Chapter 5.38


5.38.010    Findings.

5.38.020    Declaration of policy.

5.38.030    Maximum environmental noise levels.

5.38.040    Public disturbance noise prohibited.

5.38.050    Designation of zoned areas.

5.38.060    Exceptions.

5.38.070    Enforcement.

5.38.080    Violations—Penalties.

5.38.090    Chapter additional to other law.

5.38.100    Severability.

5.38.010 Findings.

(a)    Excessive noise is a form of pollution which has direct and harmful effects upon the health and welfare of persons exposed to such sounds, lowers the value of impacted properties and generally adversely affects the livability, peace and comfort of the impacted neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

(b)    Due primarily to the sound characteristics and manner of use, excessive noise from portable and motor vehicle audio equipment such as tape players, radios and compact disc players is a particularly disruptive form of noise pollution involving said harmful effects and impacts upon persons, property, neighborhoods and occurring in or near vehicular traffic, such noise presents a danger to traffic safety.

(c)    Excessive noise from said audio equipment occurring within the city park system has a harmful impact upon the use and enjoyment of park areas by other park users, has the effect of discouraging many from utilizing certain park areas and has caused said noise pollution harmful effects upon adjacent private properties, persons and neighborhoods.

(d)    Noise from said audio equipment which can be clearly heard from seventy-five feet or more from the source of the sound is in excess of the maximum permissible sound level allowed to be generated or received in either residential or commercial areas of the city, involves excessive noise impacts, creates noise pollution within such area; and, when occurring in or near vehicular traffic, presents a danger to traffic safety.

(e)    Technology has allowed the proliferation of commercially accessible types of audio equipment, both portable and installed in motor vehicles, which can be amplified so as to produce excessive noise which can be clearly heard seventy-five feet or more from the source of the sound.

(f)    The city council finds that excessive noise being generated from such equipment is a public nuisance and constitutes a public disturbance noise. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.020 Declaration of policy.

It is declared to be the policy of the city to minimize the exposure of citizens to the harmful 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. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.030 Maximum environmental noise levels.

WAC 173-60-020, 173-60-040, 173-60-050, and 173-60-090 and all future amendments thereto unless specifically exempted within this chapter are adopted by reference. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.040 Public disturbance noise prohibited.

No person, whether or not that person is in actual possession of the noise source, shall create, continue or cause to be created or continued, or allow to be created or continued, any public disturbance noise.

(a)    “Public disturbance noise” means a noise which originates from the real or personal property of any person, while the person is in possession or control of such property, and which noise unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort and repose of a reasonable person of ordinary sensitivities, including owners or possessors of real property. Unless otherwise specified, the public disturbance noise provisions of this section are applicable twenty-four hours a day.

(1)    Any sound made by the use of a musical instrument, whistle, sound amplifier, jukebox, radio, television, or other similar device which emanates from a building, structure, or property between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m. and is received within a residential district;

(2)    Any sound made by the unamplified human voice which emanates from a building, structure, or property between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m. is received within a residential district;

(3)    Frequent, repetitive, or continuous sounds made by any animal which emanates from a building, structure, or property and is received within a residential district;

(4)    Any sound made by the discharge of exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine except through a muffler;

(5)    Any sound made by the operation of any motorcycle, motorbike, off-road or all-terrain vehicle in the city on any property not a part of the street system of the city when such motorcycle, motorbike, off-road or all-terrain vehicle does not conform to the muffler standards required for operation on the public streets;

(6)    Any sound made by a horn or other similar signaling device attached to a motor vehicle except when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation as permitted in RCW 46.37.380;

(7)    Any sound made by a loudspeaker or sound amplifier exterior to any building for commercial advertising or sales purposes or for attracting the attention of the public to any performance, show, or other event;

(8)    Any sound which is audible at any school, other institution of learning, court, hospital, nursing, or convalescent facility, or other area where exceptional quiet is necessary; provided, signs are displayed in adjacent or contiguous streets indicating that the area is a quiet zone;

(9)    Any sound made by the construction, excavation, repair, demolition, destruction, or alteration of any building, property or upon any building site between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m. and is received within a residential district;

(10)    Any sound made by operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or air conditioner, fan or blower, or similar device used in residential areas between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m. the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential boundary;

(11)    Any sound made by speaker sound amplifier or motor vehicle audio system exterior to the passenger sitting compartment of a motor vehicle on a public street or highway (anywhere within the right-of-way thereof), of a commercial radio station broadcast, or music from an audio tape cassette, compact disc, or other recording medium;

(12)    Any sound from a motor vehicle audio system such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume and under conditions, so as to be audible greater than fifty feet from the vehicle itself;

(13)    Any sound from portable audio equipment, such as a radio, tape player or compact disc player, which is operated at such a volume so as to be audible at a distance of fifty feet or more from the source of the sound. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.050 Designation of zoned areas.

