Chapter 10.28

*    Editor’s Note: Prior ordinance history: Ord. 3 (1969) and part of an unnumbered ordinance dated August 28, 1972.


10.28.010    Definitions.

10.28.030    Environmental designations.

10.28.040    Maximum permissible environmental noise levels.

10.28.050    Exemptions from Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

10.28.060    Exemptions from Sections 10.28.040(b) and 10.28.145.

10.28.070    Exemptions from Section 10.28.040 relating to noise reception in Class A EDNAs and from Section 10.28.145.

10.28.080    Exemptions from all provisions of Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145.

10.28.085    Exemptions from all provisions of Section 10.28.145.

10.28.090    Variances – Granting when.

10.28.100    Variances – Implementation schedule.

10.28.110    Variances – Issuance – Hearings when.

10.28.120    Variances – Noise sources with overriding considerations for.

10.28.130    Measurement.

10.28.140    Enforcement policy.

10.28.145    Public disturbance noises.

10.28.146    Enforcement of public disturbance noises.

10.28.150    Violation – Penalty.

10.28.010 Definitions.

(a)    “Background sound level” means the level of all sounds in a given environment, independent of the specific source being measured.

(b)    “dBa” means the sound pressure level in decibels measured using the “A” weighting network on a sound level meter. The sound pressure level, in decibels, of a sound is twenty times the logarithm to the base ten of the pressure of twenty micropascals.

(c)    “EDNA” means the environmental designation for noise abatement, being an area or zone (environment) within which maximum permissible noise levels are established.

(d)    “Noise” means the intensity, duration and character of sounds, from any and all sources.

(e)    “Person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, governmental body, state agency or other entity whatsoever.

(f)    “Property boundary” means an imaginary line exterior to any enclosed structure, at ground surface, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, and its vertical extension.

(g)    “Racing event” means any motor vehicle competition conducted under a permit issued by a governmental authority having jurisdiction or, if such permit is not required, then under the auspices of a recognized sanctioning body.

(h)    “Receiving property” means real property within which the maximum permissible noise levels specified herein shall not be exceeded from sources outside such property.

(i)    “Sound level meter” means a device which measures sound pressure levels and conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 as specified in the American National Standards Institute Specification S1.4-1971.

(j)    “Watercraft” means any contrivance, excluding aircraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation or recreation on water.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 2, 1975)

10.28.030 Environmental designations.

For purposes of establishing noise limitations, the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County shall be classified in accordance with Kitsap County zoning ordinance codified in Title 17, and any amendments thereto, as follows:

(a)    Residential Zones. Class A EDNA residential zones shall include the following:

(1)    All single-family residential zones;

(2)    All multiple-family residential zones;

(3)    Residential mobile home zone;

(4)    Agricultural zone;

(5)    Forestry zone;

(6)    Undeveloped land zone.

(b)    Commercial Zones. Class B EDNA commercial zones shall include the following:

(1)    Business neighborhood zone;

(2)    Business general zone;

(3)    Commercial zone;

(4)    Light manufacturing zone.

(c)    Industrial Zones. Class C EDNA industrial zones shall include the following: Manufacturing zone.

Nonconforming uses, as defined by Chapter 17.460 of the Kitsap County Zoning Ordinance, and any amendments thereto, shall be classified according to the actual use of the property under the above EDNA classifications. The maximum permissible noise level for a nonconforming use shall be that level which is applicable to the EDNA classification of the nonconforming use limited by the EDNA of the receiving property.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 3, 1975)

10.28.040 Maximum permissible environmental noise levels.

(a)    The noise limitations established are as set forth in the following table after any applicable adjustments provided for herein are applied:




Class A

Class B

Class C

Class A

55 dBA

57 dBA

60 dBA

Class B




Class C




(b)    Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., the noise limitations of the foregoing table shall be reduced by 10 dBA for receiving property within Class A EDNAs.

(c)    At any hour of the day or night, the applicable noise limitations in subsections (a) and (b) of this section may be exceeded for any receiving property by no more than:

(1)    5 dBA for a total of fifteen minutes in any one-hour period; or

(2)    10 dBA for a total of five minutes in any one-hour period; or

(3)    15 dBA for a total of 1.5 minutes in any one-hour period.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 4, 1975)

10.28.050 Exemptions from Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The following shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.:

(1)    Sounds originating from residential property relating to temporary projects for the maintenance or repair of homes, grounds and appurtenances;

(2)    Sounds created by the discharge of firearms on authorized shooting ranges;

(3)    Sounds created by blasting;

(4)    Sounds created by aircraft engine testing and maintenance not related to flight operations, provided that aircraft testing and maintenance shall be conducted at remote sites whenever possible;

(5)    Sounds created by the installation or repair of essential utility services.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 2, 1995: Ord. 3-A (1975)q § 5(a), 1975)

