Chapter 9.12


9.12.010    Noise prohibited.

9.12.015    Regulations pertaining to mechanical sweeping devices, parking lot vacuum machines and leaf blowers.

9.12.020    Violation – Penalty.

9.12.030    Violation – Nuisance.

9.12.040    Amplified sound – Permitted when.

9.12.050    Amplified sound – Permit – Application.

9.12.060    Amplified sound – Permit – Hearing.

9.12.070    Enforcement of permit conditions.

9.12.080    Exemptions for public health and safety.

9.12.010 Noise prohibited.

A. It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to make, or permit to be made, any loud, boisterous, irritating, penetrating or unusual noise, or to keep, harbor or maintain, or to permit the keeping, harboring or maintaining of any barking or howling dogs, or to engage in, hold, conduct, operate, or permit the engaging in, holding, conduct or operation of, any business, public meeting or gathering, game, dance, amusement, appliance, contrivance, device, structure, construction, ride, machine, implement, or instrument, the use, engaging in, conduct or operation of which makes a loud, penetrating, irritating, boisterous or unusual noise, within two hundred feet of any residence, hotel, apartment house, cabin, cottage, cottage court, lodging facility or any building or place regularly used for sleeping purposes in the city between the hours of ten p.m. and eight a.m. of any day or days.

B. Except when otherwise specified in a land use permit or building permit issued by the city, any construction activity within the city shall be subject to a construction noise curfew. Construction noise shall be prohibited between the hours of nine p.m. and seven-thirty a.m. on weekdays. Construction noise shall be prohibited on weekends with the exception of Saturday work between nine a.m. and four p.m. or emergency work approved by the building official. (Ord. 883 § 1, 2005; Ord. 27 § 1, 1949)

9.12.015 Regulations pertaining to mechanical sweeping devices, parking lot vacuum machines and leaf blowers.

A. On private property which does not have a residential zoning designation, mechanical sweeping devices, parking lot vacuum machines and leaf blowers may be used exterior to any structure only between the hours of seven a.m. and eleven p.m. on any day of the week within the city.

B. On private property which has a residential zoning designation leaf blowers may be used only between the hours of eight a.m. and five p.m. on weekdays and between the hours of ten a.m. and four p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

C. No person shall operate any leaf blower which does not bear an affixed manufacturer’s label indicating the model number of the leaf blower and designating a noise level not in excess of sixty-five dBA when measured from a distance of fifty feet utilizing American National Standard Institute methodology. Any leaf blower which bears such a manufacturer’s label shall be presumed to comply with any noise level limit of this subsection provided that it is operated with all mufflers and full extension tubes supplied by the manufacturer for that leaf blower. No person shall be found in violation of this subsection until one year after its adoption to allow reasonable time to purchase leaf blowers that comply with these standards.

D. Leaf blower operations shall not cause leaves or other debris to be blown or deposited on any private property other than the parcel, land, or lot upon which the leaf blower is being operated. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a person shall not be in violation of this subsection if he or she, with the consent of the other property owner, removes any such blown leaves or debris within one hour of deposit and disposes of the debris in a sanitary manner which will prevent dispersement by wind, vandalism, or similar means.

E. Leaf blowers shall be in proper working order and all the manufacturer’s noise, emission and dust control equipment on the leaf blower shall remain on the leaf blower and be in sound operating condition.

F. After leaf blower use, debris shall be disposed of in trash, compost or green waste receptacles.

G. Leaf blowers shall not be operated in close proximity to any operable window, door, mechanical air intake opening or duct of any building, or parked vehicle so as to deposit debris within or upon such window, door, opening, duct or vehicle unless the operator of the leaf blower has the permission of the building’s occupant or the vehicle’s owner.

