Chapter 8.16


8.16.010  Declaration of policy.

8.16.020  Prohibited generally.

8.16.030  Enumeration of public nuisances.

8.16.040  Exemptions.

8.16.050  Persons responsible.

Prior ordinance history: Ords. 151 and 415.

8.16.010 Declaration of policy.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City of Escalon that the peace, health, safety and welfare of its citizens require protection from loud and raucous noises from any and all sources in the community, except those which are exempted from this section. (Ord. 458, 2001)

8.16.020 Prohibited generally.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or knowingly make, continue or cause to be made any loud and raucous noise.

1. The term “loud and raucous noise” shall mean any sound which, because of its volume level, duration, or character, annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace, or safety of a reasonable person of ordinary sensibility within the limits of the city.

2. The term “loud and raucous noise” specifically includes, but is not limited to, the kinds of noise generated by the activities enumerated in EMC 8.16.030. The term “loud and raucous noise” specifically excludes the kinds of noise generated by the activities described in EMC 8.16.040.

B. For any kind of noise not enumerated in EMC 8.16.030, the factors which may be considered in determining whether a violation of the provisions of this section exists may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

1. The volume of the noise;

2. Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual;

3. Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural;

4. The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any;

5. The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities;

6. The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates;

7. The density of the inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates;

8. The time of the day or night the noise occurs;

9. The day of the week the noise occurs;

10. The duration of the noise;

11. Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent, or constant; and

12. Whether the noise is produced by a commercial or noncommercial activity. (Ord. 458, 2001)

8.16.030 Enumeration of public nuisances.

The following specific acts, subject to the exemptions provided in EMC 8.16.040, are declared to be public nuisances in violation of EMC 8.16.020, namely:

A. The loud and raucous discharge into the open air of the steam of any steam equipment or exhaust from any stationary internal-combustion engine;

B. The loud and raucous use or operation of any radio, amplifier, phonograph, stereo, compact disc or tape player, loudspeaker, bullhorn, megaphone or other device for the producing or reproducing of sound;

C. Loud and raucous yelling, shouting, talking, whistling or singing between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on any day;

D. The owning, possessing, controlling, harboring, or keeping of any dog, cat, or other animal or fowl which by howling, yelping, whining, barking, or otherwise causes a loud and raucous noise;

E. The loud and raucous use of any drum, guitar, horn or other musical instrument or device;

F. The loud and raucous operation or use of any of the following before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. daily (except Saturday and Sunday and state or federal holidays, when the prohibited time shall be before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.):

1. A hammer, or any other device or implement used to pound or strike an object;

2. An impact wrench or other tool or equipment powered by compressed air;

3. A hand-powered saw;

4. Any tool or piece of equipment powered by an internal-combustion engine such as, but not limited to, chain saw, backpack blower, and lawn mower. Except as included in subsection (F)(6) of this section, motor vehicles, powered by an internal-combustion engine and subject to the California Vehicle Code, are excluded from this prohibition;

5. Any electrically powered (whether by alternating current electricity or by direct current electricity) tool or piece of equipment used for cutting, drilling, or shaping wood, plastic, metal, or other materials or objects, such as, but not limited to, a saw, drill, lathe or router;

6. Any of the following: heavy equipment (such as but not limited to bulldozer, steam shovel, road grader, back hoe), ground drilling and boring equipment (such as but not limited to derrick or dredge), hydraulic crane, and boom equipment, portable power generator or pump, pavement equipment (such as but not limited to pneumatic hammer, pavement breaker, tamper, compacting equipment), pile-driving equipment, vibrating roller, sand blaster, gunite machine, trencher, concrete truck and hot kettle pump;

7. Any construction, demolition, excavation, erection, alteration, or repair activity;

8. In the case of necessity and/or in the interest of public health, safety or convenience, the chief building official may issue a permit for exemption from the requirements within subsection F of this section. Such period shall not exceed three working days in length but may be renewed for successive periods. The chief building official may limit such permit as to time of use and/or permitted action, depending upon the nature of the circumstances and the type of action requested;

G. Unless permitted by an approved conditional use permit by the planning commission or otherwise approved by the city planner, outdoor activities that involve the operation of commercial vehicles and diesel operated equipment, other than for the purposes specifically stated in subsection F of this section, shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. Warm-up and maintenance activities of said vehicles and equipment are specifically prohibited before or after these hours. When considering modification of these hours, the approving body shall consider the factors enumerated in EMC 8.16.020;

H. The operation of motorized dirt and trail motorcycles, go-carts and other nonroad-rated vehicles are specifically prohibited at all times within city limits. (Ord. 458, 2001)

8.16.040 Exemptions.

The term “loud and raucous noise” as used in this chapter does not include noise or sound generated by the following:

A. Cries for emergency assistance and warning calls;

B. Radios, sirens, horns and bells on police, fire, and other emergency response vehicles;

C. Parades and other special events for which a permit has been obtained from the city are exempted, provided there is compliance with all conditions which have been noted in writing on the permit. That loud and raucous noise produced as a result of noncompliance with any condition specified on the permit is not exempted from the requirements of this chapter;

D. “Safe and sane” fireworks, provided the person is in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations concerning the use of fireworks;

E. Activities on or in publicly owned property and facilities, or by public employees while in the authorized discharge of their responsibilities, are exempt; provided, that such activities have been authorized by the owner of such property or facilities or its agent or by the employing authority;

F. Religious worship activities, including, but not limited to, bells, organs, singing and preaching;

G. Locomotives and other railroad equipment, and aircraft;

H. The collection of solid waste is exempted to the extent that the noise of such collection is regulated by EMC 8.08.050. That noise not covered by EMC 8.08.050 is not exempted from the requirements of this chapter;

I. Street sweeping by city-owned or operated street sweepers;

J. Noise from industrial processors who are doing business as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 458, 2001)

8.16.050 Persons responsible.

Any person, owner, agent, manager or supervisor in charge of operating, ordering, directing or allowing the operation or maintenance of any device, object, machine or animal creating a noise as prohibited in this chapter shall be deemed guilty of an infraction for each violation of this chapter. (Ord. 458, 2001)