10.28.060 Exemptions from Sections 10.28.040(b) and 10.28.145.

The following shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 10.28.040(b) and 10.28.145:

(1)    Noise from electrical substations and existing stationary equipment used in the conveyance of water by a utility;

(2)    Noise from existing industrial installations which exceed the standards contained in these regulations and which, over the previous three years, have consistently operated in excess of fifteen hours per day as a consequence of process necessity and/or demonstrated routine normal operation. Changes in working hours, which would affect exemptions under this regulation, require approval of the Kitsap County commissioners, or their duly authorized representatives.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 3, 1995: Ord. 3-A (1975) § 5(b), 1975)

10.28.070 Exemptions from Section 10.28.040 relating to noise reception in Class A EDNAs and from Section 10.28.145.

The following shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 10.28.040, and from the provisions of Section 10.28.145, except insofar as such provisions relate to the reception of noise within Class A EDNAs between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.:

(1)    Sounds originating from temporary construction sites as a result of construction activity;

(2)    Sounds originating from forest harvesting and silvicultural activity.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 4, 1995: Ord. 3-A (1975) § 5(c), 1975)

10.28.080 Exemptions from all provisions of Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145.

The following shall be exempt from all provisions of Sections 10.28.040 and 10.28.145:

(1)    Sounds created by motor vehicles when regulated by WAC Chapter 173-62 and motor vehicles, licensed or unlicensed when operated off public highways except when such sounds are received in Class A EDNAs;

(2)    Sounds originating from aircraft in flight and sounds that originate at airports which are directly related to flight operations;

(3)    Sounds created by surface carriers engaged in interstate commerce by railroad;

(4)    Sounds created by warning devices not operating continuously for more than five minutes, or bells, chimes and carillons;

(5)    Sounds created by safety and protective devices where noise suppression would defeat the intent of the device or is not economically feasible;

(6)    Sounds created by emergency equipment and work necessary in the interests of law enforcement or for health, safety or welfare of the community;

(7)    Sounds originating from motor vehicle racing events at existing, authorized facilities;

(8)    Sounds originating from officially sanctioned parades and other public events;

(9)    Sounds from existing refrigeration equipment for preservation of retail food goods;

(10)    Sounds emitted from petroleum refinery boilers during the startup of the boilers; provided that the startup operation is performed during daytime hours whenever possible;

(11)    (Repealed);

(12)    Sounds caused by a natural phenomena and unamplified human voices;

(13)    Sounds created by the discharge of legal fireworks only during the specific days, times and locations where discharge is allowable pursuant to existing state and local law.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 5, 1995: Ord. 133-A (1992) § 45, 1992: Ord. 133 (1989) § 45, 1989: Ord. 3-A (1975) § 5(d), 1975)

10.28.085 Exemptions from all provisions of Section 10.28.145.

The following shall be exempt from all provisions of Section 10.28.145 but not thereby made exempt from other applicable ordinances:

(1)    Sounds commonly associated with an existing commercial operation which has been approved through a public hearing process and is operating in compliance with all permit conditions relating to noise;

(2)    Sounds commonly associated with an existing commercial operation which was established prior to the effective date of any land use regulation(s) and is thereby nonconforming.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 6, 1995)

10.28.090 Variances – Granting when.

Variances may be granted by the Kitsap County commissioners, or their duly authorized representatives, to any person from any particular requirement of this chapter, if findings are made that immediate compliance with such requirement cannot be achieved because of special circumstances rendering immediate compliance unreasonable in light of economic or physical factors, encroachment upon an existing noise source, or because of nonavailability of feasible technology or control methods. Any such variance or renewal thereof shall be granted only for the minimum time period found to be necessary under the facts and circumstances.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 6(a), 1975)

10.28.100 Variances – Implementation schedule.

An implementation schedule for achieving compliance with this chapter shall be incorporated into any variance issued.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 6(b), 1975)

10.28.110 Variances – Issuance – Hearings when.

Variances shall be issued only upon application in writing and after providing such information as may be requested. No variance shall be issued for a period of more than thirty days except upon due notice to the public with opportunity to comment. Public hearings may be held, when substantial public interest is shown, at the discretion of the issuing agency.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 6(c), 1975)

10.28.120 Variances – Noise sources with overriding considerations for.

Sources of noise, subject to this chapter, upon which construction begins after the effective date of this chapter, shall immediately comply with the requirements of this chapter except in extraordinary circumstances where overriding considerations of public interest dictate the issuance of a variance.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 6(d), 1975)

10.28.130 Measurement.

Noise measurement for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of Section 10.28.040 shall be measured in dBA with a sound level meter with the point of measurement being at any point within the receiving property; provided, however, a violation of this chapter may occur without the above noise measurements being made.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 7, 1975)

10.28.140 Enforcement policy.

(a)    Compliance with this chapter may be enforced by mandatory injunction brought by the owner or owners of land lying within the area affected by any violation of this chapter, or the prosecuting attorney may commence an action or proceeding for abatement and enjoinment thereof, in the manner provided by law, and shall apply to such court as may have jurisdiction to grant such relief as will abate, restrain and enjoin the violation.

