El Segundo General Plan - 1992
9. Noise Element
Table of Contents
The State of California has mandated through Title 7, Chapter 3, Article 5, of the California Administrative Code, the requirement that city and county governments adopt a general plan. Government Code Section 65302 (f) requires that the general plan contain a noise element which "identifies and appraises noise problems in the community." In developing a noise element, the community is to recognize the guidelines adopted by the Office of Noise Control in the State Department of Health Services.
This Noise Element is a component of the City of El Segundo's 1992 General Plan. The Element consists of a discussion of the City's setting, an assessment of the noise problems within the City and a statement of goals, policies, and programs designed to minimize existing and foreseeable noise impacts. The Noise Element Existing Conditions Report was the basis for the formulation of the Element's goals, policies, and programs contained herein.
Purpose of Noise
The Noise Element is intended to be used as a guide in public and private development matters related to outdoor noise. The Element will serve as an aid in defining acceptable land uses and as a guideline for compliance with California Noise Insulation Standards. As stated in Government Code Section 65302 (f), the ultimate purpose of noise control policies and programs is to "minimize the exposure of community residents to excessive noise."
Summary of Existing Conditions Report
The City of El Segundo is located approximately 11 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The City is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the north, the City of Hawthorne and unincorporated Los Angeles County on the east, and the City of Manhattan Beach on the south. The main access route to the City of El Segundo is the I-405 Freeway, which runs north to south and is located about 3/4 of a mile east of the City limits. Other major roadways within or bordering the City include: Sepulveda Boulevard, Aviation Boulevard, Rosecrans Avenue, Grand Avenue, El Segundo Boulevard, and the Imperial Highway. Existing CNEL noise contours for the City are shown on Exhibit N-1.
In comparison to other areas in Los Angeles County, the City of El Segundo is heavily affected by major sources of noise. The most dominant component of the City's noise environment is the flight operations at LAX. The City of El Segundo does not have the capability to conduct its own measurement of CNEL contours and, therefore, relies on information provided by LAX and other regional agencies. While the continued retirement of Stage II (older and noisier) aircraft will decrease the number of El Segundo dwellings within the 65 CNEL contour, the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports (DOA) projected increase of passengers from 45.8 million annual passengers (MAP) in 1990 to 65 MAP in year 2000 will offset these technological gains. Furthermore, despite the projection by the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports that the population of El Segundo within the 65 CNEL contour will drop from 8,663 in 1990 to 7,161 in year 2000, a large portion of the City's population will remain affected, making operations at LAX a long-term source of concern.
Although the City of El Segundo has no direct control over airport noise, they can exert their influence on the airport planning authorities for tighter control and enforcement of noise regulations. The City of Los Angeles is currently preparing a master plan for LAX which is expected to be completed in early-to-mid 1993. The master plan is intended to be adopted as an element of the City of Los Angeles General Plan which will analyze present conditions and future scenarios for the airport. The plan will address LAX capacity, safety issues, and the level to which passenger growth should be allowed. Unlike the DOA's old policy of 40 million annual passengers (MAP) which had no mechanism to insure limits on passenger growth, the new plan will set an MAP goal and include implementation measures. Currently the City of Los Angeles does not have an MAP goal. LAX reached a passenger service level of 45.8 MAP in 1990 and the DOA, at least temporarily, abandoned their previous goal of 40 MAP.
Vehicular traffic is another major source of noise. Unlike aircraft noise, which mainly affects the northwestern portion of El Segundo, vehicular noise is spread throughout the City. Streets within the City with adjacent residential uses and noise levels above 65 CNEL include portions of Center Street, Grand Avenue, Main Street, and Mariposa Avenue.
Both Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads operate daily to Chevron and other industries within El Segundo. Although this is a periodic source of noise rather than continuous, like vehicular traffic, railroads typically produce high magnitudes of noise. Currently, the railroads in El Segundo do not travel through residential areas; however, any land use changes must consider these railroad lines as a significant source of noise.
In addition to mobile sources, stationary noise sources, particularly from industry, contribute to ambient noise levels in the City. General population noise and the short-term noise generated by construction are also important sources.
Along with the identification of noise sources and noise impacted areas, planning for new development and transportation should always consider noise-sensitive land uses (schools, hospitals, etc.). The City of El Segundo has adopted exterior and interior noise standards for various land uses and conditions which are contained in Resolution No. 3691 and in Chapter 9.06 of the Municipal Code.
In light of the existing and foreseeable noise environment in the City of El Segundo, and pursuant to Section 65302 (g) of the California Government Code, the City has adopted a goal with policies and programs designed to minimize the effects of these multiple sources of noise.
Goal N1: Provision of a Noise-Safe Environment
Encourage a high quality environment within all parts of the City of El Segundo where the public's health, safety, and welfare are not adversely affected by excessive noise.
It is the objective of the City of El Segundo to ensure that City residents are not exposed to mobile noise levels in excess of the interior and exterior noise standards or the single event noise standards specified in the El Segundo Municipal Code.
Continue to work for the elimination of adverse noise sources, especially from Los Angeles International Airport West Imperial Terminal, and from helicopter and aircraft flyovers.
The City shall implement the Airport Abatement Policy and Program (City Council Resolution No. 3691, adopted May 21, 1991, or any future revisions thereto) in its efforts to minimize noise impacts caused by LAX.
Play an active role in the planning process associated with preparation of the Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan.
Encourage the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports to adopt and maintain a passenger service level goal and implementation program which will minimize the noise impacts to the City of El Segundo.
