Town of Brentwood, MD
Prince George's County
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[Adopted 4-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-03]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 170.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 184.
The Mayor and Councils find that excessive noise harms public health and welfare and weakens enjoyment of property. The intent of this chapter is to regulate noise sources within the Town to permit the health, safety, welfare, and the use, enjoyment and protection of property of the inhabitants of the Town. This chapter must be liberally construed to carry out this intent. A person may not create noise or allow noise to be created that disturbs the peace, quiet, and comfort of a residential area and includes residences in all areas.
The following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this chapter:
CONTINUOUS
Any noise constantly audible for at least five minutes, examples being burglar alarms, engines, and loud machinery.
DAYTIME
The hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Sunday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
DEPARTMENT
The Police Department and Code Enforcement for the Town of Brentwood, MD.
IMPULSIVE NOISE
A burst of nonmechanical sound not exceeding 10 seconds in duration. Examples are laughter, coughing, exclamations, or a dog's bark.
INTERMITTENT
Any noise with a sound level that varies to the human ear but is audible for more than a period of 10 seconds. Examples are music, radios, conversations, and barking dogs.
LANDLORD
The person who manages, leases, holds, or otherwise controls the property of an owner.
NIGHTTIME
The hours from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. from Sunday through Friday and 10:00 p.m. on Saturday to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.
NOISE
Noise related to human activity, including noise produced vocally, with a radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or any other device or by a machine, tool or other equipment which produces, reproduces or amplifies any sound or noise which is continuous in nature and audible more than 50 feet from the source of the sound or noise in the public right-of-way or an adjacent building.
OWNER
The person listed on the tax records of the Town as the property owner.
PERSISTS ON AN INTERMITTENT BASIS
Intermittent noise recurring for a period exceeding five minutes.
POLICE CHIEF OR OFFICER
The Chief of the Town of Brentwood Police Department, a sworn member of the Town of Brentwood Police Department, or their authorized designee.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
An area located within a residential zone listed within the incorporated limits of the Town of Brentwood, including residential areas abutting mixed-use, commercial and industrial areas, as defined.
During daytime hours, the following noises are unreasonable, and persons shall not cause nor allow on their property such noises if the noise occurs on a continuous or intermittent basis and is audible more than 50 feet from the private property where such noise is occurring or more than 50 feet from the noise source on public property.
A. 
Noise from using, operating, or permitting to be played or operated any device that is designed to electronically amplify sound or that produces sound and vibrations of subaudible frequencies. Such devices would include, but are not limited to, stereos, CD players, televisions, radios, and microphones. Locations of such devices includes but is not limited to homes, motor vehicles, pedestrians, public spaces, and commercial establishments.
B. 
Noise from motor vehicle horns used for other than a warning.
During nighttime hours, unreasonable noise is a public nuisance and is prohibited. If the noise occurs on a continuous or intermittent basis and is audible more than 50 feet from the private property where such noise is occurring or more than 50 feet from the noise source on public property, then there is a presumption that the noise is unreasonable and that a public nuisance exists. Location of sources of the sound or noise would include, but is not limited to, motor vehicles, pedestrians, garages, homes, public spaces, and commercial establishments. The following, among others, are declared to be unreasonable nighttime noises, but said enumeration shall not be deemed exclusive, namely, noise from:
A. 
Any alarm, bell, chime, horn, whistle, or similar device.
B. 
The loading or unloading of any vehicle or trash receptacle.
C. 
Motor vehicles that are operated in such a manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling, or other noise.
D. 
The operation or use of any tool or equipment, including but not limited to construction equipment, lawnmowers, power tools, hammers, drills, and generators.
E. 
The warming or idling of motor vehicles, including but not limited to motorcycles, buses, trucks, and the unreasonable or repeated idling, acceleration and deceleration of such vehicle.
F. 
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing.
G. 
Amplified noise, including vibrations of subaudible frequencies.
H. 
Any device for killing, trapping, attracting or repelling insects or other pests.
The following noise-generating activities shall be exempt from enforcement under this chapter:
A. 
Any sound resulting from the emergency operation of a public service company as defined in Section 1-101(x), Public Utilities Article, of the Annotated Code of Maryland;
B. 
