Chapter 6.32
NOISE LEVELS

Sections:

6.32.010    DEFINITIONS.

6.32.040    ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND - MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE LEVELS.

6.32.050    MEASUREMENT OF SOUND.

6.32.060    POSITION OF ADMINISTRATOR ESTABLISHED.

6.32.070    VARIANCE PROCEDURE.

6.32.090    APPEAL TO SUPERIOR COURT.

6.32.110    PUBLIC DISTURBANCE NOISES.

6.32.115    BELLS, CHIMES OR CARILLONS.

6.32.120    VIOLATIONS - CIVIL PENALTY, CRIMINAL PENALTY.

6.32.010 DEFINITIONS.

All technical terminology used in this chapter not defined herein shall be interpreted in conformance with American National Standards Institute Specifications, Sections 1.1-1960 and 1.4-1971. For purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases used herein shall have the meaning indicated below:

(a)    "Administrator" means the Mayor of the City of Bremerton or his or her designee.

(b)    "db(A)" means a sound level, measured in decibels, using the A frequency-weighing network of a sound-level meter.

(c)    "District" means the land use zones to which the provisions of this chapter apply. For the purposes of this chapter, the following noise control districts shall be established, which include land use zones designated in the Bremerton zoning ordinance, as follows:

Noise Control District

Land Use Zones (pursuant to BMC Title 20)

District I

R-10, R-10M, R-20, East Park Subarea Plan (SAP)

District II

NB, BC, DCC, DW, DC, EC, INST, GC, Bay Vista SAP, Downtown SAP, Gorst SAP

District III

I, CUL, WS, FC

(d)    "Emergency work" means:

(1)    Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity;

(2)    Work required to protect persons or property from imminent exposure to danger; or

(3)    Work by private or public utilities for providing or restoring immediately necessary utility service.

(e)    "Motorcycle" means any motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground, except farm tractors and such vehicles powered by an engine of less than five (5) horsepower.

(f)    "Motor vehicle" means any vehicle which is self-propelled, used primarily for transporting persons or property upon public highways, and required to be licensed under RCW 46.16.010 or a motorized transportation device as defined in BMC 10.13.010. (Aircraft, watercraft, and vehicles used on rails or tracks are not motor vehicles as that term is used herein.)

(g)    "Noise" means the intensity, duration and character of sounds from any and all sources.

(h)    "Person" means any individual firm, association, partnership, corporation or any other entity, public or private.

(i)    "Police officer" means a duly appointed city, county or State law enforcement officer.

(j)    "Property boundary" means the survey line at ground surface which separates real property owned, rented or leased by one or more other persons and its vertical extension.

(k)    "Receiving property" means real property within which sound originating from sources outside the property is received.

(l)    "Sound level" means a weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and weighted as specified in American National Standards Institute Specifications, Section 1.4-1971.

(m)    "Sound level meter" means a sound-level measuring device, either Type I or Type II, as defined by American National Standards Institute Specifications, Section 1.4-1971.

(n)    "Weekend" means Saturday and Sunday or any legal holiday. (Ord. 5301 §9, 2016: Ord. 4977 §2, 2006; Ord. 4915 §2, 2004; Ord. 4891 §1, 2004; Ord. 4226 §1, 1989; Ord. 3722 §1, 1982)

6.32.040 ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND - MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE LEVELS.

(a)    It is unlawful for any person to cause or permit noise from any source located within the City of Bremerton to intrude into the property of another which exceeds the maximum or permissible noise level set forth below:

TABLE I

District of Sound Source

District Receiving Property Within the City of Bremerton

 

I

II

III

I

55 dB(A)

57 dB(A)

60 dB(A)

II

57 dB(A)

60 dB(A)

65 dB(A)

III

60 dB(A)

65 dB(A)

70 dB(A)

(b)    Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the noise limitations of the foregoing table shall be reduced by ten (10) dBA for receiving property within District I.

(c)    At any hour of the day or night the applicable noise limitations in (a) and (b) above may be exceeded for any receiving property by no more than:

(1)    Five (5) dBA for a total of fifteen (15) minutes in any one (1) hour period; or

(2)    Ten (10) dBA for a total of five (5) minutes in any one (1) hour period; or

(3)    Fifteen (15) dBA for a total of one and one-half (1.5) minutes in any one (1) hour period.

(d)    Exemptions.

