Chapter 8.30
NOISE LEVELS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES

Sections:

8.30.010    Short title.

8.30.020    Policy.

8.30.030    Definitions.

8.30.040    General provisions.

8.30.050    Noise limitations – Public roads.

8.30.060    Noise limitations – Other than public roads.

8.30.070    Noise-sensitive areas limitations.

8.30.080    ORV use area.

8.30.090    Exemptions.

8.30.100    Methods and techniques.

8.30.110    Violations.

8.30.120    Enforcement.

8.30.130    Undue hardship.

8.30.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the “Vehicle Noise Ordinance” and may be so pleaded in court. Its jurisdiction shall apply to the city. (Ord. 654 § 100, 1980).

8.30.020 Policy.

It is declared that at certain levels, at certain locations, at certain durations and at certain times of day, vehicle noise is detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the city.

In order to control unnecessary and excessive noise emitted from vehicles, it is the policy of the city to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the city by prohibiting any use of vehicles in a manner that is not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 654 § 200, 1980).

8.30.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter unless otherwise clearly required by the context, the following terms are defined as follows:

A. “Ambient noise level” means the steady level of background noise at the measurement location when the noise source to be tested is not in operation.

B. “dBA” means the decibel on the “A” weighted scale, decibel being a logarithmic unit of measurement for sound pressure levels. The “A” scale is the scale of measurement using decibels which most closely resembles the manner in which the human ear hears, and which is defined by the American National Standards Institute Publication Section 1.1, 1960, Acoustical Studies.

C. “Farm and orchard equipment” means any vehicle or any attachment to a vehicle when used on agricultural lands for agricultural purposes, including, but not limited to, tractors, sprayers, combines, etc.

D. “GVWR” or “GCWR” means gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating respectively, which are the values specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single or combination vehicle.

E. “Motor vehicle” means any vehicle which is self-propelled, is used primarily for transport of persons or goods and, when operating on a public road, is required to be licensed under RCW 46.16.010, and includes, but is not limited to, cars, trucks, motorcycles, jeeps, dune buggies, go-carts, etc.

F. “Motorcycle” means any motor vehicle having a saddle and designed to travel with three or less wheels on the ground, but does not include vehicles whose engines cannot exceed five horsepower (minibikes).

G. “Motorized watercraft” means any boat or vessel equipped with an engine for propulsion which is used primarily for travel on or across water, especially for recreational purposes.

H. “Muffler” means a chambered, baffled or other designed device which receives the exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine, resulting in a reduction of sound.

I. “Noise-sensitive area” means any lot or property upon which a utilized dwelling, hospital, school, nursing home, public library or church exists.

J. “Nonroad area” means any area where a road or trail of any sort does not exist, but which is nonetheless capable of cross-country travel thereon by all or some motor vehicles.

K. “Off-road vehicle (ORV) commission” means the group of citizens established by the authority of the Chelan County commissioners to provide guidance for Chelan County ORV plans.

L. “Off-road vehicle (ORV) area” means any area used primarily for intensive recreational use by ORVs and so designated by the Chelan County commissioners.

M. “Person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, governmental body, state agency or other entity whatsoever.

N. “Snowmobile” means any self-propelled vehicle designed for travel over snow or ice which utilizes an endless belt, tread, cleats, etc., for propulsion, which is steered by skis, or sled-type runners, and which is required to be registered under RCW 46.10.

O. “Sound level meter” means a device which measures sound pressure levels and conforms to Type 1 or 2 as specified in the American National Standards Institute Publication S1.4 - 1971, Standard Specification for Sound Level Meters.

P. “Unnecessary and excessive noise” means any unusually loud, shrill, or otherwise disturbing sound of lengthy duration which annoys, injures or endangers the health, safety or general welfare of any person or causes damage to property or business.

Q. “Vehicle” means any motor vehicle, snowmobile or motorized watercraft as defined in this section. (Ord. 1061 § 8, 1997; Ord. 654 § 300, 1980).

8.30.040 General provisions.

A. Every vehicle operated within this city shall be equipped with a noise-muffling device in good working order and in constant operation except when such a device is technologically not feasible and except as otherwise provided in this resolution.

