9.11.010    Declaration of policy – Findings of special conditions.

9.11.020    Definitions.

9.11.030    Motor vehicle noise – Specific prohibitions.

9.11.040    Public nuisances and disturbance noises.

9.11.050    Noises exempt – Completely or partially.

9.11.060    Noises exempt – Daylight hours.

9.11.070    Enforcement – Complaints.

9.11.080    Provisions not exclusive.

9.11.090    Violation.

9.11.010 Declaration of policy – Findings of special conditions.

A. 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, the use, value and enjoyment of property, sleep and repose, and the quality of the environment.

B. Findings.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 with such area; and, when occurring in or near vehicular traffic, presents a danger to traffic safety.

5. 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.

6. The City Council finds that excessive noise being generated from such equipment is a public nuisance and constitutes a public disturbance noise.

C. 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 finds 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 93-06 §1)

9.11.020 Definitions.

All technical terminology used in this chapter not defined herein shall be interpreted in conformance with RCW Chapter 70.107 and WAC Chapter 173-60 as now in force or hereinafter amended. For purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases used herein shall have the meaning indicated below:

"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.

"Motorcycle" means any motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designated 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.

"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.

"New motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle manufactured after December 31, 1975, 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.

"Noise" means the intensity, duration and character of sounds from any and all sources.

"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

"Person" means any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation or any other entity, public or private.

"Property boundary" means the survey line at ground surface, which separates the real property owned, rented, or leased by one or more persons from that owned, rented or leased by one or more other persons, and its vertical extension.

"Public nuisance noise" means any sound which unreasonably 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 the damage may be unequal. (Ord 93-06 §1)

9.11.030 Motor vehicle noise – Specific prohibitions.

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 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. (Ord 93-06 §1)

9.11.040 Public nuisances and disturbance noises.

A. Exemptions. 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.

B. 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 in this chapter.

C. Public Disturbance Noise. It is unlawful for any person to cause or any person in possession or control of property to allow to originate from the property, sound that is a public disturbance noise. The following sources of sound shall be public disturbance noises:

1. Frequent, repetitive, or continuous noise made by any animal which unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors. Such sounds made by animal shelters, commercial kennels, veterinary hospitals, pet shops or pet kennels licensed under and in compliance with this code shall be exempt from this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the owner or other person having custody of the animal cannot, with reasonable inquiry, be located by the investigating officer, or if the animal is a repeat violator of this subsection, the animal shall be impounded by the Animal Control Officer or his designee, subject to redemption in the manner provided in Section 8.05.090;

2. 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;

3. 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;

4. 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 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 noise which unreasonably interferes with the use of any school, church, hospital, sanitarium, nursing or convalescent facility, or the peace, comfort and repose of the occupants therein;

6. 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;

7. 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 sound from a portable or motor vehicle audio system such as a tape player, radio or compact disc player, which is operated at such a volume so as to be audible at a distance of seventy-five feet or more from the source of the sound. (Ord 93-06 §1)

9.11.050 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 backup 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 warning devices not operated continuously for more than thirty minutes per incident;

7. Noise created by natural phenomenon and unamplified human voices;

8. Noise created by motor vehicles, licensed or unlicensed when operated off public highways except when such sounds are received in residential zones of the City;

9. Noise created by existing stationary equipment used in the conveyance of water by utilities and noise created by existing electrical substations;

10. Noise created by sources in industrial districts which over the previous three years have consistently operated in excess of fifteen hours per day as a demonstrated routine or as a consequence of process necessity.

B. The following sources of noise are exempt, upon permission by the City Administrator after a determination the conduct of the activities is necessary or in the best interest of the City for a limited period of time:

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

2. Noise created by aircraft;

3. Noise emanating from the temporary construction sites except between the hours of ten p.m. and seven a.m.; and

4. Noise resulting from work on or about rights of way of state highways arising from the construction, maintenance or repair of said highways or other public facilities on or about said highways;

C. It is the intention of City Council to consider amendments to this chapter controlling the sources exempted in Section 9.11.050(B) whenever the Washington State Department of Ecology promulgates specific regulations relating to the specific sources in the future. (Ord 08-249 §1; Ord 97-12 §1; Ord 93-06 §1) (Changes were made during codification for hyperlinking)

9.11.060 Noises exempt – Daylight hours.

The following noises shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter between the hours of seven a.m. and ten p.m. on weekdays and nine a.m. and ten p.m. on weekends:

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 but not limited 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 93-06 §1)

9.11.070 Enforcement – Complaints.

A. Complaint Only Basis. Only after a complaint has been received from an identified person who resides on, owns, rents or leases property or is employed in the area that is affected by a noise source may the police department issue a civil infraction notice; provided, that the section of this chapter relating to motor vehicles shall be subject to enforcement proceedings, regardless of whether a complaint has been received; provided, further, that with the exception of motor vehicle noises, noises created by industrial areas are to be enforced by the state pursuant to RCW 70.107 and WAC 173-60; and provided further, that the policy department may issue a civil infraction notice in any instance where the police department determines such action to be necessary to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare.

B. Separate Offenses. 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 93-06 §1)

9.11.080 Provisions not exclusive.

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 this chapter be deemed to repeal, amend or modify any law, ordinances or regulation relating to noise, but shall be deemed additional to existing legislation and common law on noise. (Ord 93-06 §1)

9.11.090 Violation.

A. Any person found to be in violation of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and for each violation shall be subject to a civil penalty as follows:

1. First violation in any twelve-month period C-9 penalty;

2. Second violation in any twelve-month period C6 penalty;

3. Third and subsequent violations in any twelve month period C-3 penalty.

B. Evidence in Proceedings. In any proceeding under this chapter, evidence of sound level through the use of sound level meter readings shall not be necessary to establish the commission of the violation. (Ord 93-06 §1)