Chapter 9.20


9.20.005    Definitions.

9.20.010    Sound measurement.

9.20.015    Noise limits.

9.20.020    Enforcement.

9.20.025    Noise disturbance prohibited.

9.20.030    Interference in reception.

9.20.035    Variances and permits.

9.20.040    Exceptions.

9.20.045    Chapter additional to other law.

9.20.050    Penalties – Civil enforcement by city.

9.20.055    Severability provision.

9.20.005 Definitions.

(A) “Amplifying equipment” means public address systems, musical instruments and similar devices capable of electronically amplifying sound.

(B) “City” means the city of Cornelius, Oregon.

(C) “Construction” means any and all activity necessary or incidental to the erection, demolition, assembling, altering, installing, repair and/or related activities involving buildings, structures, public or private improvements.

(D) “Domestic power tools” means any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or similar device commonly used in residential applications.

(E) “Emergency work” means work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following severe weather, natural disasters or other unplanned or unanticipated events in order to protect property or persons from exposure to imminent danger.

(F) “Motor vehicle” means vehicle capable of operating on land or water which is designed to be self-propelled or is designed or used for the transport of persons or property; and/or as defined by the Oregon Revised Statutes.

(G) “Noise disturbance” means any sound which:

(1) Injures or endangers the safety or health of humans; or

(2) Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.

(H) “Noise regulations” shall mean, unless the context requires otherwise, the terms of this chapter.

(I) “Noise-sensitive unit” shall include any building or other structure (or portion thereof) containing a residence, place of overnight accommodation, church, day care center, hospital, school, or nursing care center. For the purpose of this definition, “residence” and “overnight accommodation” does not include living/sleeping quarters of a caretaker or watchperson on industrial or commercial property provided by the owner or operator of the industrial or commercial facility.

(J) “Person” means any individual, association (incorporated or otherwise) or other entity including any officer, department, bureau, agency or instrumentality of the United States, a state or political subdivision thereof.

(K) “Plainly audible” means any sound for which any information content of that sound is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as (but not limited to) understandable spoken speech, comprehension of whether a voice is raised or normal or comprehensible musical rhythms can be heard at a distance of 75 feet.

(L) “Warning device” means an electronic device used to protect persons or property from injury or damage, including but not limited to fire alarms, theft alarms, car alarms, and vehicle horns. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.800.]

9.20.010 Sound measurement.

(A) While sound measurements are not required for the enforcement of this chapter, should measurements be made, they shall be made with a sound level meter. The sound level meter:

(1) Shall be an instrument in good operating condition, meeting the requirements of a Type I or Type II meter (per ANSI standards).

(2) Shall contain at least an A weighted scale, and both fast and slow meter response capability.

(B) If measurements are made, the person making those measurements shall have completed training using the sound level meter, and shall use measurement procedures consistent with the training. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.805.]

9.20.015 Noise limits.

It is unlawful for any person to produce, or permit to be produced, with or from a sound-producing source, sound which:

(A) When measured at or within the boundary of a property on which a noise sensitive unit, not the source of the sound, is located, exceeds:

(1) Fifty-five dB at any time between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day; or

(2) Sixty dB at any time between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. the same day.

(B) When measured at or within the boundary of or within a property on which no noise-sensitive unit is located, and the noise originates from outside the property, if the noise level exceeds:

(1) Sixty dB at any time between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day; or

(2) Seventy-five dB at any time between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on a public right-of-way at a distance of at least 100 feet from the source of the sound. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.806; Ord. 882 § 1, 2007]

9.20.020 Enforcement.

The responsibility for the enforcement of this chapter shall reside with the Cornelius city manager or the Cornelius chief of police or their respective designates. All persons empowered to enforce the terms of this chapter shall have, in addition to the powers that may be necessary and proper for the enforcement of these noise regulations:

(A) The ability to enter and inspect any private property or place for violations of these regulations as permitted by state and federal law;

(B) The power to issue summonses, notices of violation or other orders to any person in violation of these regulations; and

(C) To seize items that are in or being used for or in conjunction with a violation of these regulations for evidentiary purposes. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.810.]