(b)    Any person, violating the provisions of this chapter, in addition to the penalties provided for in Section 10.28.150, shall, by order of the court in such action, be ordered to forthwith abate and remove such nuisance; and if the same is not done by such offender within twenty-four hours, the same shall be abated and removed under the direction of the officer authorized by order of the court, which order of abatement shall be entered upon the docket of the court and made a part of the judgment in the action. Any such offender shall be liable for all costs and expenses of the abatement when such nuisance has been abated by any officer or authorized agent of Kitsap County; the costs and expenses shall be taxed as part of the costs of the prosecution against the offender, liable to be recovered as other costs are recovered, and in all cases where the officer is authorized by the court to abate any such nuisance, he shall keep an account of all expenses attending such abatement; and in addition to other powers given to collect such costs and expenses, Kitsap County may bring suit for the same in any court of competent jurisdiction against the offender carrying on the nuisance so abated.

(c)    In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this chapter or by law, any violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a Class I civil infraction. Each violation shall constitute a separate infraction for each and every day or portion thereof during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. Infractions shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Enforcement Ordinance (Chapter 2.116 of this code).

(Ord. 3-D (1997) § 1, 1997: Ord. 3-A (1975) § 9, 1975)

10.28.145 Public disturbance noises.

It is unlawful for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of real or personal property to allow to originate from such property, a public disturbance noise. Provided, that owners or possessors of real property shall not be responsible for public disturbance noises created by trespassers. The following sounds are public disturbance noises:

(1)    Frequent, repetitive or continuous sound of any horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law;

(2)    Frequent, repetitive, or continuous sounds from starting, operating, repairing, rebuilding, or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, dirt bike, or other off-highway vehicle, or any internal combustion engine, within a rural or residential district, and which unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of owners or possessors of real property in the area affected by such noise;

(3)    Use of a sound amplifier or other device capable of producing or reproducing amplified sound upon public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or sales or for attracting the attention of the public to any vehicle, structure, or property or the contents therein except as permitted by law, except that vendors whose sole method of selling is from a moving vehicle shall be exempt from this subsection;

(4)    Any loud and raucous sound made by use of a musical instrument, whistle, sound amplifier, or other device capable of producing or reproducing sound which emanates frequently, repetitively or continuously from any building, structure or property, such as sound originating from a band session, tavern operation, or social gathering, and which unreasonably disturb, or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of possessors of real property in the area affected by such noise;

(5)    Noise from portable or motor vehicle audio equipment, such as a tape player, radio or compact disc player, while in park areas, residential and commercial zones, or any area where residences, schools, human service facilities, or commercial establishments are in obvious proximity to the source of the sound, and where the volume of such audio equipment is such that it can be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of fifty feet or more from the source of the sound; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to persons operating portable audio equipment within a public park pursuant to an event sanctioned by a responsible authority under valid permit or license.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 7, 1995)

10.28.146 Enforcement of public disturbance noises.

(a)    The county sheriff’s office shall enforce the provisions of Section 10.28.145. Evidence of sound level through the use of a sound level meter reading shall not be necessary to establish the commission of the offense. Provisions of Section 10.28.145 shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy including any prosecution for violation of sections regulating environmental noise.

(b)    For public disturbance noise that is not related to motor vehicles and noise emanating from vehicles, enforcement may be undertaken only upon receipt of a complaint made by a person residing or who is employed in an area affected by a public disturbance noise, except as provided in Section 10.28.145(5) in which event enforcement shall be undertaken upon complaint made by any person affected by the public disturbance noise.

(c)    The subsections of Section 10.28.145 relating to motor vehicles and noise emanating from vehicles may be subject to enforcement with or without a citizen’s complaint.

(Ord. 3-B (1995) § 8, 1995)

10.28.150 Violation – Penalty.

Inasmuch as this chapter is for the benefit of the life, health, welfare and safety of the inhabitants of the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County, and is passed under the power given to the county commissioners by the state, it is a misdemeanor to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any amendments thereto, and such violation shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than ninety days, or by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars. Each day charged shall constitute a separate offense. The prosecuting attorney shall have discretion in each violation of this chapter to proceed with prosecution, either criminally in accordance with this section or civilly in accordance with Section 10.28.140, or both.

(Ord. 3-A (1975) § 8, 1975)