[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Frederick 5-12-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
At certain levels, noise can be detrimental to the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life of inhabitants of the County, and, in the public interest, such noise should be restricted. It is, therefore, the policy of the County to reduce, and eliminate where possible, excessive noise and related adverse conditions in the community, and to prohibit unnecessary, excessive, harmful, and annoying noises from all sources.
This chapter shall be applicable from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., inclusive, each day, to noise emanating from property located within the following zoning districts as indicated on the Frederick County Zoning Map:
No person shall be charged with a violation of this section unless that person has received verbal, electronic, or written notice from a law enforcement officer of Frederick County that he is violating or has violated the provisions of this chapter and has thereafter had the opportunity to abate the noise disturbance.
Enforcement of this chapter shall be by the Sheriff of Frederick County or his designee.
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 for the first offense and a fine of not more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense. Each such occurrence shall constitute a separate offense.
The following acts are declared to be noise disturbances in violation of this chapter, provided that this list shall not be deemed to be an exclusive enumeration of those acts which may constitute noise disturbances and that an act not listed below may nevertheless constitute a violation of this chapter:
Prohibited noise generally. Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, computer, recording, musical instrument, amplifier, or similar device, or yelling, shouting, whistling, or singing, or operating or permitting the operation of any mechanical equipment in such as manner as to be plainly audible or exceeding 60 decibels as heard:
Across a residential real property boundary or through partitions common to two or more dwelling units within a building; or
At a distance of 50 feet or more from the building in which it is located, provided that the sound is audible on another's property; or
At a distance of 50 feet or more from its source, provided that the sound is audible on another's property.
Schools, public buildings, places of worship, and hospitals. The creation of any noise on or near the grounds of any school, court, public building, place of worship, or hospital in a manner that is plainly audible within such school, court, public building, place of worship, or hospital, and which noise interferes with the operation of the institution.
The term "plainly audible" shall mean any sound that can be heard clearly by a person using his or her unaided hearing faculties. When music is involved, the detection of rhythmic bass tones shall be sufficient to be considered plainly audible sound.
This chapter shall have no application to any sound generated by any of the following:
Sound which is necessary for the protection or preservation of property or the health, safety, life, or limb of any person.
Public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public right-of-way or public property.
Radios, sirens, horns, and bells on police, fire, or other emergency response vehicles.
Parades, lawful fireworks displays, school-related activities, and other such public special events or public activities.
Activities on or in municipal, County, state, United States, or school athletic facilities, or on or in publicly owned property and facilities.
Fire alarms and burglar alarms, prior to the giving of notice and a reasonable opportunity for the owner or person in possession of the premises served by any such alarm to turn off the alarm.
Religious services, religious events, or religious activities or expressions, including, but not limited to, music, singing, bells, chimes, and organs which are a part of such service, event, activity, or expression.
Locomotives and other railroad equipment, and aircraft.
The striking of clocks.
Military activities of the Commonwealth of Virginia or of the United States of America.