Town of Mount Airy, MD
Carroll County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 1-13-1963]
[Amended 4-2-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-3; 1-8-2001 by Ord. No. 2000-10; 5-5-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-11; 3-3-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-01]
A. 
Purpose. The Town Council finds that excessive and unreasonable noise harms public health and welfare and impairs enjoyment of property. The intent of this article is to control noise, to protect public health and welfare and to allow the peaceful enjoyment of property, but at the same time permit such enjoyment of property as is consistent with reasonable use of the property.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the terms and definitions contained in COMAR 26.02.03.01, as amended from time to time, are adopted by reference and shall apply in their entirety except where otherwise indicated below. Further, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMPLAINT
A statement attesting to a violation of this article.
DAYTIME
The hours from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for which Town Hall is closed.
NIGHTTIME
The hours from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, for which Town Hall is closed.
NOISE
A sound created or controlled by human activity from one or more sources.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any noise that is:
(1) 
Continuous such that it lasts for more than 10 minutes; and
(2) 
Offensive or obnoxious, considering its intensity, frequency and duration, or unusual for the time of day or location where it is, produced or heard.
VALID COMPLAINT
A statement signed under oath or penalty of perjury attesting to a violation of this article, or a complaint otherwise validated and found credible by code enforcement officials.
C. 
Prohibitions.
(1) 
Any activity which generates a noise level in excess of the permissible environment noise standards contained in COMAR 26.02.03.03, as amended, is expressly prohibited within the Town.
(2) 
In addition to activity listed below in Subsection D, except for normal retail or restaurant activity during the daytime, which produces a noise disturbance which is not observed or heard by police, law enforcement, or Town personnel but which unreasonably interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of residential property or the lawful conduct of business is hereby declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited, provided that valid complaints have been received from two different addresses or locations which substantiate the nature and extent of the same activity.
(3) 
Any activity listed below in Subsection D which produces a noise disturbance which unreasonably interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of residential property or the lawful conduct of business is hereby declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited.
D. 
Prohibited noises enumerated. In addition to the prohibited noises set forth in COMAR 26.02.03.03(A), as amended, the following acts are hereby declared to be noise disturbances under this section and are prohibited as follows:
(1) 
During daytime or nighttime, use of any of the following on or near any street, avenue, alley, highway, footway, sidewalk, parking or other public space, area intended to be used by the public or area to which the public is invited, including but not limited to areas in or around barrooms, hotels or other public places, except under a permit issued by the Town:
(a) 
Any device or apparatus for the intensification or amplification of sound, the human voice or music;
(b) 
Use of any item for the purpose of producing or reproducing sound, including any radio, audio system, television set; or
(c) 
Use of any item for the purpose of noise-making, including but not limited to bells, whistles and drums.
(2) 
During daytime or nighttime, use of any of the following for the purpose of advertising goods or services, or attracting attention to any business or vehicle:
(a) 
Any device or apparatus for the intensification or amplification of sound, the human voice or music;
(b) 
Use of any item for the purpose of producing or reproducing sound, including any radio, audio system, television set; or
(c) 
Use of any item for the purpose of noise-making, including but not limited to, bells, whistles and drums.
(3) 
During nighttime, use of any of the following out of doors except under a permit issued by the Town for public events and celebrations:
(a) 
Any device or apparatus for the intensification or amplification of sound, the human voice or music;
(b) 
Use of any item for the purpose of producing or reproducing sound, including any radio, audio system, television set; or
(c) 
Use of any item for the purpose of noise-making, including but not limited to bells, whistles and drums.
(4) 
During nighttime, the construction, site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or demolition of structures or roadways or auto repair activity which produces noise that can plainly be heard more than 100 feet away in a residential area.
(5) 
During daytime or nighttime, any motor vehicle horn or signaling device which is sounded repeatedly except as an emergency or danger warning signal.
(6) 
During daytime or nighttime, continual barking of a dog for 10 consecutive minutes or more.
(7) 
During nighttime, delivery of building, construction or, building site preparation materials which produces noise that can plainly be heard more than 100 feet away in a residential area.
(8) 
During nighttime, the pickup of trash or recyclables from dumpsters or other containers more than 150 cubic feet in size within 500 feet of any residential use.
E. 
Exemptions. This article does not apply to:
(1) 
Devices used solely to warn, protect or alert the public of the existence of an emergency or hazardous situation;
(2) 
Household tools, portable appliances and lawn care and snow removal equipment in normal usage during daytime hours;
(3) 
Emergency operations, including emergency repairs to commercial, industrial or residential property and training of police, fire and rescue personnel;
(4) 
Ordinary noise created by common carriers en route to their destinations, including aircraft, trains, delivery trucks and buses;
(5) 
Sporting events, including athletic contests and games in any location within the town, and entertainment events, including parades, public celebrations, festivals and carnivals in fairgrounds, carnival grounds, Town parks or public property between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
(6) 
A source or condition expressly subject to any state, county or federal noise control law or regulation which is more stringent than the provisions of this article, including noise during the daytime;
(7) 
Any activity causing noise for which a variance has been obtained by any state or county environmental authority, to the extent of the variance so granted;
(8) 
Any public event for which a government authority has issued permission or a permit.
F. 
Exceptions. The provisions of this article may be temporarily waived upon written request and prior approval by the Mayor, Zoning Administrator or designated Town staff if, without an exception, substantial hardship, loss or inconvenience would result to a party in interest and if the public health or safety would not be impaired by an exception. A temporary waiver granted under this subsection shall not be valid for longer than 30 days, subject to renewal.
G. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
To the extent not personally observed by law enforcement or Town personnel, a violation of this article may be deemed to exist and a citation may, if appropriate, be issued to the individual or persons responsible as well as to the property owner when a valid complaint is received.
(2) 
To the extent not personally observed by law enforcement or Town personnel, a violation of §  82-4C(2) shall be deemed to exist and a citation may, if appropriate, be issued to the individual or persons responsible as well as to the property owner only in the event that valid complaints are received from two different addresses or locations about the same activity.
(3) 
Violation of this subsection shall constitute a municipal infraction and shall carry a fine of $50 for the first offense; $100 for the second offense; $250 for the third offense and $500 for any further offense.
(4) 
Repeat violations of this article for which a citation may or could be issued may also be enforced by a cease-and-desist, stop-work or abatement order issued by any enforcement official, staff authorized to issue citations, police officer, the Mayor, or any Council member.
(5) 
Citations shall only be issued based on observations of officials authorized to issue citations or upon receipt of a valid complaint or complaints which identify the complainants and in the judgment of officials authorized to issue citations constitute a violation of this article.
[Added 12-2-1988 by Ord. No. 144]
Violation of this article is hereby declared to be a municipal infraction.