South Austin construction rattling nearby homes

FILE - Construction site (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Construction site (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Vibrations from nearby construction are rattling neighbors’ reality. A viewer reached out to KXAN with concerns about work being done by KB Home off Slaughter in south Austin. The city says the builders have not violated any noise ordinance, but at least one neighbor says the discussion shouldn’t stop there.

Living in Austin, Jan Hugonin is used to a chorus of construction, but the vibrations heard and felt in her home, she says it’s out of control.

“That’s the stove that you’re hearing rattling… this is the glasses in the window… perhaps the stain glass that’s hanging in the window, and wine glasses as well,” Hugonin said, showing KXAN videos of the construction creeping into her home. She says the rattling started at the beginning of the month.

“Over each day the vibrations became worse and worse and worse,” she said, starting as early as seven in the morning.

Austin police explained general construction can start that early and run through eight at night every day.

“Seven days a week for construction is unreasonable,” Hugonin said.

Outside of downtown, concrete pouring can begin as early as 6:00, which APD explained actually includes the use of a street paver Hugonin says is causing the massive vibrations. KXAN learned in the city’s noise ordinance there is nothing written about vibrations or decibels tied to construction. The only vibrations mentioned are those coming from a vehicle.

“To have the construction company and the city not afford the homeowners the same consideration that they’re affording the developer just doesn’t seem fair,” Hugonin said. In the future, she just wants the city and developers to consider the impact construction is having on nearby neighbors.

“You can’t, maybe eliminate the problem. But you can make it better,” she said.

KXAN reached out to the district representative, Council Member Ann Kitchen. Her office told us it has not received a high number of construction noise-related complaints, but plans to look into the situation. As for KB Home, it tells us, “We are sensitive to the fact that the homeowners, who certainly were not around when their streets were being built, are not used to the noise, dust and other nuisances of a construction site. We’re carefully following the city of Austin’s approved operating hours and weather permitting, we expect to complete road construction in a matter of weeks.”

Anyone with complaints can call 311.

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