[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Rockwood as Ch. 658 of the 1989 Codified Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
All terminology used in this chapter, not defined in this section, shall be in conformity with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body. In addition, as used in this chapter:
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The sound pressure level, in decibels, as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated dB(A) or dBA.
- COMMERCIAL AREA
- Any B-1, B-2, B-3, O-1, P-1, F-S or PT-1 District, as designated in the Zoning Code.
- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition for or of public or private rights-of-way, structures, utilities or similar properties.
- DECIBEL (dB)
- A unit for measuring the volume of a sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals.
- Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of structures, utilities, public or private right-of-way surfaces or similar properties.
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating the physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an emergency.
- GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT
- The weight equal to the weight of a vehicle without load, plus the weight of its maximum load carrying capacity, as rated by the manufacturer.
- IMPULSIVE SOUND
- Sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Sources of impulsive sound include, but are not limited to, explosions, drop forge impacts, bird controlling devices (clackers) and the discharge of firearms.
- INDUSTRIAL AREA
- Any M-1, M-2 or CM-1 District, as designated in the Zoning Code.
- LOAD-CARRYING CAPACITY
- The maximum weight which may be carried by a truck as disclosed by the manufacturer's rating.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Every self-propelled device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon land, including, but not limited to, automobiles, motorcycles, scooters and trucks.
- Every motor vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.
- MUFFLER or SOUND-DISSIPATIVE DEVICE
- A device for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
- Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological effect on humans.
- NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
- The Police Department which has the primary responsibility for the enforcement of this chapter.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals, which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivity or endangers or injures personal or real property.
- NOISE-SENSITIVE ZONE
- Any area where a school, hospital, house, workshop, day-care center, nursing home, public library, senior citizen center, residence or court is located, and includes an area of potential noise disturbance.
- Any individual, association, partnership or corporation, and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of a state or any political subdivision of a state.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- PUBLIC SPACE
- Any real property or structure thereon which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- PURE TONE
- Any sound which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or as a set of single pitches.
- REAL PROPERTY
- An imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension, which line separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, but not including intra-building real property divisions.
- RESIDENTIAL AREA
- Any RA-1, RA-2, RA-3, R-B, RC or RC-1 District, as designated in the Zoning Code.
- RMS SOUND PRESSURE
- The square root of the time averaged square of the sound pressure, denoted "Prms."
- An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of such sound includes duration, intensity and frequency.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency weighting network, such as A, B or C, as specified in American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters (ANSI SI.4-1971 or the latest approved revision thereof). If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument which includes a microphone, amplifier, RMS detector, integrator or time averager, output meter and weighting networks used to measure sound pressure levels.
- SOUND PRESSURE
- The instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a given point in space, as produced by sound energy.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure to the reference pressure of 20 micropascals. The sound pressure level is denoted "Lp" or "SPL" and is expressed in decibels.
- Any day, Monday through Friday, which is not a legal holiday.
Editor's Note: The Zoning Code is on file in the office of the City Clerk.
The noise control program established by this chapter shall be administered by the Police Department which will have the overall responsibility to coordinate, implement and enforce this chapter.
In order to implement and enforce this chapter, and for the general purpose of sound abatement and control, the Noise Control Officer shall have, in addition to any other power vested in him or her, the power to:
Conduct, or cause to be conducted, research, monitoring and other studies relating to sound;
Conduct programs to educate the public in connection with noise control and this chapter;
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable;
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of such actions on noise control;
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments, for compliance with this chapter, if such projects are likely to cause sound in violation of this chapter;
Based on a suspicion of a violation of this chapter or a complaint, and upon presentation of proper credentials, enter and inspect any private property or place, and inspect any report or records, at any reasonable time when granted permission by the owner or by some other person with apparent authority to act for the owner. When permission is refused or cannot be obtained, a search warrant may be obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction upon a showing of probable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter exists. Such inspection may include administration of any necessary tests. If the interests of the City require, the Noise Control Officer may designate some other qualified person to conduct such inspection.
Stop any motor vehicle or motorcycle operated on a public right-of-way or public space, which motor vehicle or motorcycle is reasonably suspected of violating any of the provisions of this chapter, and issue a notice of violation or abatement order which may require the motor vehicle or motorcycle to be inspected or tested as the Noise Control Officer may reasonably require; and
Require the owner or operator of any commercial or industrial activity to measure the sound level from any source in accordance with the methods and procedures and at such locations and times as the Noise Control Officer may reasonably prescribe, and to furnish reports of the results of such measurement to the Noise Control Officer. The Noise Control Officer may require the measurement to be conducted in the presence of its enforcement officials. If a property owner or operator refuses to comply with this subsection, the sound measurements may be made pursuant to Subsection B(6) hereof.
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, which governed the training of the Noise Control Officer, was repealed 10-17-2007 by Ord. No. 436.
All departments and agencies of the City shall, to the fullest extent consistent with other law, carry out their programs in such a manner as to further the policy of this chapter, and shall cooperate with the Noise Control Officer in the implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
All departments charged with new projects or changes to existing projects that result or may result in the production of sound shall consult with the Noise Control Officer prior to the approval of such projects.