B. No person shall operate a motor vehicle in such a manner so as to emit a squealing, screeching or other such noise from the tires in contact with the ground, unless such noise is created in an emergency situation and/or to avoid imminent danger.

C. No person shall alter or make additions to a vehicle’s muffler or other part of the vehicle such that noise emissions exceed those specified in this resolution.

D. No person shall operate, or cause or permit to be operated, any vehicle so out of repair, so loaded, or in such a manner as to cause unnecessary and excessive noise. (Ord. 654 § 400, 1980).

8.30.050 Noise limitations – Public roads.

The following are the noise limitations placed on motor vehicles operating under normal conditions on public roads:

A. Any motor vehicle under ten thousand GVWR or GCWR, with the exception of motorcycles:

1. May not exceed seventy-six dBA when operating at speeds of thirty-five m.p.h. or less, or eighty dBA when operating at speeds of greater than thirty-five m.p.h., as measured using the pass-by technique as described in Section 8.30.100A of this chapter;

2. May not exceed one hundred dBA when tested using the half-meter method described in Section 8.30.100E of this chapter.

B. Any motorcycle:

1. May not exceed eighty dBA when operating at speeds of thirty-five m.p.h. or less, or eighty-four dBA when operating at speeds greater than thirty-five m.p.h. when measured using the pass-by technique as described in Section 8.30.100A of this chapter;

2. May not exceed one hundred five dBA when tested using the half-meter method described in Section 8.30.100F of this chapter.

C. Any motor vehicle over ten thousand GVWR or GCWR:

1. May not exceed eighty-six dBA when operating at speeds of thirty-five m.p.h., or less, or ninety dBA when operating at speeds of greater than thirty-five m.p.h., when measured using the pass-by technique as described in Section 8.30.100A of this chapter except if said public road is a designated truck route. (Ord. 654 § 500, 1980).

8.30.060 Noise limitations – Other than public roads.

A. No person shall operate a motor vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Section 8.30.090 of this chapter, on areas other than public roads within the city such that the noise emitted from the motor vehicle:

1. Exceeds eighty dBA when operating at speeds of thirty-five m.p.h. or less, or eighty-four dBA when operating at speeds of greater than thirty-five m.p.h. as measured by the pass-by technique described in Section 8.30.100A of this chapter.

B. No person shall operate a snowmobile on lands within the city such that the noise emitted from the snowmobile:

1. Exceeds eighty-eight dBA when measured using the pass-by technique for snowmobiles described in Section 8.30.100B of this chapter.

C. No person shall operate a motorized watercraft on any body of water within the city such that the noise emitted from the watercraft:

1. Exceeds seventy-six dBA between the hours of seven a.m. and ten p.m., and sixty-six dBA between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m., when measured using the shoreline pass-by technique for motorized watercraft as described in Section 8.30.100C of this chapter;

2. Exceeds eighty-two dBA when measured at a distance of fifty feet or seventy-six dBA when measured at a distance of one hundred feet using the fixed-distance pass-by technique for watercraft described in Section 8.30.100D of this chapter. (Ord. 654 § 600, 1980).

8.30.070 Noise-sensitive areas limitations.

A. During the hours of seven a.m. to ten p.m., no vehicle or collection of vehicles operating for a common purpose shall emit a noise such that it is received in excess of the following dBA ratings and time durations by a noise-sensitive area to be measured at the receiving site as described in Section 8.30.100G of this chapter:

1. Seventy dBA for a duration of not more than five minutes per hour;

2. Sixty-five dBA for a duration of not more than five minutes per hour;

3. Sixty dBA for a duration of not more than fifteen minutes per hour;

4. Fifty-five dBA for the remaining time in the day.

B. During the hours of ten p.m. to seven a.m., no vehicle or collection of vehicles operating for a common purpose shall emit noise such that it is received in excess of the following dBA ratings and time durations by a noise sensitive area to be measured at the receiving site as described in Section 8.30.100G of this chapter:

1. Sixty dBA for a duration not to exceed one and one-half minutes per hour per day,

2. Fifty-five dBA for a duration not to exceed four minutes per hour per day,

3. Fifty dBA for a duration not to exceed fifteen minutes per hour per day,

4. Forty-five dBA for the remainder of the night. (Ord. 654 § 700, 1980).

8.30.080 ORV use area.

ORV use areas may have special noise provisions and limitations exclusively for application thereto, which must be approved by the noise-sensitive limitations of Section 8.30.070 are complied with. (Ord. 654 § 800, 1980).

