Chapter 8.30
NOISE

Sections:

8.30.010    Offensive noise.

8.30.020    Subsequent offense within 48 hours.

8.30.030    Exceptions.

8.30.010 Offensive noise.

(A)    No person shall make, cause, suffer, or permit to be made any offensive noise.

(B)    “Offensive noise” means any noise which is loud, boisterous, irritating, penetrating, or unusual, or that is unreasonably distracting in any other manner such that it is likely to disturb people of ordinary sensitivities in the vicinity of such noise, and includes, but is not limited to, noise made by an individual alone or by a group of people engaged in any business, activity, meeting, gathering, game, dance, or amusement, or by any appliance, contrivance, device, tool, structure, construction, vehicle, ride, machine, implement, or instrument.

(C)    The following factors shall be considered when determining whether a violation of the provisions of this section exists:

(1)    Loudness (Intensity) of the Sound.

(a)    Day and Evening Hours. For purposes of this factor, a noise shall be automatically considered offensive if it occurs between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and it is:

(i)    Clearly discernible at a distance of 150 feet from the property line of the property from which it is broadcast; or

(ii)    In excess of 75 decibels at the edge of the property line of the property from which the sound is broadcast, as registered on a sound measuring instrument meeting the American National Standard Institute’s Standard S1.4-1971 (or more recent revision thereof) for Type 1 or Type 2 sound level meters, or an instrument which provides equivalent data.

A noise not reaching this intensity of volume may still be found to be offensive depending on consideration of the other factors outlined below.

(b)    Night Hours. For purposes of this factor, a noise shall be automatically considered offensive if it occurs between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. and it is:

(i)    Made within 100 feet of any building or place regularly used for sleeping purposes; or

(ii)    Clearly discernible at a distance of 100 feet from the property line of the property from which it is broadcast; or

(iii)    In excess of 60 decibels at the edge of the property line of the property from which the sound is broadcast, as registered on a sound measuring instrument meeting the American National Standard Institute’s Standard S1.4-1971 (or more recent revision thereof) for Type 1 or Type 2 sound level meters, or an instrument which provides equivalent data.

A noise not reaching this intensity of volume may still be found to be offensive depending on consideration of the other factors outlined below.

(2)    Pitch (frequency) of the sound, e.g., very low bass or high screech;

(3)    Duration of the sound;

(4)    Time of day or night;

(5)    Necessity of the noise, e.g., garbage collecting, street repair, permitted construction activities;

(6)    The level of customary background noise, e.g., residential neighborhood, commercial zoning district, etc.; and

(7)    The proximity to any building regularly used for sleeping purposes.

(D)    Prior to issuing a citation for this section, the responsible person or persons will be warned by a law enforcement officer or other designated official that the noise at issue is offensive and constitutes a violation of this chapter. A citation may be issued if, after receiving the warning, the responsible person(s) continues to make or resumes making the same or similar offensive noise(s) within three months of the warning. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (C)(1) of this section, enforcement of violations under this chapter shall not require the use of a sound level meter.

(1)    For purposes of this section “responsible person or persons” means a person or persons with a right of possession in the property from which the offensive noise is emanating, including, but not limited to, an owner or a tenant of the property if the offensive noise is coming from private property, or a permittee if the offensive noise is coming from a permitted gathering on public property, or any person accepting responsibility for such offensive noise. “Responsible person or persons” shall additionally include the landlord of another responsible party and the parents and/or legal guardians of a responsible person under the age of 18 years. [Ord. 5255 § 1, 2017; Ord. 5205 § 1, 2015; Ord. 4001 § 1, 1989].

8.30.020 Subsequent offense within 48 hours.

Any person who violates any section of this chapter and is cited for such a violation, and who within 48 hours after receiving such a citation again violates the same section, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person is cited for a violation when he or she is issued and signs an infraction or misdemeanor citation, or when he or she is arrested and booked, or when a complaint is filed and the person is notified of the filing of such a complaint. [Ord. 4001 § 1, 1989].

8.30.030 Exceptions.

(A)    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any noise from any specific type of activity for which special noise regulations are provided by any other provision of the County Code.

(B)    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any noise caused by farming operations carried out on any land designated within the Santa Cruz County General Plan for commercial agricultural use. [Ord. 4001 § 1, 1989].