(1)    The following shall be exempt from the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.:

i.    Sounds originating from residential property relating to temporary projects for the maintenance or repair of homes, grounds and appurtenances.

ii.    Sounds created by the discharge of firearms on authorized shooting ranges.

iii.    Sounds created by blasting.

iv.    Sounds created by aircraft engine testing and maintenance not related to flight operations; provided, that aircraft testing and maintenance shall be conducted at remote sites whenever possible.

v.    Sounds created by the installation or repair of essential utility services.

(2)    The following shall be exempt from the provisions of subsection (b).

i.    Noise from electrical substations and existing stationary equipment used in the conveyance of water, waste water, and natural gas by a utility.

ii.    Noise from existing industrial installations which exceed the standards contained in these regulations and which, over the previous three years, have consistently operated in excess of fifteen (15) hours per day as a consequence of process necessity and/or demonstrated routine normal operation. Changes in working hours, which would affect exemptions under this regulation, require approval of the State Department of Ecology.

(3)    The following shall be exempt from the provisions of subsections (a) and (b), except insofar as such provisions relate to the reception of noise within District I between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

i.    Sounds originating from temporary construction sites as a result of construction activity.

ii.    Sounds originating from forest harvesting and silvicultural activity.

(4)    The following shall be exempt from all provisions of subsections (a) and (b):

i.    Sounds created by motor vehicles when regulated by Chapter 173-62 WAC.

ii.    Sounds originating from aircraft in flight and sounds that originate at airports which are directly related to flight operations.

iii.    Sounds created by surface carriers engaged in interstate commerce by railroad.

iv.    Sounds created by warning devices not operating continuously for more than five (5) minutes, or bells, chimes, and carillons.

v.    Sounds created by safety and protective devices where noise suppression would defeat the intent of the device or is not economically feasible.

vi.    Sounds created by emergency equipment and work necessary in the interests of law enforcement or for health safety or welfare of the community.

vii.    Sounds originating from motor vehicle racing events at existing authorized facilities.

viii.    Sounds originating from officially sanctioned parades and other public events.

ix.    Sounds emitted from petroleum refinery boilers during start-up of said boilers; provided, that the start-up operation is performed during daytime hours whenever possible.

x.    Sounds created by watercraft.

xi.    Sound created by the discharge of firearms in the course of hunting.

xii.    Sounds created by motor vehicles, licensed or unlicensed, when operated off public highways except when such sounds are received in District I. (Ord. 4226 §3, 1989; Ord. 3722 §3, 1982)

6.32.050 MEASUREMENT OF SOUND.

(a)    If the measurements of sound are made with a sound-level meter, it shall be an instrument in good operating condition meeting the requirements for a Type I or Type II instrument, as delineated in American National Standards Institute Specifications (ANSI), Section 1.4-1971. If the measurements are made with other instruments, or assemblages of instruments, the procedure must be carried out in such a manner that the overall accuracy shall be at least that called for in Section 1.4-1971 ANSI for Type II instruments.

(b)    When the location, distance or technique for measurement of sound is impractical or would yield misleading or inaccurate results, measurements shall be taken at other locations or distances utilizing appropriate correction factors, as specified in the rules promulgated by the Administrator.

(c)    Where a receiving party is partly within one (1) district and partly within another, the maximum permissible noise level at a point within the property boundary shall be that permitted into a receiving property wholly within the lowest intensity district in which the sound is measured. (Ord. 4226 §4, 1989; Ord. 3722 §7, 1982)

6.32.060 POSITION OF ADMINISTRATOR ESTABLISHED.

(a)    Establishment. The position of administrator is hereby established, and shall be the mayor, or his or her designee. The administrator is authorized and directed to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(b)    Qualifications of Administrator. The administrator shall be a person having a working knowledge of acoustics and competent in the field of noise control. The administrator shall have completed instructional guidance provided by the State Department of Ecology or other recognized institution to operate Type I and Type II sound-level meters, and make all computations and calculations necessary to enforce this chapter.