8.30.090 Exemptions.

The following vehicles and situations shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except subsections A, B and D of Section 8.30.040:

A. Any farm or orchard equipment;

B. Any public emergency vehicle;

C. Any law enforcement vehicles;

D. Any vehicle operating for the purpose of public road building or maintenance, or for on-site construction of structures between the hours of seven a.m. and ten p.m.;

E. Any vehicle acting in a public emergency;

F. Any motor vehicle over ten thousand GCWR or GVWR on designated truck routes, streets, private roads, or private nonroad areas between the hours of seven a.m. and ten p.m. and on designated truck routes between ten p.m. and seven a.m.;

G. Any airplanes. (Ord. 1061 § 9, 1997; Ord. 654 § 900, 1980).

8.30.100 Methods and techniques.

The following shall be the official methods and techniques utilized for testing noise emissions from vehicles in the city:

A. The Pass-By Technique for Motor Vehicles. A measuring site shall be selected which shall be open and free of sound-reflecting surfaces within a one-hundred-foot radius of the position of the microphone. The sound level meter shall be properly operating and calibrated. Fifty feet shall be measured between the path of travel of the vehicle to be tested and the microphone which shall be four feet above the ground. The recorded reading shall be the highest sound level obtained as the vehicle passes by, disregarding unrelated peaks due to ambient sounds. These measurements of motor vehicle noise shall be in compliance with WAC 204-56-010 and WAC 204-56-020 issued by the Department of Ecology. When a clear one-hundred-foot radius is not feasible, the noise level adjustment schedule in the above-cited codes may be used.

B. The Pass-By Technique for Snowmobiles. A measuring site shall be selected, which shall be open and free of sound-reflecting surfaces within a one-hundred-foot radius of the position of the microphone. The sound level meter shall be properly operating and calibrated. Fifty feet shall be measured from the path of travel of the snowmobile to be tested to the microphone, which shall be four feet above the snow pack level of the path of travel of the snowmobile. The snowmobile shall pass by at full throttle, and the recorded reading shall be the highest sound level obtained as the snowmobile passes by, disregarding unrelated peaks due to ambient sounds. The measurement of snowmobile noise using the pass-by technique shall be in compliance with the Forest Service Winter Test Procedures, Test Report 7120-5.

C. The Shoreline Pass-By Technique for Motorized Watercraft. A properly operating and calibrated sound level meter shall be set up directly at the shoreline of a body of water, in a position four feet above the level of the water. No sound-reflecting surfaces shall be within a one-hundred-foot radius of the microphone. As a motorized watercraft passes within the scope of the measurement of the sound level meter, the recorded reading shall be the highest sound level obtained, disregarding unrelated peaks due to ambient sounds. The measurements of motorized watercraft noise using the pass-by technique shall be in reasonable compliance with the Society of Automotive Engineers test procedure J34.

D. The Fixed-Distance Pass-by Technique for Watercraft. A properly operating and calibrated sound level meter shall be set up four to five feet above the water surface and no closer than two feet from a dock or deck surface. Aside from the tester and the subject, the site shall be free of large obstructions, such as boats, buildings, hills, large piers, etc., for a distance of one hundred feet around the microphone and the subject’s test path. The water shall be free from rough waves, and the wind shall not be blowing strongly. At least two buoys or markers shall be placed the correct distance (either fifty or one hundred feet) from the microphone. The test craft shall pass at full throttle one to three feet from the far side of the markers. The meter shall be set at fast response and the highest sound level for the run shall be applicable. Both sides of the boat should be tested and the average of the two shall be the sound level of the watercraft. The measurement of watercraft using this pass-by technique is based upon Society of Automotive Engineers test procedure J34.

