Chapter 10.64


10.64.010    Declaration of policy.

10.64.020    Definitions.

10.64.030    Motor vehicle noise – Specific prohibitions.

10.64.040    Public nuisances and disturbance noises.

10.64.050    Noises exempt – Completely or partially.

10.64.060    Noises exempt – Daylight hours.

10.64.070    Enforcement – Complaints.

10.64.080    Provisions not exclusive.

10.64.090    Violation – Penalty.

10.64.010 Declaration of policy.

It is declared to be the policy of the city to minimize exposure of citizens to the harmful physiological and psychological effects of excessive noise. It is the express intent of the city council to control the level of noise in a manner which promotes commerce and the use, value and enjoyment of property, sleep and repose, and the quality of the environment. [Ord. 1071 § 1, 1989.]

10.64.020 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases used herein shall have the meaning indicated below:

(1) “Emergency work” means work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work required to protect persons or property from imminent exposure to danger, or work by private or public utilities for providing or restoring immediately necessary utility service.

(2) “In-use motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle which is used on a public way except farm vehicles as defined under RCW 46.04.181.

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

(4) “Motor vehicle” means any vehicle which is self-propelled, used primarily for transporting persons or property upon public ways, and required to be licensed under RCW 46.16.010.

(5) “Muffler” means a device consisting of a series of changers or other mechanical designs for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine and effective in reducing noise resulting therefrom.

(6) “New motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle manufactured after December 31, 1976, the equitable or legal title of which has never been transferred to a person who, in good faith, purchases the new motor vehicle for purposes other than resale.

(7) “Noise” means the intensity and duration character of sounds from any and all sources.

(8) “Noise sensitive area” means any area so designated by the city in which noise sensitive activities are conducted and which require exceptional quiet. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the operation of schools, hospitals, nursing homes, courts and churches.

(9) “Off-highway vehicle” means any self-propelled motor-driven vehicle not used primarily for transporting persons or property upon public ways nor required to be licensed under RCW 46.16.010.

(10) “Operator” means any person who is in actual physical or electronic control of a powered watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft, off-road vehicle or any other engine-driven vehicle.

(11) “Person” means any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation or any other entity, public or private.

(12) “Powered model vehicle” means any mechanically propelled vehicle, either airborne, waterborne or landborne, designed not to carry persons or property such as, but not limited to, model airplanes, boats, cars and rockets.

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

(14) “Public nuisance noise” means any sound which unreasonably either annoys, injures, interferes with, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of two or more persons residing within separate residences in the same community or neighborhood, although the extent of the damage may be unequal.

(15) “Public space” means an area which is owned or controlled by a public governmental entity and maintained for the use of the general public.

(16) “Receiving property” means real property at the boundaries of which the maximum permissible noise levels specified herein shall not be exceeded from sources outside such property.

(17) “Watercraft” means any contrivance, excluding aircraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation or recreation on water, including model craft, powered by an internal or external combustion engine. [Ord. 1071 § 2, 1989.]

10.64.030 Motor vehicle noise – Specific prohibitions.

(1) Mufflers. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the public ways which is not equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation.

(2) Tire Noise. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause or allow to be emitted squealing, screeching or other such sounds from the tires in contact with the ground because of rapid acceleration or excessive speed around corners or other such reason; provided, that noise resulting from emergency braking to avoid imminent danger shall be exempt from this section.

(3) Alteration of Motor Vehicles. It is unlawful for any person to change or modify any part of a motor vehicle or install any device thereon in any manner that permits sound to be emitted by the motor vehicle which violates this chapter, except as permitted in CMC 10.64.050. [Ord. 1071 § 3, 1989.]

10.64.040 Public nuisances and disturbance noises.

(1) Public Nuisances Noises. It is unlawful for any person to cause or allow to be emitted a noise which has been determined to be a public nuisance as defined herein.