Continue to work with the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports to reduce the noise-impacted area around Los Angeles International Airport to zero.
Where feasible, the City should use noise barriers to mitigate noise problems that cannot be reduced at their source. Sound walls, berms, and dense landscaping shall be used to reduce exterior noise to levels specified in the City's Noise Ordinance.
Encourage the implementation of an Airport Mitigation Monitor to be funded by the City of Los Angeles, for the purpose of monitoring the negative impacts of LAX on the City of El Segundo.
Encourage the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports to pay the additional costs for new residential construction to provide acoustical treatment to mitigate noise impacts to a level that meets land use compatibility standards.
Consider noise impacts from traffic arterials and railroads, as well as aircraft, when identifying potential new areas for residential land use.
All plans submitted for development review shall depict the Department of Airport's latest available noise contours for LAX and citywide noise contours.
Encourage state inspection and enforcement of noise standards for motor vehicles, including those involved in public transit.
To the degree feasible, monitor noise levels along Sepulveda Boulevard (State Route 1) and, if warranted, work with the state to ensure inspection and enforcement of noise standards for motor vehicles, including public transit.
Encourage the State Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct an active highway noise abatement program with scenic/aesthetic consideration for Sepulveda Boulevard (State Route 1).
To the degree feasible, the City shall participate with DOT in the development of a highway noise abatement program for Sepulveda Boulevard (State Route 1).
Monitor California Department of Transportation and Los Angeles County Transportation Commission noise abatement measures aimed at minimizing noise impacts associated with the I-105 Freeway and the Metro Rail Green Line.
Existing and projected noise environments shall be evaluated when considering alterations to the City circulation system.
Where feasible, the City shall provide adequate setbacks or require noise abatement barriers along the I-105 Freeway in order to protect new development from noise levels above exterior standards.
All new roadways shall incorporate the following noise mitigation measures into their design: alignment, barriers, vertical profile, and lateral separation.
Continue to develop zoning, subdivision, and development controls to prevent future encroachment of noise-sensitive uses into present or planned industrial or transportation system noise-impacted zones where adverse effects cannot be adequately mitigated.
Require review of all new development projects in the City for conformance with California Airport Noise Regulations and California Noise Insulation Standards (CCR Title 24) to ensure interior noise will not exceed acceptable levels.
All new habitable residential construction in areas of the City with an annual CNEL of 60 dBA or higher shall include all mitigation measures necessary to reduce interior noise levels to minimum state standards. Post construction acoustical analysis shall be performed to demonstrate compliance.
Continue to develop and implement City programs to incorporate noise reduction measures into existing residential development where interior noise levels exceed acceptable standards.
It is the objective of the City of El Segundo to ensure that City residents are not exposed to stationary noise levels in excess of El Segundo's Noise Ordinance standards.
Require all new projects to meet the City's Noise Ordinance Standards as a condition of building permit approval.
Address noise impacts in all environmental documents for discretionary approval projects, to insure that noise sources meet City Noise Ordinance standards. These sources may include: mechanical or electrical equipment, truck loading areas, or outdoor speaker systems.
The City shall establish criteria for determining the type and size of projects that should submit a construction-related noise mitigation plan. Noise mitigation plans shall be submitted to the City Engineer for his review and approval prior to issuance of a grading permit. The plan must display the location of construction equipment and how this noise will be mitigated. These mitigation measures may involve noise suppression equipment and/or the use of temporary barriers.
The City shall strictly enforce the El Segundo Municipal Code's time-dependent noise standards for stationary sources. Two of the major sources which shall be closely monitored are industrial facilities and construction activities.
It is the objective of the City of El Segundo that the City maintain intergovernmental coordination and public information programs which are highly efficient in their noise abatement efforts.
Encourage site planning to be consistent with the existing and future noise environment and promote development standards in which noise-sensitive projects and residences are mitigated from major noise sources. Short-term and long-term noise control measures should be formulated in a manner compatible with community needs and expectations.
Noise regulations and standards shall be developed or updated in conformance with the findings of the General Plan.
The City shall conduct an educational campaign to inform the public of the consequences of noise and the actions each person can take to help reduce noise. The City shall provide, if appropriate, educational material, group presentations, news releases, studies, and reports to raise public awareness of the adverse effects of noise.
Work to remove non-conforming land uses (mixed usage such as residential uses in commercial or industrial land use designations) which result in noise incompatibility.
The City shall develop strategies for the orderly implementation of mitigation measures for present noise-impacted areas, such as residential uses adjacent to the industrial uses.
Employ effective noise mitigation techniques through appropriate provisions in the building code, subdivision procedures, and zoning and noise ordinances.
The City shall review and, if necessary, revise the City Noise Ordinance to ensure that proper regulations are being enforced to protect City residents from excessive noise levels from stationary noise sources.
Noise-related zoning regulations shall be revised to be consistent with the Noise Element.
When appropriate, the City shall allocate noise impact mitigation costs to the agency or party responsible for the noise incompatibility.
The City shall use police power to vigorously enforce existing laws relative to noise.
Urge continued federal and state research into noise problems and recommend additional research programs as problems are identified.
The City shall apply for the technical, procedural, and funding assistance available at the state and federal level for noise reduction measures.
Support a continuous effort to evaluate noise levels in the City of El Segundo and to reduce unacceptable noise levels through the planning process.
The City shall join adjacent jurisdictions (e.g. City of Los Angeles, City of Hawthorne, City of Manhattan Beach) and other agencies involved in noise mitigation in a cooperative effort to lessen adverse impacts and reduce noise incompatibilities across city boundaries.