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November 1, 1991

Protecting vibration environments with zoning and land-use ordinances

Historically, the primary purposes of municipal land use zoning ordinances are to protect and promote a desired quality of life and to ensure that incompatible land uses do not occur. Typical environmental quality considerations include water, air, solid waste, and noise. Seldom, if ever, are vibrations considered; when they are, it is often in the form of a vague nuisance ordinance applying only to the effects of vibration on people. A good planning tool is needed for the siting and planning of research and industrial areas containing sensitive high-tech facilities, such as those used in microelectronics manufacturing. These facilities are generally far more sensitive to vibrations than are people. Yet, despite their sensitivity, they are offered no encroachment protection from vibration by zoning ordinances. In most areas, a paper mill might be zoned the same as a wafer fab, yet pose a severe problem for the fab's vibration environment. This paper reviews the vibration issues which should be considered in siting high-technology facilities and proposes some guidelines for ordinances which address these issues.

Nugent, R. E., and H. Amick, "Protecting Vibration Environments with Zoning and Land-Use Ordinances," Vibration Control in Microelectronics, Optics and Metrology, SPIE Proceedings Volume 1619, (November, 1991).