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(A) Declaration of findings and policy.
(1) It is the finding of the city that excessive noise adversely affects the community in general and individual citizens in particular, and may specifically result in hearing loss, speech interference, both indoors and outdoors, and annoyance, so as to constitute a menace to the public health, welfare and quality of life.
(2) It is the purpose of this section to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace and quiet for the citizens of the city through the reduction, control and prevention of excessive noise. Further, it is the intent of this section to establish standards that will eliminate and reduce unnecessary and excessive noise, which is physically harmful and otherwise detrimental to individuals and the community in the enjoyment of life, property and conduct of business.
(B) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
COMMERCIAL POWER EQUIPMENT. Any equipment or device rated at five horsepower or more and used for home or building repairs or ground maintenance.
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT. Any equipment or devices, such as, but not limited to, pile drivers, power shovels, jackhammers. derricks, hoist tractors, loaders, rollers, concrete hauling motor vehicles, pavement breakers, backhoes, clam shells, bulldozers, crawler-tractors, rotary drills and augers, cranes, ditchers, trenchers, scrapers, graders, wagons, pumps, compressors and pneumatic power equipment or other mechanical apparatus operated by fuel or electric power in the construction, repair or demolition of any building, structure, land, street, driveway or appurtenance thereto.
DOMESTIC POWER EQUIPMENT. Any equipment or device rated at five horsepower or less and used for home or building repairs or grounds maintenance.
EMERGENCY WORK. Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity or work required to protect persons or property from exposure to imminent danger.
MOTOR VEHICLE. Any vehicle driven or powered by any means other than muscular power.
ORGANIZED SCHOOL AND RECREATION RELATED PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES OR EVENTS. Specifically includes, but not be limited to, daycare activities, band practices, programs and events, athletic practices and events, or other activities and events recognized or endorsed by the school or recreation facility as a sponsored activity. School affiliation and approval notwithstanding, this term shall specifically exclude gatherings, socials or parties conducted or sponsored by fraternities, sororities or other social clubs or organizations.
PERSON. Any person, firm, group, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, company, contractor, supplier, installer, user or owner. For purposes of this section, the president, manager, host or other person in charge of a group, association or organization shall be responsible for requiring said group, association or organization to comply with this section and shall likewise be subject to the penalties imposed for violation of this section by said group, association or organization.
PLAINLY AUDIBLE. Any human voice, music or any other sound produced by a sound amplification system upon or from within the vehicle which clearly can be heard at a distance of 50 feet or more.
SOUND. Oscillation in pressure, stress, particle displacement and particle velocity which induce auditory sensation.
SOUND AMPLIFICATION SYSTEM. Any radio, tape player, compact disc player, MP3 or IPod, loud speaker or other electronic device used for the amplification of the human voice, music or any other sound.
(C) Unlawful conduct.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to make, cause to be made, continue or permit any excessive or unreasonably loud noise or any other raucous sound, considering the time, date, place and nature of such noise or sound, that annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace, safety or repose of other persons or ordinary sensibilities within the city. Factors for determining whether a sound is unreasonably loud and raucous include, but are not limited to, the proximity of the sound to sleeping facilities, the land use, nature and zoning of the area from which the sound emanates and the area where it is received, the time of day or night the sound occurs, the duration of the sound and whether the sound is recurrent, intermittent or constant. Any violation of this section is deemed a civil offense, subject to all lawful enforcement actions and fines, specifically those fines set forth in § 92.99.
(2) No person operating, occupying or in control of a motor vehicle on a street, highway, alley, parking lot, park or driveway shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system upon or from within the vehicle so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of 50 or more feet from the vehicle. Measurement standards shall be by human auditory senses based upon direct line of sight. Words or phrases need not be discernible and bass reverberations are included. These requirements apply to any vehicle whether stopped, standing, parked or moving. Any violation of this section is deemed a civil offense, subject to all lawful enforcement actions and fines, specifically those fines set forth in § 92.99.
(D) Exemptions. The prohibitions set forth herein shall not apply and it shall be a defense to any prosecution hereunder if an otherwise unlawful noise was emitted from:
(1) Any siren, whistle, horn or bell lawfully used by emergency vehicles or any other alarm systems used in case of fire, collision, civil defense, police activity or imminent danger; provided, however, that burglar alarms not terminating within 30 minutes after being activated shall be deemed a nuisance and unlawful;
(2) Any commercial power and construction equipment operated in the ordinary course of business;
(3) Any domestic power equipment operated upon any residential premises between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.;
(4) The operation and maintenance of airplanes, aircraft, locomotives, trains and railways, brush chippers, vacuum leaf loaders, street sweepers, tractor mowers, drill rigs, sanitation removal and refuse collection vehicles or any other city, county or similar service vehicle or equipment;
(5) Organized school or recreational related programs, activities, events, festivals, parades or other public programs, activities or events properly authorized by the city; and
(6) The operation and maintenance of businesses or industries, including, but not limited to, the operation of industrial power equipment, located on property zoned and used for industrial purposes.
(E) Special variance.
(1) The City Manager, or his or her designated representative, shall have the authority, consistent with this section, to grant special variances.
(2) Any person seeking a special variance pursuant to this section shall file an application with the City Manager or his or her designated representative, no less than 30 calendar days prior to the date on which the special variance is sought to be effective. The application shall contain information which demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the special variance is sought into compliance with this section would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, on the community, or on other persons. Notice of an application for a special variance shall be given by the City Manager or his or her representative to all persons who own and/or occupy the real property adjoining the site for which the special variance is sought. Notice shall be forwarded by regular mail not less than 15 calendar days prior to the date on which the special variance is sought to be effective. The failure of the City Manager or his or her representative to notify any adjoining property owner/occupant shall not be fatal to the applicant’s request for a special variance. Any individual who claims to be adversely affected by allowance of the special variance may file a statement with the City Manager or his or her representative containing any information to support his or her claim. Said statement shall be filed not less than seven calendar days prior to the date on which the special variance is sought to be effective.
(3) In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the City Manager or his or her designated representative shall balance the hardship to the applicant, the community and other persons of not granting the special variance against the adverse impact on the health, safety and welfare of persons affected, the adverse impact on property affected and any other adverse impact of granting the special variance. Applicants for special variances and persons contesting special variances may be required to submit any information the City Manager or his or her representative may require. In granting or denying an application, the City Manager or his or her representative shall place on public file a copy of the decision and the reasons for denying or granting this special variance.
(4) Special variances shall be granted by notice to the applicant containing all necessary conditions including a time limit on the permitted activity. The special variance shall not become effective until all conditions are agreed to by the applicant. Noncompliance with any conditions of the special variances shall terminate it and subject the person holding it to those provisions of this section regulating the source of sound or activity for which the special variance was granted.
(5) Application for extension of time limits specified in special variance or for modification of other substantial conditions shall be treated like applications for initial special variances.
(6) The City Manager, or his or her designated representative, may issue guidelines defining the procedures to be followed in applying for a special variance and the criteria to be considered in deciding whether to grant a special variance.
(1984 Code, § 92.07) (Ord. O-13-03, passed 4-1-2003; Ord. O-13-06, passed 3-28-2006; Ord. O-13-08, passed 5-27-2008; Ord. O-31-08, passed 9-9-2008; Ord. O-49-12, passed 12-4-2012; Ord. O-32-16, passed 11-15-2016; Ord. O-15-20, passed 8-11-2020) Penalty, see § 92.99