In case of motor vehicle enforcement, the Police Department shall be the primary enforcement agency.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any source of sound in such a manner as to create a sound level which exceeds the limits set forth in the following table:
|Maximum Permissible Sound Levels by Receiving Land Use Category|
|Receiving Land Use Category|
|Sound Source Land Use Category||Residential||Commercial||Industrial|
|7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.||55||65||75|
|10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.||50|
|7:00 p.m. –10:00 p.m.||65||65||65|
|10:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.||50|
|7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.||65||75||75|
|10:00 p.m – 7:00 a.m.||50|
The following are exempt from Subsection A hereof:
Domestic power tools, lawn mowers and agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays;
Noise from church bells and church chimes; and
Noise from construction activity, except as provided in this chapter.
Motor vehicles and motorcycles on public rights-of-way. No person shall operate or cause to be operated a public or private motor vehicle or motorcycle on a public right-of-way at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle exceeds the level set forth in the following table:
|Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Sound Limits (measured at 50 feet or 15 meters)|
|Vehicle Class||Sound Level in dBA|
|New Vehicles||Speed Limit 35 mph or Less||Speed Limit Over 35 mph||Stationary Run-Up|
|Motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or over||83||86||90||88 at 50 feet|
|Motorcycles||83||82||86||95 at 75 inches|
|Motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 8,500 pounds||80||76||82||95 at 20 inches|
Adequate mufflers or sound-dissipative devices.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with the original muffler or an equivalent replacement in good working order and in constant operation.
No person shall 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 or motorcycle.
Horns and signaling devices. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter:
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device in or on any motor vehicle or motorcycle on any public right-of-way or public space, except as a warning of danger; and
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device which produces a sound level in excess of 100 dBA at 25 feet.
Standing motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle for longer than three minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet (46 meters) of a residential area or designated noise-sensitive zone, between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day.
Except as permitted in Subsection E(2) hereof, no person shall operate or cause to be operated any recreational motorized vehicle off a public right-of-way in such a manner that the sound level emitted therefrom exceeds the limits set forth in the following table at a distance of 50 feet (15 meters) or more from the path of the vehicle when operated on a public space or at or across the boundary of private property when operated on private property. This section shall apply to all recreational motorized vehicles whether or not duly licensed and registered.
|Recreational Motorized Vehicle Sound Limits (measured at 50 feet or 15 meters)|
|Vehicle Type||Sound Level (dBA)|
|Manufactured before 1975||86|
|Manufactured after 1975||84|
|Any other vehicle|
|Manufactured before 1975||84|
|Manufactured after 1975||80|
No person shall operate or permit to be operated any railroad locomotive, cars or other rolling stock or equipment so as to cause a violation of the allowable sound levels adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
[Amended 7-15-1998 by Ord. No. 371; 5-1-2002 by Ord. No. 407]
No person shall make, continue or cause or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically, any unnecessary noise (noise disturbance). Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the operation of this section. The following acts, and the causing thereof, are hereby declared to be in violation of this chapter.
Sound reproduction systems.
Operating or playing, or permitting operation or playing, of any radio, television, phonograph or similar device which reproduces or amplifies sound:
Loudspeakers; public address systems.
Using or operating, for any noncommercial purpose, any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
Using or operating, for any commercial purpose, any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device.
Street sales. Offering for sale or selling anything by shouting or outcry within any residential or commercial area of the city.
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird which, frequently or for continued duration, makes sounds which create a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials or similar objects between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone, subject to § 144-4.
Motor vehicle repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorboat in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
Airports, aircraft operations and heliports.
The Noise Control Officer shall consult with the airport proprietor to recommend changes in airport operations to minimize any noise disturbance which the airport owner may have the authority to control in his or her capacity as proprietor.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit, restrict, penalize, enjoin or in any manner regulate the movement of aircraft which are, in all respects, conducted in accordance with or pursuant to applicable federal laws or regulations.
Construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling or demolition work between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day or weekdays, or weekends, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone, except for emergency work of public service utilities or by a special variance issued pursuant to § 144-8B.
Place of public entertainment. Operating or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound in any place of public entertainment so as to produce a maximum sound level of 50 dBA on a residential real property boundary pursuant to § 144-4.
Domestic power tools. Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool, snowblower or similar device used outdoors in residential areas between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
Burglar alarms. Sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle unless such burglar alarm terminates its operation within 15 minutes of its being activated. Any vehicle upon which a burglar alarm has been installed shall prominently display the telephone number at which communication may be made with the owner of such motor vehicle.
Refuse compacting vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any refuse compacting motor vehicle between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day in residential areas.
Air-conditioning and air-handling devices. The operation of air-conditioning or air-handling devices that exceed, in residential areas, continuous sound levels measured at the property line of 55 dBA. This subsection shall not apply if the sound from the air conditioner or air-handling device produces less than a five dBA increase in the sound level that exists in the absence of such sound.
Loud and raucous parties. Making, allowing, causing or permitting any unnecessary and unreasonable noise or raucous activity in a residence which disturbs the peace, tranquillity and good order of the community.
The Noise Control Officer shall establish regulations governing exceptions, variances and appeals. Such regulations shall be subject to the approval of Council prior to the promulgation thereof.
The Noise Control Officer shall not enforce any noise regulations within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Except as provided in Subsection A(2) hereof, in lieu of issuing a notice of violation as provided in Subsection B hereof, the Noise Control Officer responsible for enforcement may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period and according to guidelines which the Noise Control Officer may prescribe.
Notice of violations. A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for a notice of violation to be issued by the Noise Control Officer.