Chapter 9.30
NOISE CONTROL Revised 9/22


9.30.010    Declaration of policy.

9.30.020    Definitions.

9.30.030    Basic noise regulation.

9.30.040    Permit to exceed noise levels.

9.30.050    Enforcement.

9.30.060    Violation—Penalty.

9.30.070    Exempt activities. Revised 9/22

9.30.010 Declaration of policy.

In accordance with the General Plan of the City which calls for the “maintenance and enhancement of quality residential areas,” it is declared that the policy of the City is to protect the peace, health and safety of its citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable noises produced by any machine, person or device. It shall also be the City’s policy to continuously evaluate the noise levels specified in the body of this chapter and adjust them as quieter equipment becomes available or as demanded by State and Federal requirements. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A.    “Ambient” means the lowest sound level repeating itself during a six-minute period, using the A scale, and with the sound meter set on “slow.” For the purpose of this chapter, in no case shall the ambient be considered less than thirty-five dBA. In cases in which the ambient level cannot be determined by field observation, the diagram showing existing noise levels contained in the General Plan Noise Element shall establish the appropriate ambient level.

B.    “Emergency” means an unforeseen combination of circumstances which require immediate action.

C.    “Noise level” means the maximum continuous sound level or repetitive peak level measured using the A scale set on “slow.”

D.    “Precision sound level meter” means a device for measuring sound level in decibel units according to the American National Standards Institute.

E.    “Sound level” shall be expressed in decibels (dBA) as defined by the American National Standards Institute using the A-level scale.

F.    “Vehicle” means any device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved or drawn upon a highway or street or private property. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.030 Basic noise regulation.

Except as otherwise permitted under this chapter, no person shall cause and no property owner shall permit, as to property owned by him, a noise produced by any person, amplified sound or device, or any combination thereof in excess of the noise limits established in Table 18.21.050-A to emanate from any property, public or private, as measured at the receiving property line. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.040 Permit to exceed noise levels.

A.    The City Planner may grant an emergency permit to waive time and noise level limitations on equipment when it is required to protect lives or property.

B.    Special events or circumstances may warrant temporary exception to noise levels established in this chapter. In such cases application for a permit may be made to the City Planner, stating in writing: (1) the name, address and telephone number of the property owner responsible for the activity; and (2) the purpose for which such permit is applied for, the date and beginning and ending time thereof, and a description of the sound-producing or sound-amplifying device to be used, together with a full statement of facts justifying noncompliance. Such permits shall be issued or denied based upon a balancing of the interests of the applicant against those of surrounding residents, and shall include consideration of duration of the permit, frequency of occurrence, number of persons benefited by the activity, and other similar factors.

C.    Any applicant desiring to appeal from a denial of a permit by the City Planner shall notify the City Clerk of such appeal within ten days of the denial. The appeal shall be to the City Council. The City Council shall either affirm, overrule or modify the decision of the City Planner, based upon the factors set forth in this chapter.

D.    All permits issued under this chapter shall be issued for a limited time period, except that permits for recurring athletic and social events sponsored by schools, churches or similar organizations may be issued for periods of twelve months.

E.    The City may set a fee for this permit by resolution. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.050 Enforcement.

Enforcement of this chapter shall fall under the jurisdiction of the San Carlos Police Department. The Department shall investigate alleged violations of the chapter on a complaint basis. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.060 Violation—Penalty.

Violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. At the discretion of the Police Chief, the violation may be treated as an infraction punishable by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars for each violation. A violation of this chapter shall also be deemed to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)

9.30.070 Exempt activities. Revised 9/22

The following noise-generating activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A.    Transportation facilities, such as freeways, airports, buses and railroads;

B.    Construction activities; such activities, however, shall be limited to the hours of eight (8:00) a.m. to five (5:00) p.m. Monday through Friday, and nine (9:00) a.m. to five (5:00) p.m. on Saturdays. No construction noise-related activities on Sundays and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, 4th of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. All gasoline-powered construction equipment shall be equipped with an operating muffler or baffling system as originally provided by the manufacturer, and no modification to these systems is permitted (the Building Official shall have the authority to grant exceptions to construction noise-related activities);

C.    Home workshop and gas-powered gardening equipment; such activities, however, shall be limited to the hours of eight a.m. to sunset Monday through Friday, and ten a.m. to sunset on Saturday, Sunday and holidays stated in subsection B of this section;

D.    Public works and public utilities activities; such activities, however, shall be limited to the hours set forth under subsection B of this section, except for emergency situations (the Public Works Director shall have the authority to grant exceptions to public works and public utilities construction noise-related activities);

E.    Emergency vehicles;

F.    Solid waste pickup; such activities, however, shall be limited to the hours of collection set forth under the applicable franchise agreement for solid waste pickup, recyclable materials pickup and/or organic materials pickup as may be restricted for residential, commercial and City facilities. (Ord. 1586 § 2, 2022; Ord. 1439 § 4 (Exh. B (part)), 2011: Ord. 1086 § 1 (part), 1991)