Chapter 9.56


9.56.010    Declaration of Policy - Findings of Special Conditions

9.56.020    Definitions

9.56.030    Motor Vehicle Noise - Specific Prohibitions

9.56.040    Public Nuisances and Disturbance Noises

9.56.050    Noises Exempt - Completely or Partially

9.56.060    Noises Exempt - Daylight Hours

9.56.065    Proviso

9.56.070    Enforcement - Complaints

9.56.080    Provisions Not Exclusive

9.56.090    Violation and Penalty

9.56.100    Severability

9.56.010 Declaration of Policy - Findings of Special Conditions.

A.    Declaration of Policy: It is hereby 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, the use, value and enjoyment of property, sleep and repose, and the quality of the environment.

B.    Findings of Special Conditions: The problem of noise in the City has been observed by the City Council and the City staff and is documented by the complaints received and logged in the Police Department. On the basis of these observations and complaints, the City Council find that special conditions exist within the City which make necessary any and all differences between this Chapter and the regulations adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology. (Ord. 316, 1988)

C.    City owned, operated or maintained property is for the benefit of all citizens and noise nuisances in these areas need special regulation. Citizens should be free of noise nuisances that originate from city owned, operated or maintained property. The Police Department has a positive and proactive duty to keep the peace and enforce laws and ordinances at all city owned, operated, or maintained property. (Ord. 551, 1997)

9.56.020 Definitions.

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

A.    “Emergency Work” means work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following 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.

B.    “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 (5) horsepower.

C.    “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.

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

E.    “Off Highway Vehicle” means any self-propelled motor driven vehicle not used primarily for transporting persons or property upon public highways nor required to be licensed under RCW 46.16.010.

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

G.    “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.

H.    “Public Nuisance Noise” means any sound which unreasonably either annoys, injures, interferes with, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of one or more persons.

9.56.030 Motor Vehicle Noise - Specific Prohibition.

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

B.    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.

C.    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 additional sound to be emitted by the motor vehicle.

9.56.040 Public Nuisances and Disturbance Noises.

A.    Public Nuisance 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 noise as defined herein.

B.    Public Disturbance Noise: It is unlawful for any person to cause or any person in possession of 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 in so far as the particular source is exempted. The following source of sound shall 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 specifically permitted or required by law.

2.    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 in any residential zone so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort, and repose of owners or possessors of real property.

3.    The use of 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 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.

4.    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.

5.    The creation by use of a musical instrument, whistle, sound amplifier, stereo, jukebox, radio, television, or other device capable of reproducing sound and raucous noises which emanate frequently, repetitively, or continuously from any building, structure, or property, such as sounds originating from a band session, tavern operation, or social gathering.

6.    Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 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.

7.    The keeping in any building or upon any premises, of any bird, animal or fowl which by frequent or long continued noise shall disturb the comfort and repose of any person in the vicinity.

9.56.050 Noises Exempt - Completely or Partially.

A.    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 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 relief intent of the device.

3.    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.

4.    Noise created by auxiliary equipment on motor vehicles used for highway maintenance.

5.    Noise originating from officially sanctioned parades, sporting events and other public events.

6.    Noise created by existing stationary equipment used in the conveyance of water by utilities and noise created by existing electrical substations. (Ord. 316, 1988)

7.    Noises generated in full compliance with Sections 10.04.090, 14.44.210, and 14.44.220 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code. (Ord. 489, Sec. 1., 1995; Ord. 448, Sec. 2(a), 1994; Ord. 335, 1989; Ord. 316, 1988)

B.    The following sources of noise are exempt or partially exempt from the provisions of this Chapter:

1.    Noise created by the operation of equipment or facilities of surface carriers engaged in commerce railroad.

2.    Noise created by aircraft and float planes. (Ord. 316, 1988)

3.    Noise emanating from temporary construction sites except between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. on weekends. (Ord. 489, Sec. 2, 1995; Ord. 448, Sec. 2(a),1994; Ord. 316, 1988)

4.    Noise created by aircraft engine testing and maintenance not related to flight operations except between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. on weekends. (Ord. 489, Sec. 3, 1995; Ord. 448, Sec. 2(a),1994; Ord. 316, 1988)

5.    Noise originating from motor vehicle racing events at existing authorized facilities.

C.    It is the intention of the City Council to consider amendments to this Chapter controlling the sources exempted in Subsection B of this Section whenever the Washington State Department of Ecology promulgates specific regulations relating to the specific sources in the future. (Ord. 316, 1988)

9.56.060 Noises Exempt - Daylight Hours.

The following noises shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends: (Ord. 489, Sec. 4, 1995; Ord. 448, Sec. 2(a), 1994; Ord. 316, 1988)

A.    Noise created by powered equipment used in temporary or periodic maintenance or repair of resident property including but not limited to grounds and appurtenances, such as but not limited to lawn mowers, powered hand tools, and composters.

B.    Noise created by the discharge of firearms on authorized shooting ranges.

C.    Noise created by the installation and repair of essential utility services.

D.    Noise created by blasting.

E.    Noise created by bells, chimes, or carillons not operated for more than five (5) minutes in any one hour. (Ord. 316, 1988)

9.56.065 Proviso.

Nothing in these exemptions is intended to preclude the Planning or Building Official from requiring installation of the best available noise abatement technology consistent with economic feasibility. (Ord. 335, 1989)

9.56.070 Enforcement - Complaints.

Only after a complaint has been received from an identified person who is affected by a noise source may the Police Department issue a criminal infraction notice, provided, that noise violations relating to motor vehicles or occurring on publicly owned property shall be subject to enforcement proceedings regardless of whether a complaint has been received. Provided further that Police Officers can enforce this Title on any City owned, operated, or maintained property including City parks, beaches, boat launch, trails and playgrounds without first receiving a citizen complaint. (Ord. 551, 1997; Ord. 317, 1988)

9.56.080 Provisions Not Exclusive.

The provisions of this Chapter shall be accumulative and not exclusive, and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy, nor, unless specifically provided, shall list Chapter 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. 316, 1988)

9.56.090 Violation and Penalty.

Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, or violation of any provision of this chapter is an infraction for the first offense and for a second offense within a 365 day period. A third or subsequent offense within a 365 day period shall either be 1) a misdemeanor subject to a jail term of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment or 2) subject to enforcement pursuant to Title 17 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code. (Ord. 604, Sec. 7, 1999: Ord. 489, Sec. 5, 1995; Ord. 448, Sec. 2(a), 1994; Ord. 316, 1988)

9.56.100 Severability.

If any provision of this Ordinance, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Ordinance or the application of the provisions to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected. (Ord. 316, 1988)

(Chapter 9.56 renumbered from 9.30, Ord. 448, Sec. 2, 1994)