Munich neighbours sue to block construction of 'noisy' Kita

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 8 Nov, 2022 Updated Tue 8 Nov 2022 10:55 CEST
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The colourful window of a Kita in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

Four neighbors have sued to stop the building of a new Kita (daycare center) in Munich’s leafy Nymphenburg district.

The feud started when a property management company announced its plans to lease a neighboring property to a private provider of daycare centres for 25 years. 

The four residents initially filed a lawsuit against the building permit, citing the easement that lies on the property earmarked for the Kita.

Such an easement grants a property owner rights to a neighboring property, and thus the ability to protest a noisy construction next door, be it a gas station or inn.

But the noise of children - whether heard in Kitas or on playgrounds - is now regularly classified by courts as tolerable, because it is part of their normal behavior and not something that can be prevented.

A change to Germany’s 'Pollution Control Act' a few years back ruled that kid’s noise - as opposed to other public sounds - could not constitute a "harmful environmental effect".

"Children's noise is socially acceptable, and on this basis the complaints are almost always rejected, unless it is something quite extreme," Wilfried Schober of the Bavarian Municipal Association told local news outlet BR24.

In an estimated 90 percent of similar cases in Bavaria, the Kitas win similar lawsuits in full, said Schober. Sometimes they have to build a noise protection fence or pay the costs for noise protection windows.

The lawsuit - to be ruled upon by Bavaria's highest regional court on Tuesday - comes as Germany faces a drastic shortage of Kita spots, particularly in the western part of the country. A full 384,000 Kita spots are predicted to be missing by 2023, with 250,300 of those in western states such as Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. 

READ ALSO: Germany to be short of 384,000 Kita places 'by 2023'

Vocabulary 

Noise - (die) Lärm

Easement - (die) Grunddienstbarkeit

Inn - (die) Gastwirtschaft

completely - vollumfänglich

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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