Chapter 7.05


7.05.010    Public nuisance and disturbance noises – Defined and designated.

7.05.020    Public nuisance and disturbance noises – Unlawful.

7.05.030    Mufflers.

7.05.040    Modification to motor vehicles.

7.05.050    Noises exempt – At all times.

7.05.060    Noises exempt – During daytime hours.

7.05.070    Enforcement – Complaints – Violation and penalty.

7.05.010 Public nuisance and disturbance noises – Defined and designated.

“Public nuisance noise” means any sound which unreasonably either annoys, injures, interferes with, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of three or more persons residing within separate residences in the same community or neighborhood, although the extent of damage may be unequal. The following sounds are determined to be public disturbance noises:

(1) 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;

(2) The repetitive or continuous barking of a dog;

(3) The creation of repetitive or continuous sounds in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding, or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle, heat pump, air conditioner, electric motor, or internal combustion engine within a rural or residential district, so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors of real property;

(4) 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;

(5) The making of any loud and raucous sound within 1000 feet of any school, hospital, sanitarium, nursing or convalescent facility;

(6) The creation by use of a musical instrument, whistle, sound amplifier, or other device capable of producing or reproducing sound, of loud and raucous sounds which emanate frequently, repetitively or continuously from any vehicle, building, structure or property located within a residential or commercial district, such as sounds originating from a band session or social gathering;

(7) Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing, particularly between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., the next morning, or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of persons in the vicinity. [Ord. 576 (A)(1), 1990.]

7.05.020 Public nuisance and disturbance noises – Unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of property to allow to originate from the property, sound that is a public disturbance noise. [Ord. 576 (A)(2), 1990.]

7.05.030 Mufflers.

It is unlawful for any person to operate, or for any owner to permit any person to operate, any motor vehicle upon the public highways and streets which is not equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation. [Ord. 576 (A)(3), 1990.]

7.05.040 Modification to motor vehicles.

It is unlawful for any person to modify or change any part of a motor vehicle or install any device thereon in any manner that permits sound to be emitted by the motor vehicle in excess of the limits prescribed by this chapter. It is unlawful for any person to remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler or sound-dissipative device on a motor vehicle. [Ord. 576 (A)(4), 1990.]

7.05.050 Noises exempt – At all times.

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 town from requiring installation of the best available noise abatement technology consistent with economic feasibility:

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

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

(3) Noise created by fire alarms;

(4) Noise created by emergency equipment;

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

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

(7) Noise created by warning devices not operated continuously for more than 30 minutes per incident. [Ord. 576 (B), 1990.]

7.05.060 Noises exempt – During daytime hours.

The following noises shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekends:

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

(2) Noises emanating from commercial businesses and industries that meet state standards set forth in RCW 70A.20.030 and Chapter 173-60 WAC as those laws now exist or are hereafter amended. [Ord. 1215 § 1, 2022; Ord. 576 (C), 1990.]

7.05.070 Enforcement – Complaints – Violation and penalty.

(1) After a complaint has been received from an identifiable person who owns, rents, or leases property that is affected by a noise source and the complaint has been investigated, a verbal warning shall be issued by the mayor or his or her designee. The verbal warning is to be followed by a written notice, which shall contain a brief and concise description of the condition alleged to be a public nuisance noise. The notice shall be sent by any form of U.S. postage requiring return receipt and/or may be posted at the premises from which the noise causing the complaint emanates. The officer delivering the notice shall prepare an affidavit of service.

(2) Violation of this chapter after the foregoing warning or after a verbal warning by an employee of the town of La Conner shall constitute an infraction subject to civil penalty not to exceed $250.00.

(3) A sound level meter reading shall not be necessary to establish that a public nuisance exists.

(4) Violation of this chapter, with or without warnings, shall constitute a nuisance. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the town from abating such nuisance through any legal means. [Ord. 812 § 7, 2001; Ord. 576 (D), 1990.]