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The following noises and activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter unless they produce a risk of serious or unnecessary bodily harm:
(A) Town work. The sounds produced by town vehicles, employees and contractors engaged in:
(1) Critical and/or emergency town duties such as removing snow, repairing damaged water or sewer lines, responding to fires, responding to vehicle accidents, and the like; or
(2) The normal day-to-day operations of the town; provided, that such activities are exempt only if conducted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., unless explicitly authorized by the Town Council following general notice to the public and a public hearing.
(B) Community events.
(1) The normal and customary sounds emanating from a non-recurring community event conducted by a governmental entity, school, church, or similar non-commercial entity, so long as the event with which the noise is associated begins no earlier than 7:00 a.m. and ends no later than 10:00 p.m. For purposes of this division, "non-recurring" shall refer to an event which occurs no more than four times during any calendar year. However, an event can lose its status as a community event under this division if multiple complaints from different sources are received about the noise level emanating from the event, and upon investigation, the police determine that the noise levels ten feet or more from the property boundaries of the property upon which the event is conducted, or with respect to events such as parades which utilize the public streets, ten feet or more from the curb or edge of the street pavement when no curb exists, violate the standards set out in § 97.06. If an event loses its status as a "community event" it shall no longer enjoy the presumption under this section that it does not violate the chapter.
(2) Any community event or series of events specifically authorized by the town as a community event, including one for which it is predicted will generate noise otherwise prohibited by this Chapter 97, upon a finding that such event provides a benefit to the citizens of Wrightsville Beach and the public at large that exceeds the potential detrimental effects of the noise it may generate. Before approving such event or series of events, the Board of Aldermen shall confirm that notice of the public hearing was posted at least seven days prior to the hearing on the town's website and in every other place at which the town has posted notice of the meeting during which the public hearing is to take place. The applicant for designation as a community event shall provide a schedule of the starting and ending time of the event, a description of the noise-generating activities which are expected from the event, a summary of all steps which will be taken to mitigate any negative noise impacts of the event, and the applicant shall describe the expected benefits to the citizens of Wrightsville Beach and the public at large which will be derived from the event.
(C) Sporting events. The normal and customary sounds emanating from a sporting event held on the campus of a school or on town owned property will not be considered noises or activities which violate this chapter, so long as the event with which the noise is associated does not begin prior to 6:00 a.m. and has been scheduled to end by 11:00 p.m., and any crowd associated with the event is expected to disperse by 11:30 p.m., even if due to unexpected delays, overtime periods and the like, the event extends past 11:00 p.m. and the crowd does not disperse until after 11:30 p.m. This exemption, however, does not relieve people leaving such an event from minimizing any loud talking, shouting, and the like, which may be heard in places of abode in the vicinity of the event, and should any person fail to heed a request by a Wrightsville Beach police officer to lower the volume of such noise, that person may be cited and fined pursuant to this Chapter 97 .
(D) Remote vehicle entry or key. The use of a remote vehicle entry or key causing an audible "beep" when used simply to lock or unlock a vehicle prior to or following the reasonable use of the vehicle.
(E) Ordinary use of power tools. The ordinary use of a noise-causing tool, such as a lawnmower, weed trimmer, circular saw, chain saw, and the like, if used on weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., so long as the tool is being used for a legitimate maintenance or construction purpose associated with the property upon which it is utilized and the person using such tool takes all practical steps to minimize its disturbing noise impacts on others.
(F) Emergency work. Emergency work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an existing or imminent peril. This emergency exception includes maintenance, backup, or upkeep strictly necessary to keep emergency equipment, such as generators, in operating order. In addition, this exception only applies for the shortest duration of time reasonably required to address the emergency.
(G) Public demonstrations. Noise resulting from parades, lawful picketing or other public demonstrations protected by the U.S. Constitution or federal law or for which a permit has been granted by the town, provided that such demonstrations are held between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, or between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekends.
(H) Safety signals. Noise of safety signals, warning devices, and emergency pressure relief valves, provided such signals are used in a manner consistent with promoting public health and safety.
(I) Emergency vehicles. Noise resulting from the lawful operation of any authorized emergency vehicle.
(Ord. 1810, passed 9-10-20)