Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Citation. This section shall be known as the “Noise Control Ordinance” of the City of Schuyler, Nebraska, and shall be cited as § 130.34 of the Schuyler Municipal Code.
(B) Policy. Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety, and the quality of life; and whereas a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound and vibration may be substantially abated; and, whereas the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound and vibration that may jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of its citizens or degrade the quality of life. It is therefore the policy of the city to prevent excessive sound and vibration which will jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of its citizens or degrade the quality of life.
(C) Noise disturbances prohibited.
(1) No person shall make, permit, continue, or cause to be made or continued, any noise disturbance. A person permitting a noise disturbance shall include, but not be limited to, the owner, manager or tenant of the real estate property of the noise source. For sources of noise other than those specifically listed in this subsection, determinations of noise disturbances may be made through application of the sound level limits listed at Table 1 in division (C)(4). Without limiting the foregoing, the following acts, and the causing or permitting thereof, are declared to be in violation of this prohibition:
(a) Radios, television sets, musical instruments, and similar devices.
1. Operating, playing, or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier, or similar device which produces, reproduces, or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a residential zoned district real property boundary, except for activities open to the public and for which any required permit has been issued. For those activities requiring a permit, a property line noise limit and/or time limit will be established that is agreeable to the permit grantor, the Health Officer, and the grantee.
2. In all other cases, property line noise standards for the residential zoned district receiving land use may be applied to determine the existence of noise disturbance. The standards are 65 db(a), maximum three-minute Leq, for the time period 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and 55 db(a), maximum three-minute Leq, for the time period 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
(b) Construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, or demolition work:
1. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day on any day in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a residential zoned district real property boundary, except the emergency work of public service utilities or by variance issued pursuant to this section.
2. This division shall not apply to the use of domestic power tools of a type normally found in the home.
(c) Vehicle or motorboat repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying, or testing any motor vehicle, motorcycle, or motorboat in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential zoned district real property boundary. The following property line noise standards may be applied to the residential receiving land use to determine the existence of a noise disturbance, except as noted in division (C)(3): 65 db(a), maximum five-minute Leq, for the time period 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and 55 db(a), maximum five-minute Leq, for the time period 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
(d) Tampering with sound monitoring equipment. The removing or rendering inaccurate or inoperative of any sound monitoring instrument or device positioned by or for the Health Officer; provided, such device or the immediate area is clearly labeled to warn of the potential illegality.
(2) Measurements to determine whether a noise disturbance exists shall be made at or within the property boundary of the receiving land use. The measurements shall be made with a sound level meter meeting the standards of the American national Standards Institute (ANSI), or its successor body, for a minimum of a Type II meter.
(3) All activities within a commercial or industrial district zone area shall be exempt from any of the general or specific provisions in division (C)(1)(c) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. of the same day on any day.
(4) If a noise level limit has been established by another city department for a specific noise source or activity, that limit shall be used to determine the existence of noise disturbance if different from a level in division (C)(1) or Table 1 below that may be applicable.
Table I: Sound Levels by Receiving Land Use
Receiving Land Use Category
Sound Level Limit, in dBA Maximum Ten-Minute* Leq Level**
Residential zoned district
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Agricultural residential zoned district
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Commercial or Business zoned district
At all times
Industrial zoned district
At all times
Agricultural zoned district
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
*Unless a different time period has been specified for the specific types of noise disturbances listed under division (C).
**Slow meter response or use meter with Leq function.
(D) Emergency exception.
(1) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(a) The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency;
(b) The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; or
(c) The emission of sound in the performance of governmental services.
(2) Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to permit law enforcement, ambulance, fire, or other emergency personnel, or persons performing governmental services to make excessive noise in the performance of their duties when such noise is clearly unnecessary.
(1) The Health Officer, which for purposes of this section, shall be the City of Schuyler Chief of Police, who shall have the authority to grant an initial variance to the strict application of division (C), for a period of not to exceed 15 calendar days. Any person seeking such a variance shall file an application with the Health Officer and shall submit a permit fee of $25. The application shall contain the information which demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the variance is sought into compliance with this ordinance would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, on the community, or on other persons.
(2) The Health Officer-shall have the authority to grant an extension to any variance. Any person seeking such an extension shall file an application with the Health Officer. Notice of an application for an extension shall be posted by a sign placed in a conspicuous place on or near the property upon which action is pending. No extension shall be granted for a period of two days from and after posting of the property.
(3) (a) Any individual who claims to be adversely affected by allowance of any requested extension of variance may, prior to the end of the two-day period after posting of the property, file a statement with the Health Officer containing any information to support the claim. If the Health Officer finds that a sufficient controversy exists regarding an application, a public hearing shall be held. All such hearings shall be held within five days after the period for filing claims under this division has ended.
(b) In determining whether to grant or deny any application, the Health Officer shall balance the hardship to the applicant, the community, and other persons of not granting the variance or extension against the adverse impact to the health, safety, and welfare of persons affected, the adverse impact on property affected, and any other adverse impacts of granting the variance or extension. Applicants for variances or extensions and persons contesting extensions may be required to submit any information the Health Officer may reasonably require. In granting or denying an application, the Health Officer shall place on public file a copy of the decision and the reasons for denying or granting the variance or extension and the criteria to be considered in deciding whether to grant variances and extensions.
(c) Variances or extensions shall be granted by notice to the applicant containing all necessary conditions, including a time limit on the permitted activity. The variance or extension shall not become effective until all conditions are agreed to by the applicant. Noncompliance with any condition of the variance or extension shall terminate such variance or extension and subject the applicant to those provisions of this section regulating the source of sound or activity for which the variance or extension was granted.
(d) The Health Officer may issue guidelines defining the procedures to be followed in applying for a variance or extension and the criteria to be considered in deciding whether to grant variances and extensions.
(4) (1) Any person who is aggrieved by a decision or order of the Health Officer under this section may appeal such decision or order to the City of Schuyler Board of Adjustment, by filing a notice of appeal with the City Clerk of Schuyler within 15 days from the date of the issuance of such decision or order by the Health Officer.
(2) The City Clerk of the City of Schuyler Board of Adjustment, having received a properly submitted notice of appeal, shall notify the chairperson of the City of Schuyler Board of Adjustment, and establish a date for the appeals hearing. The City Clerk shall then notify the person making the appeal, and any person who appeared before or filed a statement with the Health Officer, in writing of the time and place of the hearing, which shall, in no event, be more than 15 days from the date of the filing of the notice of appeal with the board secretary. The City of Schuyler Board of Adjustment shall, within seven days of the concluding date of the appeals hearing, file with the Health Officer a written final decision, either affirming the decision of the Health Officer, or modifying or reversing same. A copy of said decision shall be forwarded to the appellant.
(F) Abatement orders.
(1) The Health Officer or other agency responsible for enforcement of any provision of this section may issue an order requiring abatement of any sources of sound alleged to be in violation of this section within a reasonable time period and according to the guidelines which the Health Officer may prescribe. Such abatement orders may be issued in lieu of prosecution for violation, and failure to comply with any abatement order shall be a violation of this section.
(2) Any person who violates an order issued pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined an amount not exceeding $500. Each day a violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as a separate offense.
(G) Effective date. This section shall be effective from and after its passage and posting as provided by law.
(Ord. 2005-04, passed 5-3-2005; Ord. 2008-08, passed 8-5-2008) Penalty, see § 130.99