Inglewood spent millions soundproofing wealthier homes from LAX noise

Lower-income areas appear to have been left out of the city’s soundproofing program, a news report shows
May 24, 2019 08:00AM

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts

Inglewood has spent millions of public dollars to soundproof homes from the rumble caused by low-flying planes heading into and out of Los Angeles International Airport, but some neighborhoods have been ignored.

A Los Angeles Times analysis found that lower-income areas where noise from planes is louder haven’t received as much attention as wealthier neighborhoods.

Inglewood, home of the future $2.6 billion L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers stadium, has received $400 million in soundproofing funds over the last several decades from the federal government and L.A. World Airports, which runs LAX.

Around five years ago, the city adopted a housing plan to soundproof all homes within the LAX flight path. Wealthier areas have been soundproofed first, including areas technically outside the flight path. Mayor James T. Butts said the city had a deadline to spend those funds and decided to soundproof those homes first.

Decades ago, city officials decided to rezone a residential area in the blighted western part of the city — where air traffic is loudest — to industrial. The city has purchased and demolished some homes using noise abatement funds but other homes remain, the Times reported.

The rezoning means the city can’t spend money to improve or soundproof the remaining homes, leaving residents dealing with jet noise that can reach 90 decibels. One neighborhood where the funds cannot be used has around 1,200 homes.

Some of that money has purchased and cleared land suitable for retail and office space, including the land where the Century Plaza shopping center was built. [LAT]Dennis Lynch