§ 132.14 NOISES.
   (A)   Generally. It is found and declared that:
      (1)   The making and creation of excessive, nuisance, unnecessary or unusually loud noises within the limits of the City of Goose Creek is a condition which has existed for some time and the extent and volume of the noises is increasing;
      (2)   The making, creation or maintenance of the excessive, nuisance, unnecessary, unnatural or unusually loud noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the City of Goose Creek; and
      (3)   The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted, is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the City of Goose Creek and its inhabitants.
   (B)   Prohibited noises generally. It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued, or contribute to creating or continuing, any excessive, nuisance, or unusually loud noise, or any noise of the character, intensity or duration which interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of persons of ordinary sensibilities occupying, owning or controlling nearby properties, or persons making use of public properties for their intended purposes, within the city.
   (C)   Specific noises prohibited. The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, excessive, disturbing, nuisance, unnecessary or unusual noises in violation of this section, but the enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
      (1)   Radios, phonographs, televisions and the like. The playing, using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, stereo, recorder, compact disc player, television set, musical instrument, phonograph or other similar machine or device for the producing or reproduction of sound in the manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants, or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person or persons who are in the room, chamber or vehicle, whether the vehicle is parked or moving, or public place in which the machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 linear feet or greater measured from the closest part of the structure from which the sound is emanating, or at a distance of 50 linear feet or greater measured from the closest point of the vehicle from which the sound is emanating, or at a distance of 50 linear feet or greater measured from the device in possession of a pedestrian shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section. To be in violation, it is not necessary that words or phrases be discernible, and bass reverberations are considered to be included in the terms “plainly audible”.
      (2)   Construction or repairing of buildings. The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekends, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the City's Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days or less while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for periods of three days or less while the emergency continues. If the Building Inspector should determine that the public health and safety will not be impaired by the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways within the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends, and if he or she shall further determine that the loss or inconvenience would result to any party in interest, he or she may grant permission for the work to be done within the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends, upon application being made at the time the permit for the work is awarded or during the progress of the work.
      (3)   Pile drivers, hammers and the like. The operation between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends of any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist of other appliance, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.
      (4)   Steam whistles. The blowing of any steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of fire or danger, or upon request of proper authority.
      (5)   Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motor boat or motor vehicle except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
      (6)   Blowers. The operation of any noise-creating blower, power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, unless the noise from the blower or fan is muffled and the engine is equipped with a muffler device sufficient to deaden the noise.
      (7)   Refrigerating or air cooling equipment. The operation of any refrigerating or air cooling equipment used in connection with any building, structure or vehicle unless noise is muffled or the equipment is equipped with muffler device to deaden the noise.
      (8)   Transportation of metal rails, pillars and columns. The transportation of rails, pillars or columns of iron, steel or other material, over and along streets and other public places upon carts, trays, cars, trucks or in any other manner so loaded as to cause loud noises or as to disturb the peace and quiet of the streets or other public places.
      (9)   Defect in vehicle or load. The use of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in the manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
      (10)   Racing engines. The racing of the engine of any motor vehicle, while the vehicle is not in motion, except when necessary to do so in the course of repairing, adjusting or testing the same.
      (11)   Horns, signals devices and the like. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, streetcar or other vehicle on any street or public place of the city, the creation by means of any signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound and the sounding of any device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time. The use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity, the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust and the use of any signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
      (12)   Loading, unloading, opening and the like, boxes and the like. The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
      (13)   Continuous or repeated noises. Regardless of the level of sound, the following shall be prohibited:
         (a)   To keep any animal, including a bird, causing a frequent or long continued noise, such as barking, howling or screeching, disturbing the comfort and repose of any person of ordinary sensibilities in the immediate vicinity; and
         (b)   To install or operate a burglar alarm system which uses an audible warning or bell without a functioning device that will shut off the warning or bell within 20 minutes after application of the system when the alarm cannot be readily or conveniently silenced by persons who are disturbed by its activation. Each activation of an alarm beyond 20 minutes shall be deemed a separate offense.
      (14)   Loudspeakers, amplifiers and the like for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which broadcast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
      (15)   Drums and the like. The use of any drum, whistle, rattle, bell, gong, clapper, horn, hammer or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by creation of noise to any performance, exhibition, show or sale.
      (16)   Hawkers, peddlers and the like. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
      (17)   Yelling, shouting and the like. Yelling, calling, crying, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing in an unreasonably loud fashion on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
      (18)   Schools, courts, churches and hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital or nursing home, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of the institutions, or which disturbs or unduly annoys the patients in the hospital or the residents in the nursing care facility, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in the streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, care facility or court street.
   (D)   Enforcement factors. In the enforcement of standards established in this section, an enforcement officer may be required to exercise judgment in determining if a particular noise is sufficiently loud or otherwise so offensive that it would unreasonably disturb a person of ordinary sensibilitiesin the vicinity. When making the determinations, the enforcement officer shall consider the following factors:
      (1)   The volume of the noise;
      (2)   The intensity of the noise;
      (3)   Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual;
      (4)   Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural;
      (5)   The type and intensity of background noise, if any;
      (6)   The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities;
      (7)   The nature of zoning of the area(s) in which the noise is heard;
      (8)   The time of day or night the noise occurs;
      (9)   The duration of the noise; and
      (10)   Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant.
   (E)   Special permits for events and exhibitions. When approved by City Council, the City Administrator or his or her designee may issue on a temporary basis, permits for special events or exhibitions such as (but not limited to) music, speeches or general entertainment as a part and in recognition of the community celebration of national, state or city events, concerts, festivals, parades, athletic and recreational events, to permit reasonable and limited exceptions to the provisions of this section. Any special event or exhibition permit issued shall contain specific provisions as to the activities that will be conducted and dates and times during which the provisions of this section are to be suspended. Specific sources of any noise shall be identified and special conditions may be established in the permit which will minimize the noise impact of the special event or exhibition on the community, provided the permit shall be subject to revocation at the discretion of the City Administrator or his or her designee on the basis of excessive or inappropriate noise. Whenever the revocation occurs, the activities of the event or exhibition shall then become subject to the prohibitions of this section.
   (F)   Exemptions. The following noises shall be exempt from the prohibitions from this section, even when they cause a disturbance:
      (1)   The sound produced by horns, sirens and alarms used with authorized emergency vehicles or otherwise used as safety devices to alert persons to danger or attempted crime; however, this exemption shall not apply to improperly operating burglar alarms as identified in division (C)(13)(b) above;
      (2)   The sound produced by emergency repair measures necessary to restore public utilities, to restore property to a safe condition or to protect persons or property from imminent danger, following a fire, accident or natural disaster;
      (3)   The sound produced by bells, chimes or other carillon instruments when used to signify the passage of hour, half-hour or quarter-hour components, or to commemorate a wedding, funeral or similar event including regular religious services, provided the sound does not exceed five continuous minutes in duration in any one hour period;
      (4)   The sound produced by the following, provided there is compliance with any federal regulations applicable to the noise:
         (a)   Aircraft in flight or in operation at an airport;
         (b)   Railroad equipment in operation on railroad rights-of-way; and
         (c)   Motor vehicles, otherwise in lawful operation, on all public streets and highways.
      (5)   The sound of water splashing produced by any waterfall, stream, decorative water fountain or irrigation device when established or operated in an ordinary and customary manner; and
      (6)   The unamplified sound emanating from a ballpark, playing field, stadium or comparable outdoor facility designed and intended for recreational or sports activity when used during the period between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. of the same calendar day for organized exhibitions, participatory sports or recreational activities.
(Ord. 01-004, passed 4-10-2001) Penalty, see § 10.99