City of Lewes, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lewes 5-12-1980; amended in its entirety 5-14-2018[1]. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Amusement parks — See Ch. 56.
Building code — See Ch. 70.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 183.
Zoning — See Ch. 197.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also included general references to §§ 56-12B(6), 70-15C(3), 183-70, 197-11B(2), 197-45D(4). 197-66B. 197 93B(4), 197-96D. 197-102D(2). and 197-110C of this Code, and to 7 Del. C. Ch. 71, Noise Control and Abatement, and 7 Del. Admin. Code 1149, Regulations Governing the Control of Noise.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City Council to prevent any noise disturbance.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which:
A. 
Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals; or
B. 
Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
C. 
Jeopardizes the value of property and erodes the integrity of the environment.
PERSON
Any individual or organization.
SOUND DEVICE
Any device for the amplification of sounds.
UNNECESSARY
That which is not required by emergency services or permitted construction activities.
In addition to any noise that would annoy or disturb a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, as determined by a police officer, the following acts by any person are declared to create an illegal noise disturbance, but any enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
The use of any amplified sound device out-of-doors:
(1) 
Without a permit from the City; or
(2) 
Regardless of any permit, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following morning.
B. 
The operation of any sound device or the use of any musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume as to disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence with its doors and windows closed.
C. 
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the repose of any individual in the vicinity.
D. 
The use of any motor vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary noise.
E. 
The discharge of the exhaust of any engine, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
F. 
The creation of any unnecessary noise on any street near any school, library, or hospital, which interferes with the workings of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, library or hospital.
G. 
The creation of unnecessary noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or container or the opening and the destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
H. 
The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers, or vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
I. 
The use of any drum, loudspeakers or other device for the purpose of attracting attention to any sale or display of merchandise by the creation of noise.
J. 
The sounding of any horn or signal device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, streetcar or other vehicle, except as a warning signal pursuant to provisions of law.
K. 
The use of any sound device in or attached to a building in such a manner that the device shall cause its sound to be projected directly outside of the building.
L. 
The operation of any mechanical device in such a manner as to create any unnecessary noise which shall disturb a reasonable individual in the vicinity.
M. 
The use of sound devices in, on, near or adjacent to any public street, park or place for commercial or business advertising purposes.
A. 
Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, any person intending to hold any public or private event within Lewes that may not comply with the noise restrictions of this chapter shall apply to the City Manager for a noise permit at least 21 calendar days prior to the date of the event. Permit applications from commercial entities are disfavored.
B. 
The City Manager will determine whether noise associated with the event, while not in compliance with the noise restrictions of this chapter, is likely to be within an acceptable range, in consideration of:
(1) 
The number of people who may attend the event.
(2) 
The proximity of the event to people not attending it.
(3) 
The duration of the event.
(4) 
The time of the event. The City Manager shall not issue a noise permit for any noise to occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
(5) 
The frequency of applications for similar events for the same venue.
(6) 
The character and volume of the noise expected to emanate from the event.
(7) 
The amplification equipment to be used, if any.
(8) 
Whether the event is organized by a Lewes citizen or resident, organization, or business.
(9) 
Other considerations inherent to the proposed event.
(10) 
The applicant's acknowledgement that they have notified their immediate neighbors.
C. 
The City Manager may grant or deny the noise permit application, may limit the time period during which the event may take place, and may place reasonable conditions on the issuance of the permit so that the noise associated with the event will be within an acceptable range. The applicant may appeal a denial or limitation to the City Council if time permits. Alternatively, the City Manager may refer the application to the Mayor and City Council. The Mayor and City Council may grant or deny the application, may limit the time during which the event may take place, and may place reasonable conditions on the issuance of the permit so that the noise associated with the event will be within an acceptable range.
D. 
Violation of the terms of a permit may result in mandatory and immediate cessation of the event, in addition to other legal remedies under this chapter.
[Amended 8-13-2018
A. 
No construction that creates a noise disturbance shall be carried on between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning. No construction that creates a noise disturbance shall take place on any Saturday, Sunday or the following State of Delaware holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day; provided, however, that construction shall be permitted on Saturdays (except where a Saturday falls on a holiday) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., from October 1 to April 30; further provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall prevent any homeowner from personally performing construction work within the homeowner's property boundaries, so long as all necessary permits have been obtained and any fees therefor have been paid.
B. 
The Mayor and City Council may approve alternative construction hours as conditions of development approval in accordance with Chapter 170.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Emergency construction necessary to dispel an unexpected and immediate threat to people or property.
B. 
Audible signal devices which are employed as warning or alarm signals of fire, collision, or imminent danger.
C. 
Municipally sponsored celebrations or events.
D. 
Use of unamplified bells or chimes by places of worship.
E. 
City activities and duties.
F. 
Road and public utility maintenance.
G. 
Activities of any public school conducted on the school premises that are inherent to, and traditionally associated with, the operation of a public school.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $200 and imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days for the first such conviction. For a second or subsequent conviction, any person, firm or corporation shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 and imprisonment for a term of not less than 20 days nor more than 60 days for each such conviction. Each day that a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter continues shall deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct violation.