Any sound resulting from the operations of an instrumentality of the federal, state, or county government, the Board of Education, or of a municipality;
C. 
A sound resulting from the operation of an aircraft or train;
D. 
On private property for which a valid use and occupancy permit has been issued for purposes of sporting, recreational, entertainment establishment, or for any other event to which the public is invited;
E. 
An event or activity with a validly issued permit, license or other written authority which takes place on property owned by the United States, the state, the county, the Board of Education, or a municipality;
F. 
Lawn care, snow-removal equipment and other household tools or equipment when used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.;
G. 
Any sound resulting from the emergency operations by fire and rescue services or police agencies;
H. 
Motor vehicle horns and warning devices used to warn of an emergency or danger, but not excepting motor vehicle anti-theft devices or alarms;
I. 
Alarms in buildings if the sound ceases within 20 minutes;
J. 
Any vendor or outdoor event with an approved permit from the Town of Brentwood;
K. 
Any sound from equipment necessary to keep electricity and other essential utilities operational during weather emergencies, or as a result of such emergencies, including, but not limited to, generators;
L. 
Municipal and commercial trash collection vehicles during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.;
M. 
During times when a state of emergency has been declared by the Mayor of the Town of Brentwood, which would allow Town residents to perform necessary operations to aid in the recovery within the Town.
The Town Administrator, or his/her designee, is authorized to issue a permit to exceed the noise provisions of this section. Any resident, property owner, or business owner may secure for a specific address or location a maximum of four variances per year from these restrictions.
A. 
Permits shall specify places, dates and hours of the permitted activities and may impose terms and conditions appropriate to reduce the impact of the noise variance.
B. 
No permit shall be granted for nighttime hours. Permits are valid for a specified five-hour period. Only one permit shall be issued to a property in a thirty-day period.
C. 
A noise permit allows noise to be heard up to 200 feet from its source. If the noise can be heard further than 200 feet from the source, the noise permit is void. A Brentwood police officer or Code Enforcement Officer has the authority to revoke or impose restrictions on a noise permit if, in his or her judgment, the provisions of the City noise restrictions are being violated.
D. 
Permits for residential properties shall cost $10 and be available for inspection during the event.
E. 
Permits for nonresidential property shall be posted so as to be visible to the public prior to and during the event; a fee of $25 shall accompany applications for such permits.
F. 
The Town Administrator or his/her designee is authorized to adopt and use such forms of applications and permits as may be reasonably required in the performance of his/her duties and enforcement of this section.
A. 
Any person who, after instructed to cease the noise, shall allow or cause a continued violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine not exceeding $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense, or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. (Maryland Criminal Law Title 10 Subtitle 2 Section § 10-201. Disturbing the public peace and disorderly conduct.)
B. 
As an alternative to criminal action, the Chief of Police or a police officer may issue a civil citation for any violation of this chapter not exceeding $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The issuance of a citation or warning in violation of this chapter shall be at the discretion of the police officer.
A. 
The Town Administrator, Chief of Police, police officer or a code enforcement officer may issue a civil citation to the owner or landlord of the building or premises from which noise in violation of this chapter of this title emanates, if more than three civil citations have been filed against an occupant, at one address, within a sixty-day period. The issuance of a citation or warning in violation of this chapter shall be at the discretion of the police officer.
B. 
The Town Administrator, Chief of Police, police officer or a code enforcement officer may issue additional civil citations for each subsequent violation within six months after the initial citation of the owner or landlord.
C. 
Before issuing a citation, the Town Administrator, Chief of Police, police officer or a code enforcement officer shall send by certified mail or deliver written notice to the owner or landlord that three citations have been filed under this chapter within a sixty-day period.
D. 
Failure of payment by the owner will result in the Town of Brentwood filing for a property tax lien.
E. 
The Town may seek injunctive or other appropriate judicial relief to stop or prevent continuing violations of this chapter.
Any sworn Town of Brentwood police officer shall be authorized to enforce this chapter of the Town Code. In the performance of their duties as regards to noise control a police officer is hereby authorized to enter upon private property in the Town of Brentwood in order to quell any noise that is detrimental to health, safety, or welfare and the use, enjoyment and protection of property.