(c)    Duties of Administrator. The duties of the administrator shall include, but are not limited to:

(1)    Obtaining assistance from other appropriate city departments and officials;

(2)    Training law enforcement officers and staff;

(3)    Purchasing measuring instruments and training inspectors in their calibration and use;

(4)    Establishing a noise-control field procedures manual providing techniques and procedures for measuring or reducing noise to provide for clarification, interpretation and implementation of this chapter;

(5)    Investigating citizens’ noise complaint;

(6)    Issuing orders for the reduction or elimination of noise;

(7)    Assisting citizens and city departments in evaluating and reducing the noise impact of their activities;

(8)    Assisting city planning officials in evaluating the noise component in planning and zoning actions;

(9)    Instituting a public education program on noise; and

(10)    Reviewing at least every three years the provisions of this chapter and recommending revisions consistent with technology to reduce noise. (Ord. 4288 §1, 1990; Ord. 4226 §4, 1989; Ord. 3722 §6, 1982)

6.32.070 VARIANCE PROCEDURE.

(a)    A person who owns or is in possession of any property or use, or any process or equipment, may make a request for a variance to the Administrative Hearing Examiner for relief from any provision of this chapter governing the quality, nature, duration or extent of discharge or noise. The application shall be accompanied by such information and data as the Hearing Examiner may require. The Hearing Examiner shall enforce rules and regulations governing the application for and granting of variances, including hearing and notices. A variance or its renewal shall not be the right of the applicant or holder thereof, but shall be at the reasonable discretion of the Hearing Examiner.

(b)    The variance shall not be granted under this section unless the Hearing Examiner has considered the relevant interests of the applicant, other owners of property likely to be affected, and the general public and finds that all the following facts and conditions exist:

(1)    That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the applicant’s property, or intended use thereof, that do not apply generally to other properties in the same noise control district;

(2)    That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial personal or property right of the applicants possessed by the owners of other properties in the same noise control district;

(3)    That the authorization of such variance does not endanger public health or safety in the same or adjacent noise control districts;

(4)    That the granting of such variance will not adversely affect the general policy and purposes of this chapter.

(c)    In authorizing a variance, conditions regarding noise level, duration, type and other considerations deemed necessary to carry out the policy and purpose of this chapter may be imposed. (Ord. 5093 §1, 2009: Ord. 4226 §5, 1989)

6.32.090 APPEAL TO SUPERIOR COURT.

An appeal of the decision of the Hearing Examiner must be filed with the Superior Court within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the issuance of the decision. (Ord. 5093 §2, 2009: Ord. 4547, Amended, 03/28/1996; Ord. 4226 §6, 1989; Ord. 4022 §1, 1986; Ord. 3722 §9, 1982)

6.32.110 PUBLIC DISTURBANCE NOISES.

It is hereby unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of property to allow, noise defined in this section. For prosecution under this section, evidence of sound level through the use of a sound level meter reading shall not be necessary to establish a commission of the offense. Provisions of this section shall be cumulative and not exclusive, and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy including any prosecution for violation of sections regulating environmental noise. The following shall be public disturbance noises:

(a)    The frequent, repetitive or continuance sound of any horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law.

(b)    The creation of frequent, repetitive or continuous noise in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle or internal combustion engine within District I so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of owners or possessors of real property.

(c)    The use of a sound amplifier or other device capable of producing or reproducing amplified sound upon public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or sales or for attracting the attention of the public to any vehicle, structure or property or the contents therein except as permitted by law, and except that vendors whose sole method of selling is from a moving vehicle shall be exempt from this subsection.

(d)    Sound from motor vehicle sound systems, such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty (50) feet from the vehicle itself.

(e)    Sound from audio equipment, such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty (50) feet from the source.

(f)    The creation of any loud noises which emanate frequently, or repetitively or continuously from any building, structure or property which unreasonably disturbs the peace, comfort and repose of others. (Ord. 4851 §1, 2003; Ord. 4780, Amended, 11/26/2001; Ord. 4226 §9, 1989)

6.32.115 BELLS, CHIMES OR CARILLONS.

The operation of bells, chimes or carillons shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 4780, Added, 11/26/2001)

6.32.120 VIOLATIONS - CIVIL PENALTY, CRIMINAL PENALTY.

(a)    Every offense defined by this chapter or conduct made unlawful hereby shall constitute a civil infraction under the Bremerton Municipal Code; provided, however, A second violation within a twenty-four (24) hour period shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(b)    In addition to any other sanction or injunctive procedure which may be available at law or equity, any person failing to comply with the final order issued by the administrator or a police officer shall be subject to a cumulative civil penalty in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day from the date set for compliance until compliance. The civil penalty shall be collected by legal action brought in the name of the City.

(c)    For enforcement purposes, each day, defined as a twenty-four (24) hour period beginning at 12:01 a.m. in which violation of this chapter occurs, shall constitute a separate violation. (Ord. 4288 §3, 1990; Ord. 4226 §11, 1989)