H. The operator of the leaf blower, mechanical sweeping device or parking lot vacuum machine shall be subject to the requirements of this section and responsible for any violations of this section. (Ord. 921 § 1, 2007; Ord. 909 § 2, 2006)

9.12.020 Violation – Penalty.

Violation of any provision of this chapter constitutes a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 27 § 2, 1949)

9.12.030 Violation – Nuisance.

The violation of any provision of this chapter is declared to be a public nuisance, and action may be taken by the city council to abate same by civil action, and the remedy by abatement shall be cumulative. (Ord. 27 § 3, 1949)

9.12.040 Amplified sound – Permitted when.

It is unlawful for any person without a city permit to operate a loudspeaker, public address system or sound amplification system, or to play any musical instrument anywhere in the city except as follows:

A. Sound reproduction within automobiles for the pleasure and entertainment of the occupants of such automobiles; provided, however, that the sound reproduction shall not be amplified beyond the reasonable necessity of the occupants of such automobiles, nor to a level which a nonoccupant of ordinary sensibilities would find bothersome;

B. The operation of sound reproduction or broadcasting equipment within the dwelling for the pleasure and entertainment of the occupants of such dwelling; provided, however, that the reception shall not be amplified to a level which persons of ordinary sensibility located on another property or in another dwelling would find bothersome;

C. The use of such equipment or musical instruments outside of automobiles or dwelling houses between the hours of nine a.m. and nine p.m. on private property for the private entertainment of people, provided it cannot be heard on any other property;

D. The use of such equipment or musical instruments by duly authorized agents of the city or other governmental bodies or their agents in connection with activities related to health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 745 § l (part), 1992; Ord. 370 § 1, 1973)

9.12.050 Amplified sound – Permit – Application.

Any person desiring to obtain a permit for activities otherwise prohibited under Section 9.12.040 shall file a written application with the city, stating the name and address of the applicant, the reason why he or she desires the permit, the place where the permit will be used, the particular time when the permit will be used, the type of amplification equipment or musical instruments that will be used, the number of people involved, and any other information required by the city manager. Said application shall be filed with the clerk. (Ord. 745 § 1, 1992; Ord. 370 § 2, 1973)

9.12.060 Amplified sound – Permit – Hearing.

The clerk shall present any application received to the council at its next regular meeting and after a hearing thereon, the council in its discretion may grant or deny such application, and if the council grants same, it shall prescribe such terms and conditions for the exercise of the permit as it may deem necessary to ensure that other persons of normal sensibilities are not subject to bothersome sound levels. (Ord. 745 § 1, 1992; Ord. 370 § 3, 1973)

9.12.070 Enforcement of permit conditions.

The city council, after three days’ notice to the permit holder, may revoke or amend the conditions of any permit it determines has been violated. If a Capitola police officer determines that the conditions of a permit are being violated, he or she may immediately order the cessation of all amplification for a specified time, not longer than the next meeting available for the city council to review the permit. Disobedience of the officer’s order shall be punishable as provided in Section 1.01.090 and Title 4 of this code. (Ord. 955 § 12, 2011; Ord. 745 § 1, 1992; Ord. 370 § 4, 1973)

9.12.080 Exemptions for public health and safety.

A. This chapter shall not apply to refuse collection, recyclable collection, beach maintenance or street sweeping activities undertaken by, or pursuant to contract with, the city of Capitola. Similarly, this chapter shall not apply to any other activity undertaken by the city, or city contractor for public health and safety purposes when, in the judgment of the city, such activity cannot be undertaken effectively or efficiently in compliance with the regulations set forth in this chapter.

B. The noise curfew regulations set forth in Section 9.12.010 shall not apply to any person engaged in performance of a contract for public works awarded by the city of Capitola or other governmental agency where the city of Capitola director of public works determines that the project has the potential to disrupt traffic and that this disruption could be alleviated by authorizing construction work during noise curfew hours or that due to time constraints on project completion it is necessary to allow the contractor to work during noise curfew hours.

C. This chapter shall not apply to any person engaged in performance of a contract for public works awarded by the city of Capitola or another governmental agency in the event of emergency and if the city manager of Capitola so authorizes such work. (Ord. 957 § 1, 2011)