"Good Neighbors Keep Their Noise to Themselves"
Boulder, CO Noise Ordinance
(NPC posted this April 2004)
TITLE 5 GENERAL OFFENSES
Chapter 6 Miscellaneous Offenses1
1Adopted by Ordinance No. 4654. Derived from Ordinance Nos. 4543, 4611, 4627.
5-6-1 Unreasonable Noise.
(a) No person shall make unreasonable noise in a public place or near a private residence that such person has no right to occupy2.
(b) No person shall electronically amplify any sound, or make any noise by means of any electronic amplifier, which is loud enough to be audible to a person of normal hearing one hundred or more feet beyond the property line of the property upon which the loudspeakers are located during the hours of 11:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m.
|(1) Each resident of a dwelling unit who is present within that dwelling unit or upon the premises of that dwelling unit when such sound is amplified or generated shall be responsible for the generation of that sound or noise pursuant to the provisions of this section. However, it shall be a specific defense to a violation of this provision that a resident of the dwelling unit attempted to remedy the situation and was precluded from doing so or was incapacitated or otherwise unable to remedy the situation.|
|(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to sounds generated by authorized emergency vehicles, to vehicle horns sounded as a danger warning signal, to sound made on property belonging to or leased or managed by a federal, state, or county governmental body other than the city and made by an activity of the governmental body or by others pursuant to a contract, lease, or permit granted by such governmental body, to audible alarm police alarm devices operated in conformity with Chapter 4-16, "Police Alarm Systems," B.R.C. 1981, or to fire alarms.|
(c) No person shall make any trash pickup with a truck which has a compactor or the capacity to raise and dump dumpsters in any area zoned for residential or business uses between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., and no employer shall fail to prevent its employee from violating this subsection while the employee is driving a trash truck owned by or under the control of the employer. For the purposes of this subsection, testimony that the name of a business which holds itself out as being in the business of trash hauling was written on the trash truck shall be prima facie evidence that the trash truck was owned by or was under the control of the employer so identified.
(d) Trash haulers may apply to the city manager for a variance of the provisions of subsection (c) above for business district locations. Possession of a valid variance shall be a specific defense to any charge under subsection (c) above if the act complained of was within the variance granted. The manager may grant all or a part of any requested variance, and may place such conditions upon any variance granted as are reasonably suited to limit the harmful effects of the variance. Such variances shall be granted only if the applicant can demonstrate to the managers satisfaction:
|(1) That the location in question is sufficiently removed from any residential use that the noise of trash removal will not disturb anyone in their residence, including, without limitation, hotel and motel accommodations; or|
|(2) That the location cannot feasibly be serviced during permitted hours, and that the variance is the least necessary to permit trash removal while still assuring nearby residents reasonable nocturnal quiet.|
2People v. Fitzgerald, 194 Colo. 415, 573 P.2d 100 (1978).
Ordinance Nos. 5660 (1994); 7151 (2001); 7349 (2004).
5-6-2 Excessive Sound Levels.
(a) No person shall:
|(1) Operate any type of vehicle, machine, or device;|
|(2) Carry on any activity; or|
|(3) Promote or facilitate the carrying on of any activity, which makes sound in excess of the level specified in this section.|
(b) Sound from a moving vehicular source located within the public right-of-way shall not exceed eighty decibels on the A weighting scale (dBA), except that sound from a vehicle with a manufacturers gross weight rating of ten thousand pounds and above operated on a prescribed truck route at all times or elsewhere within the city during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday may exceed eighty dBA but shall not exceed eighty-eight dBA. Such sound shall be measured at a distance of at least twenty-five feet from a vehicle located within the public right-of-way.
(c) Sound from any source, other than a moving vehicular source located within the public right-of-way, shall not exceed any of the following limits for its appropriate zone:
|(1) The zone limits prescribed by this section are set forth in the following table:|
|Zoning Designation of the Property on Which the Sound is Received||Maximum Number of Decibels Permitted from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. of the Same Day||Maximum Number of Decibels Permitted from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. of the Following Day|
|(All zoning designations include suffixes)|
|RR, RR1, ER, LR, MR, MXR, HR, MH, HZ||55 dBA||50 dBA|
|TB, RB, RB1, RB2, RB3, RMS, MU, BMS, CB, A, P||65 dBA||60 dBA|
|IG, IM, IS, IMS||80 dBA||75 dBA|
|(2) Sound from construction work for which a building permit has been issued shall be deemed to be received in an industrial zoning district during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for work of any type, and until 9:00 p.m. for light construction work that uses only hand tools and power tools (but not including nail guns) of no more than five horsepower. Under no circumstances shall amplified sound be considered as construction work activity.|
|(3) Sound from a source regulated by this subsection:|
|(A) Sound from a source on private property shall be measured at or inside the property line of property other than that on which the sound source is located; or|
(B) Sound from a source on public property may be measured on that property so long as the measurement is taken at least twenty-five feet from the source, or it may be measured at or inside the property line of property other than the public property on which the sound source is located; and
|(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, a leasehold shall be deemed a property, and its boundary shall be deemed a property line.|
(d) All sound measurements shall be made on a sound level meter that meets ANSI specification S1.4-1974 for Type I or Type II equipment. The manufacturers published indication of compliance with such specifications is prima facie evidence of compliance with this subsection.
(e) It is a specific defense to a charge of violating this section that:
|(1) The sound was made by an authorized emergency vehicle when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency;|
|(2) The sound was made within the terms of a parade, fireworks display, or temporary street closure permit issued by the city manager, or was made by the rendering of military honors at a funeral by a military funeral honors detail;|
(3) The sound was made by an animal;
|(4) The sound was made by the sounding of the horn of any vehicle as a danger warning signal or by the sounding of any warning device as required by law;|
|(5) The sound was made on property belonging to or leased or managed by a federal, state or county governmental body other than the city and was made by an activity of the governmental body or by others pursuant to a contract, lease, or permit granted by such governmental body; or|
|(6) The sound was made within the terms and conditions of a sound level variance granted by the city manager or the managers authorized representative. A variance shall be granted after application is made if the manager finds that compliance will cause an undue hardship and further finds that:|
|(A) Additional time is necessary for the applicant to alter or modify the activity or operation to comply with this section; or|
|(B) The activity, operation or sound source will be of temporary duration, and even with the application of the best available control technology cannot be done in a manner that would comply with this section. In either case, the manager must also find that no reasonable alternative is available to the applicant. If the manager grants a variance, the manager shall prescribe such reasonable conditions or requirements as are necessary to minimize adverse effects upon the community or the surrounding neighborhood.|
(f) This section shall not be construed to conflict with the right of any person to maintain an action in equity to abate a noise nuisance under the laws of the state.
(g) Each offense of violation of this section constitutes a separate and distinct violation.
Ordinance Nos. 4981 (1986); 5206 (1989); 5271 (1990); 5821 (1996); 5930 (1997); 7083 (2000); 7152 (2001).