The EDNA (“environmental designation for noise abatement”) is established as follows:

(a)    Residential zones, Class A EDNA;

(b)    Commercial zones, Class B EDNA;

(c)    Industrial zones, Class C EDNA. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.060 Exceptions.

(a)    Exceptions may be granted to any person from any requirement of Section 5.38.040 of this chapter if findings are made that any such exception is in the public interest and that the proposed activity will have a substantial public participation, i.e., festivals, parades and other community celebrations.

(b)    Exceptions may be granted to any person from any requirement of Section 5.38.030 of this chapter if findings are made that immediate compliance with such requirement cannot be achieved because of special circumstances rendering immediate compliance unreasonable in light of economic or physical factors, encroachment upon existing noise source or because of nonavailability of feasible technology or control methods.

(c)    Applications shall be made to the mayor. Exceptions shall be issued only upon application in writing and after providing such information as may be requested. No exception shall be issued for a period of more than thirty days, except upon due notice to the public with opportunity to comment to the city planning commission. The city planning commission shall make a recommendation for approval or disapproval to the city council in all such cases. The city council shall then make a final determination of approval or disapproval of an exception for a period exceeding thirty days. Public hearings may be held before the city planning commission, in any case, when substantial public interest is shown at the discretion of the mayor.

(d)    Any such exceptions or renewal thereof shall be granted only for the minimum time period found to be necessary under the facts and circumstances.

(e)    An implementation schedule for achieving compliance with this chapter shall be incorporated into any exception from Section 5.38.030 that is issued.

(f)    Sources of noise, subject to this chapter, shall immediately comply with the requirements of this chapter, except in extraordinary circumstances where overriding considerations of public interest dictate the issuance of an exception. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.070 Enforcement.

(a)    Noise measurement is not necessary for the enforcement of Section 5.38.040 of this chapter.

(b)    Noise measurement for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of any section of this chapter shall be measured in dB(A) with a sound level meter in good operating condition, and properly calibrated.

(c)    Except for parks and recreation areas, or any sounds from motor vehicles or motor vehicle audio systems, enforcement of Section 5.38.040 and 5.38.010 of this chapter shall be undertaken only upon receipt of a complaint by an identifiable person who resides, owns property, or is employed in the area affected by the noise complained of.

(d)    Absent a complaint, whenever a police officer commissioned by the city or other person empowered by the mayor has reason to believe that any person is in violation of Section 5.38.040 of this chapter, he shall, before the issuance of a notice of infraction, notify such person of the violation and request compliance with this chapter. Failure of any person to cease after notification thereof of any violation of Section 5.38.040 shall be cause for the issuance of a notice of infraction.

(e)    The section of this chapter relating to motor vehicles and noise emanating therefrom shall be subject to enforcement proceedings regardless of whether a complaint has been received. No warning need be issued prior to enforcement of a motor vehicle noise violation.

(f)    For enforcement purposes, each day defined as a twenty-four-hour period beginning at 12:01 a.m. in which a violation of this chapter occurs, shall constitute a separate violation. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.080 Violations—Penalties.

Any person found to be in violation of the provisions of Section 5.38.030 or 5.38.040 shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and for each violation shall be subject to a civil penalty as follows:

(a)    First violation in any twelve-month period: C-14 penalty.

(b)    Second violation in any twelve-month period: C-9 penalty.

(c)    Third and subsequent violations in any twelve-month period: C-6 penalty.

In any proceeding under this chapter, unless specifically required by regulations adopted herein by reference, evidence of sound level through use of sound level meter readings shall not be necessary to establish the commission of the violation. Each day of violation shall be deemed a separate violation. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.090 Chapter additional to other law.

The provisions of this chapter shall be cumulative and nonexclusive and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy; nor, unless specifically provided, shall it be deemed to repeal or 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. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).

5.38.100 Severability.

If any section, part of section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be held to be unconstitutional or invalid, the remaining provisions of this chapter shall nevertheless remain in full force and effect. (Ord. 1229 § 1 (part), 2006).