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Noise from 7-Eleven at night

Original post made by FrustratedResident, Downtown North, on Dec 13, 2011

I've been living near Waverley and Lytton streets close to the 7-Eleven since August. Since moving in, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT there is a group of men who gather in the parking lot screaming, yelling, and whistling until the wee hours of the morning and it keeps me from sleeping. It was worse in the summer when I wanted to keep the windows open at night, but it's almost as bad even with them shut tight

A few nights were so bad, I actually filed a formal noise complaint with the police, but they returned the next night and show no signs of moving their party elsewhere.

Has anyone else noticed this or is also being bothered by it?

Comments (9)

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Hey, we live in EPA & I steer clear of the Waverly 7-11 - it's gotten quite bad in recent years. Here are some suggestions:

-Document as much as you can from what you've had to listen to since you moved in- approx time patterns of the noise, any info you have on those responsible, etc.

-Find out who the owner is & get their contact info asap. Be assertive in communicating your complaints w/them. Make sure that you tell them you will NOT patronize their business while this noise is allowed to continue.

-Ditto the police. Speak to an night watch commander & tell them about the issue & ask if they can help resolve it. Go over their heads if need be.

-Contact neighbors & see if they'll get on board w/you re any of the above. It helps to have more people complain.

-If you have a landlord, see if they're willing/able to help. Let them know that this is interfering w/your *legal* right to your covenant of quiet enjoyment of your home. You sound very reasonable, so I suspect that you're aware the area you live in, by nature, is a bit louder than not living downtown. That doesn't preclude the right to quiet enjoyment of your home.

-If you have any type of Neighborhood Watch or tenant group or HOA, of course be in touch w/them as well.

Unfortunately, the above also take time & energy. It's not like you moved next to a nightclub or concert venue where you'd be well aware of the night time noise - this is a small business, for pity's sake.

Sorry to sound bossy about the above - I've learned the hard way that one has to be a squeaky wheel & I'm passionate about the right to enjoy the peace of one's home.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

Every single time I go to that 7-11 ... which has not been very often lately, there are all kinds of noise and I never get out of there without some scruffy looking person asking me for money. I don't know what there is to be done about it. Sorry you have to listen to that, but I'm glad I do not. That 7-11 also has about the worst parking lot of any 7-11 I have ever seen. Not only is it a traffic problem but there is always garbage on the ground. It's a pretty useless business as far as Palo Alto goes, it's not like it does anything but offer lousy products at high prices and a gather place for bums. There should be some kind of regulation about problem businesses where they can be warned and eventually be fined or something?

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Posted by FrustratedResident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Thanks - well my plan is to move away from here as soon as my lease is up next summer. Noise from the convenience store is the last thing that was on my mind when I rented this place - indeed my intention, as single a young professional new to the area, was to live somewhat "close to the action" so I accepted that there might be some extra noise downtown, but this is beyond anything that I would consider to be reasonable.

The police were unhelpful - they said they could only legally do something if there is documented evidence of illegal activity (e.g. drinking in public) which I find hard to believe, since a noise violation is in itself a by-law violation.

It's a shame - that 7-11 is the one eyesore in an otherwise great area.

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Posted by James
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm


Are these guys the typical bums that dominate the Downtown, or are they young gangbanger/wannabe types?

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Posted by 7-11 business
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

There have been convenience stores in the Bay Area with apparently unsustainable business patterns that have been fronts for other activity for more than 50 years. It might be worth having the police check out the buying patterns of "customers" to see if the statistics vary enough from legitimate activity to warrant surveillance.

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Posted by angela
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Did your REALTOR fully disclose the noise you would be hearing from 7-11? Seven-11 has been there for years, and any honest Realtor would have told you about it. If not, you probably have a legal action.

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Posted by JT
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Local Realtors are horrible at disclosure. They should have the mindset that the more you disclose, the more problems you avoid after the sale. But instead they always prepare boiler plate disclosure packets, with little real information. Sure, you get a map showing you where your sexual predators live, but they don't tell you why the foundation cracked or whether it had been repaired. And most of the realtors wouldn't touch an issue like noise from a 7-Eleven. MASSIVE REFORM of the real estate industry is necessary, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Posted by FrustratedResident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I'm a renter, not a homeowner. I highly doubt this was a case of non-disclosure by my landlord, as I've been very pleased with her thus far and has been very responsive for all issues; I doubt she knew this was an issue.

To answer the above question - I don't know if this is the "typical" crowd. What I do know is that it's the exact same group of 4 or 5 people every single night who seem to have claimed the parking lot as their own territory.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I seem to recall that most if not all 7-11s have a "no loitering" sign posted in plain view of the parking lot. Have you ever gone over to the 7-11 in the evening or given them a call and asked them to deal with it, or is this from people who you just believe are in the 7-11 parking lot and may be on the sidewalk or in the parking lot down the street?

If you are a renter you might try putting notes in your neighbor's mailboxes asking them to join you in complaining to the police. When I go by there, because I rarely stop there or buy anything anymore, I always notice people hanging out in front or asking for money, but I do not really recall hearing a lot of noise.

Are you in a posititon to take video or a photo of these people. If so find the 7-11 website and customer support and see if you cannot complain to them that their store is being mismanaged. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall 7-11 as being a sort of Christian company or concerned about community values, or at least wanting to maintain that image ... so a corporate complaint might be effective.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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