9.20.025 Noise disturbance prohibited.

(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue, cause, suffer or permit to be made or continued any noise disturbance as the same is defined in CMC 9.20.010(G) within the city.

(B) The following are deemed to qualify as “noise disturbances” for purposes of subsection (A) of this section and CMC 9.20.010(G), but this enumeration shall not be construed to be exclusive, namely:

(1) Permitting any animal to cause annoyance, or a disturbance at any time by repeated barking, whining, screeching, howling, braying or other sound that is heard beyond the boundary of the owner’s or keeper’s property;

(2) Using any engine, either stationary or moving, so as to create any loud or unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise;

(3) The sounding of any exhaust brake, horn or signal device or any other device on any automobile, motorcycle, truck, bus or other vehicle, except as a danger signal. Exhaust brakes may be applied only during an emergency to stop or slow to avoid a collision;

(4) The erection, excavation, demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the same day;

(5) Sound-producing devices such as, but not limited to, musical instruments, loudspeakers, sound amplifying equipment, public address systems, radios, tape recorders and/or players, compact disc players, phonographs, television sets and stereo systems, including those installed in or on vehicles;

(6) Amplified sound in any outdoor facility except under the following conditions:

(a) Sound levels at the perimeter of the facility do not exceed the maximum levels of this chapter.

(b) Continuous amplified sound may be transmitted only 50 minutes of each hour if a permit to exceed CMC 9.20.015 levels is obtained.

(c) Even if a permit to exceed CMC 9.20.015 levels is obtained, continued amplified sound may not be transmitted more than four hours during any eight-hour block of time during weekends, and not to exceed three hours between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays;

(7) The discharge of fireworks and other explosive devices except as allowed pursuant to the administrative rules of the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office;

(8) The removal or rendering inoperative for purposes other than maintenance, repair or replacement of any noise suppression device on any motor vehicle or other mechanical equipment;

(9) The use of a mechanical device operated by compressed air, steam or otherwise, unless the noise created thereby is effectively muffled;

(10) The use of any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle so out of repair or in such a manner as to create loud or unnecessary sounds, grating, grinding, rattling or other noise;

(11) The operation of a motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause or allow to be emitted squealing, screeching or other such noise from the tires in contact with the ground because of rapid acceleration or deceleration, except that noise resulting from emergency action to avoid imminent danger;

(12) The use of a dynamic braking device engaged except to avoid imminent danger;

(13) The operation of any gong or siren upon any vehicle, other than police, fire or other emergency vehicle, except during sanctioned parades. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.820; Ord. 2020-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020.]

9.20.030 Interference in reception.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or use within the corporate limits of the city any electrical, mechanical or other device, apparatus, instrument or machine that causes interference with radio, television or emergency communication of good engineering design. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.825.]

9.20.035 Variances and permits.

(A) Any person who owns, controls, or operates a sound source, which does or may not comply with the terms of these noise regulations, may apply to the city manager for a variance from the provisions hereof.

(B) The applicant shall be required to pay a fee in the amount approved by resolution of the council for the processing of the variance on a city-approved form. In addition to the application form, the applicant shall provide such information as the city manager deems relevant and necessary to the consideration of the variance, including but not limited to the date, time and nature of the sound source and the reason(s) for the variance.

(C) When reviewing the request for the variance, the city manager shall give consideration to the following three factors:

(1) The geography, zone and population density of the affected area;

(2) Whether the public health, safety and welfare is affected;

(3) Whether compliance with the provisions of the noise regulations from which the variance is sought would produce hardship greater than the benefit that would be produced by the granting of the variance.