(2) Public Disturbance Noise. It is unlawful for any person to cause, or any person in possession of or using property to allow to originate from the property, sound that is a public disturbance. No sound source specifically exempted from this chapter shall be a public nuisance noise or public disturbance noise insofar as the particular sound is exempted. The following sources of sound shall be public disturbance noises:

(a) The use or operation of or permitting to be used, played or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to unreasonably disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring property or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person or persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building structure, property or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section;

(b) Any sound made by the unamplified human voice which emanates from a building, structure or property between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and is received within a residential area as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure, property or vehicle in which it is located;

(c) On privately owned premises and in publicly owned premises in residential areas, to sponsor, suffer or allow any meeting, party or gathering of persons, the noise of which shall annoy or disturb any person or persons in the vicinity;

(d) Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on or near the public streets, particularly between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time and place so as to disturb the quiet, comfort and repose of any person in any hospital, rest home, sanitarium, dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence, or designated noise sensitive area;

(e) Noise created by the use of hand or power tools, blowers, lawn mowers, snowblowers or chain saws between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. which is unreasonably loud and disturbing to the comfort and repose of any person or persons;

(f) The making of any loud and raucous noise which unreasonably interferes with the use of any school, church, hospital, sanitarium or nursing or convalescent facility;

(g) 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 a residential area so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of owners or possessors of real property;

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

(i) The frequent, repetitive or continuous sounding of any horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law. [Ord. 1071 § 4, 1989.]

10.64.050 Noises exempt – Completely or partially.

(1) The following noises are exempt from the provisions of this chapter at all times; provided, that nothing in these exemptions is intended to preclude the possible reduction of noise if economically feasible:

(a) Noise originating from aircraft in flight, and sounds which originate at airports and are directly related to flight operations;

(b) Noise created by safety and protective devices, such as relief valves where noise suppression would defeat the safety relief intent of the device;

(c) Noise created by fire alarms, or noise created by emergency equipment, including but not limited to emergency standby or back-up equipment, and emergency work necessary in the interests of law enforcement or of the health, safety or welfare of the community, and including, but not limited to, any emergency work necessary to replace or repair essential utility services;

(d) Noise created by auxiliary equipment on motor vehicles used for highway maintenance;

(e) Noise originating from officially sanctioned parades, sporting events and other public events;

(f) Noise created by warning devices not operated continuously for more than 30 minutes per incident;

(g) Noise created by natural phenomenon;

(h) Noise created by existing stationary equipment used in the conveyance of water by utilities and noise created by existing electrical substations;

(i) Noise created by sources in industrial zones;

(j) Noise originating from private and/or public pay events that have been granted an exemption by the Clarkston city council upon petition filed 30 days in advance of the event.

(2) The following sources of noise are exempt or partially exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

(a) Noise created by the operation of equipment or facilities of surface carriers engaged in commerce;

(b) Noise created by aircraft and float planes;

(c) Noise emanating from temporary construction sites except between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. [Ord. 1314 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1071 § 5, 1989.]

10.64.060 Noises exempt – Daylight hours.

The following noises shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

(1) Noise created by powered equipment used in temporary or periodic maintenance or repair of residential property including but not limited to grounds and appurtenances, such as to lawn mowers, powered hand tools and composters;

(2) Noise created by the discharge of firearms on authorized shooting ranges;

(3) Noise created by the installation and repair of essential utility services;

(4) Noise created by blasting;

(5) Noise created by bells, chimes or carillons not operated for more than five minutes in any one hour. [Ord. 1071 § 6, 1989.]

10.64.070 Enforcement – Complaints.

When a complaint has been received from at least one identified person who owns, rents, leases or controls property that is affected by a noise source, the police may, upon probable cause, issue a criminal complaint/citation, and/or make an arrest. Motor vehicle related noise shall be subject to enforcement proceedings regardless of whether a complaint has been received. Noises created by industrial areas are to be enforced by the state. [Ord. 1185 § 1, 1994; Ord. 1071 § 7, 1989.]

10.64.080 Provisions not exclusive.

The provisions of this chapter shall be cumulative and not exclusive, and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action, or remedy, nor, unless specifically provided, shall this chapter be deemed to repeal, amend or modify any law, ordinance or regulation relating to noise, but shall be deemed additional to existing legislation and common law on noise. [Ord. 1071 § 8, 1989.]

10.64.090 Violation – Penalty.

Any person violating any provision or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor. Except in cases where different punishment is specifically prescribed, any person convicted of a misdemeanor under this chapter shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. [Ord. 1071 § 9, 1989.]