stones that looked like what was kicked up and hit my house. Now, this is concerning because I've heard little hits on my house previously but never examined the house for paint chips or dents. When I was finding little stones in my mulch or next to my edging, I wondered where those were coming from. Now I know! I took several photographs of the damage to my house, along with the stones I found. Then I got out some of the sage green paint and did touch ups along that side of my house.
It gets worse! When I came through with my first look at the side of my house, I didn't look up to examine all of the windows on that side of my house. So, my largest window which is under the first bigger awning got hit with a stone ricochet. It is broken on the right upper edge! I looked around there on the ground and found a couple more of those stones lying in the mulch! I asked the park manager to stop by to see where the side of my house was damage and to see the broken window. He mentioned that he was thinking I had a stress fracture on the window. NOPE! It is not a stress fracture but was hit by a stone that kicked up under the awning!! As he walked toward the front, he saw a second window that was hit on the lower left corner. I hadn't been looking at those big windows in the Florida Room. I looked down on the ground and found two more stones, and one bigger than the other. Looking at the frame next to the break you can see a ping from a stone.
I contact Tri-City Glass who gave me an estimate of $391.89. They indicated that I might need safety glass for the Florida Room window since it is oversized. Wow! I called and left a voice mail for the park manager to tell him how much the windows would cost and that the female park employee that broke them needs to pay for them. She's been difficult to find to talk with. I asked him to please let me know her last name, address, and phone number.
For well over a week, I tried to reach the one female park employee who also edges the yard next door. She had been on vacation and the other female park employee did the yard for her. She was the one who broke the two windows. It was on the fifth phone call that she picked up. By that time, I will admit that I was pretty upset. More than once she said that she was not to blame. I don't believe all the house dings happened that one night. Since I've touched up the dings I saw in the house, I'm unhappy with the fact that the touchup paint is darker and more noticeable. I'm going to have to have that entire side repainted!
Since I have yet to speak with the gal who broke the windows, a course of action may have to be Small Claims Court in Lake County, Florida. I've downloaded their form package for filing and am considering that course of action!
Trespassing With Dogs: Today of all days, April 15th, as I'm finishing up mowing my back yard, I hear a voice and look up just in time to see the old woman from down the street trespassing with her black labrador dog through the corner of my back yard and the two neighbors' back yards next door. I've seen her many a time across the street trespassing in three different neighbors' yards when she was walking another neighbor's two dogs. I've been wondering who is leaving dog poop in my back yard. The morning of April 16th, this old woman is walking her dog on my street and calls out my name to ask me some random question about the woody bushes in her yard. After I respond that I don't know about their care, I ask her about her cutting through my back yard. She says "yes" she does it pretty much daily when she needs to cut through. I told her please don't be cutting through my yard and mentioned it's trespassing. After raising her voice to me that "it's not trespassing ... I am allowed to do it ... you don't own the land, you only rent the lot your house sits on," I replied back to her that "it is trespassing and please stay out of my yard with your dog." She continued down the street muttering back to me that she can cut through my yard. Very concerning it is!!
Sexual Harassment: There is an old man who I feel is exhibiting unusual behavior with all the traffic past my front yard. The unusual behavior comes in the sexually-harassing language he has used. It started off with him talking graphically about his impotence and then went on to him telling me when I had been bending over pulling weeds that it was pretty as a picture. And, other times telling me not to cover up because that's why he comes by. It's gotten to the point that when I see him coming, I quickly walk to the back of the house or into the carport to avoid him. One time, he exclaimed "Aren't you going to talk to me? Well then, F*** you." Now, I think that is quite unacceptable. I have been told that he was exhibiting similar unusual behavior with another female resident in the park and that her boyfriend told him to cut it out.
Unfriendly Residents: You will see two extremes in that some residents will actually yell at you or address you in a bullying tone, say things to try and provoke you, or won't say anything, but will just stare at you. It's kind of creepy! A friend of mine commented that this type of questionable behavior sounds like dementia ... could be! I can't tell you how many times I'd walk around the community saying, "Hi" or "Good Morning" to be met with stares. I used to say it again, but maybe in addition to dementia, perhaps they had hearing disorders? Something worse than the staring would be the yelling and bullying in my own yard!! Some residents would walk or drive by my yard in a golf cart and yell "what are you doing?" in a rather menacing tone. It is a wow on all the bullying and intimidating behavior. I have spent a good deal of time trying to fix up my yard, home, and driveway, which was the worst on the street. It became painfully obvious to me early on that my yard was the dog toilet for the street! It was the designated pit stop for residents and their dogs. When I got a bacterial infection in my hand, another neighbor said it probably was from all the dog poop and pee left there.
Passive Aggressive Behavior: Oh, there is a lot of textbook passive aggressive behavior here when you sit back and think about it. Sunday, May 5, 2019 I had been out in my front yard gardens "working" in the early morning. It was after 8:30am when I was in the back garden behind the shed. I was working my way to the corner area with the river pebbles and hadn't quite started there when BAM! on comes the back side neighbor's sprinkler for right where I'm working. It wasn't just a little spray, but enough that my head and hair were totally getting soaked. It was probably more than 10-15 minutes that the sprinkler watered me and the neighbor's back corner area where there are a considerable amount of weeds. Funny that the sprinklers for that back area have "come on" when I've been mowing my back yard in the early afternoon on Mondays. Wonder if she's got a motion detector on the sprinkler so that if I want to work on the area of my back yard that meets her back yard, the sprinkler comes on to welcome me ... or something?? Middle of June, it's a Monday at 10:20am and I am working out in that back yard again. I hear the neighbor who must have brought her dog with her again. Then, she's manually turning on those sprinklers and I'm working in my yard. Honest to God, I can't make this stuff up!! Oh, and I don't believe you are to irrigate your yard for even numbers but on Thursday and Sunday and not between the hours of 10am and 4pm!
Toxic Culture: I recently heard a report about a major TV network and a popular TV show having issues described as "toxic culture." That rather resonated with me to describe what I've experienced in this senior park!