(D) Except where the city manager has submitted the matter to the city council consistent with the terms of subsection (F) of this section, he/she shall have 10 business days to consider the variance and may approve, deny or condition the variance with such terms as he/she, in the exercise of reasonable discretion, believes will advance the public’s interest and the purposes of these regulations. Any decision of the city manager shall be in writing. In approving or conditioning a variance, the city manager may also include a requirement for the provision of a bond, letter of credit or other financial security in an amount designed to cover the costs of assuring compliance with or enforcement of the terms of the variance, which bond, letter of credit or other financial device shall be provided to the city at least 24 hours prior to the time of the activity for which the variance is sought.

(E) Failure to comply with the terms of the written variance, including failure to provide financial security, shall be grounds for:

(1) Its immediate revocation by the city manager; and/or

(2) The forfeiture of the bond or other financial security for the costs associated with the city’s activities in assuring compliance with or enforcement of the variance.

(F) The city manager may submit any question arising with respect to the granting of a variance to the city council, which shall consider the matter at a time and place the council believes appropriate. The council shall have all the powers set out in subsection (D) of this section and may approve, deny or condition the variance as they may believe, in the exercise of their discretion, will advance the interests of the city. The decision of the city council shall be final. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.830.]

9.20.040 Exceptions.

Notwithstanding the provisions of CMC 9.20.025, the following sounds are exempted from the provisions of these noise regulations:

(A) Sounds created by activities or events for which a variance from the city manager or city council consistent with the provisions of CMC 9.20.035 has been obtained.

(B) Sounds created by organized athletic or other group activities, when such activities are approved by a government entity to be conducted on its property and the property is generally used for such purposes, such as stadiums, parks, streets, public plazas, schools, fairgrounds, airports and athletic fields. These exceptions do not prohibit the city manager, or his designee, from declaring a specific event or activity in violation of this chapter, or of other laws, ordinances or regulations.

(C) Sounds caused by emergency work, or by ordinary and accepted use of emergency equipment, vehicles and apparatus, regardless of whether such work is performed by a public or private agency, or upon public or private property.

(D) Sounds caused by bona fide use of emergency warning devices and alarm systems.

(E) Sounds regulated by federal law, including, but not limited to, sounds caused by railroads or aircraft.

(F) Sounds caused by demolition activities when performed under a permit issued by appropriate governmental authorities and only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. of the same day.

(G) Sounds caused by industrial, agricultural or construction activities during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. of the same day, other than sounds regulated under subsection (E) of this section, and which do not violate CMC 9.20.025(B)(4).

(H) Sounds caused by regular vehicular traffic upon premises open to the public.

(I) Sounds caused by air-, electrical- or gas-driven domestic tools, including, but not limited to, lawn mowers, lawn edgers, radial arm, circular and table saws, and/or other similar lawn or construction tools, but not including tools used for vehicle repair, during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

(J) Sounds caused by chainsaws, when used for pruning, trimming or cutting of live trees. When used for private woodcutting, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. of the same day.

(K) Sounds caused by non-amplified human voice.

This section shall not be construed to prohibit the use or operation of any such device when necessary for the protection of life or property, for the care or treatment of sick or injured persons, or for the operation of a public utility. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.836; Ord. 2020-05 § 1 (Exh. A), 2020.]

9.20.045 Chapter additional to other law.

The provisions of these noise regulations are cumulative and nonexclusive and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy available to the city or other person. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.840.]

9.20.050 Penalties – Civil enforcement by city.

A violation of these noise regulations is a Class “A” infraction, punishable upon conviction by a fine of not more than $1,000. Each and every day during which any provision of these noise regulations are violated shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to the foregoing, the city may, with the approval of the city manager, maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain the violation of the provisions of these noise regulations. In such an event, the city shall be entitled to the award of its reasonable attorneys’ fees. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.850.]

9.20.055 Severability provision.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of these noise regulations is found to be unconstitutional, or otherwise unenforceable, such determination shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the regulations. [Ord. 875 § 1 (Exh. A), 2006; Code 2000 § 6.860.]