E. The Half-Meter Method for All Motor Vehicles Under Ten Thousand GVWR or GCWR (Excluding Motorcycles). The microphone for a properly operating and calibrated sound level meter shall be placed at the same height as the center of the exhaust outlet. The microphone shall be no closer to the ground or pavement than eight inches when the exhaust is lower than this height (see Figure 1 attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter and on file in the office of the city clerk). The sound level meter shall be positioned with its longitudinal axis parallel to the ground, twenty inches (± one inch) from the axis of the outlet (see Figure 2 on file in the city clerk’s office). For exhaust outlets located under the vehicle body, the sound level meter shall be located at the specified angle and at least eight inches from the nearest part of the vehicle (see Figure 3 on file in the city clerk’s office). For exhaust outlets with different exhaust angles or dual side-by-side exhaust, the microphone positions illustrated on Figure 4, on file in the city clerk’s office, shall be duplicated within above specified tolerances.

The engine shall be at normal operating temperature with the transmission in neutral. Measurement shall be made at three quarters of maximum RPM. If RPM data is unavailable, three thousand RPM shall be used.

The recorded exhaust system sound level of a stationary vehicle shall be the highest reading obtained during the test, disregarding peaks due to extraneous ambient noise. When there is more than one exhaust outlet, the sound level shall be for the loudest outlet. When there are two or more exhaust outlets separated by less than twelve inches, measurements shall be made on the outlet closest to the side or rear of the vehicle (see Figure 4 on file in the city clerk’s office).

This measurement technique follows California Highway Patrol Title 13, Register 75, Number 48, Article 9.

F. The Half-meter Method for Motorcycles. A properly operating and calibrated sound level meter shall be placed directly behind the exhaust pipe, tilted at an upward angle of forty-five degrees (Figure 5, on file in the city clerk’s office, illustrates this microphone position). The stationary motorcycle shall then maintain a steady engine speed of one-half maximum (“red line”) engine speed, or the speed in RPM calculated at sixty percent of the speed at which maximum horsepower is attained. The measurement of motorcycle noise using the half-meter method is based upon the Motorcycle Industry Council’s stationary test MIC/E - 76.

G. Methods for Monitoring in Noise-sensitive Areas. The measuring site shall be on property purported to be receiving excessive noise, and shall be at least ten feet from the property line in closest proximity to the noise source. The measuring point shall be at least ten feet from any building, wall or other sound-obstructing object, and no individual other than the operator shall be within ten feet of the sound level meter.

The properly operating and calibrated sound level meter shall be pointed toward the noise source and be at least four feet above the ground. Monitoring shall proceed for the duration needed to determine whether provisions of Section 8.30.070 have been violated. The operator shall keep an accurate record of the dBA levels recorded and their durations, regarding unrelated peaks due to extraneous ambient sound. (Ord. 654 § 1000, 1980).

8.30.110 Violations.

Any person who causes a vehicle to emit a noise which is proven through the measurements in Section 8.30.100 of this chapter to exceed the levels of Sections 8.30.050 through 8.30.070, or which violates Section 8.30.040 in the discretion of the law enforcement officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars or be imprisoned in the city jail for a period of not longer than thirty days or both. Any vehicle found in violation of this chapter shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement by a sustaining order, confiscation order or injunction order issued by the court.

Any vehicle found in violation of this chapter shall report to the Chelan County sheriff within thirty days of conviction to be tested for compliance with this chapter, or show cause (demolition, etc.) why this is not possible. (Ord. 1287 § 6, 2004; Ord. 654 § 1100, 1980).

8.30.120 Enforcement.

A law enforcement officer may direct a vehicle or watercraft suspected to be in violation of this chapter to submit to noise measurement. (Ord. 654 § 1200, 1980).

8.30.130 Undue hardship.

Should any person anticipate any activity that may not comply with the provisions of this chapter, and can demonstrate that undue hardship would be rendered upon them by compliance with this chapter, that person may apply for relief from the provisions of this chapter to be granted at the discretion of the city. Such relief may have stip-ulations that provide other dBA limitations, time of day limitations and expiration dates. (Ord. 654 § 1300, 1980).