ARTICLE V. - NOISE
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Editor's note— Ord. No. 587, adopted Aug. 8, 2006, amended Art. V in its entirety to read as herein set out. Former Art. V was comprised of §§ 10-91—10-93, and derived from §§ 10-11—10-13 of the 1977 Code.
Sec. 10-91. - Definitions.
All terms not defined in this article shall be in conformance with the applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
A-weighted sound level means the sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighted network. The sound pressure level so read is designated in dB(A) or dBA.
Clearly audible means sound that can be heard without the assistance of any device.
Commercial means property used for purposes other than residential or agricultural regardless of whether the property has a commercial zoning designation.
Construction means any phase of the on-site erection or removal, including, but not limited to, excavation, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or structure conducted on that site.
Daytime means the hours from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Decibel (dB) means a unit of sound pressure level on a logarithmic scale measured relative to the threshold of audible sound by the human ear, in compliance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard S1.1-1960, or the successor thereto.
Director means the director of the city department of public safety or the director's authorized representative.
Governmental entity means any department, board, committee, or unit of the school districts within the city, the city municipal government, or the state or the federal government, including but not limited to the school board, joint-use committee, city council, planning and zoning commission, park board, SPIN committees, and city departments.
Immediate vicinity means any distance within one hundred (100) feet of the noise source, or any area within the property line of the parcel or lot upon which the source of noise is emanating, whichever is the greater distance from the noise source.
Nighttime means the hours from 9:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.
Noise means any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
Person means any individual, corporation, business or other entity.
Repetitive incident of noise means a recurrence of any sound from the same source which repeats itself three (3) or more times per day, whether at routine cyclical periods or random periods.
Residential means means any property used for temporary or permanent dwelling purposes.
Sound means the weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency weighting network as specified in ANSI specifications for sound level meters. When the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.
Sound pressure means the instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a given point in space, as produced by sound energy.
Sound pressure level means twenty (20) times the logarithm to the base ten (10) of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure to the reference pressure of twenty (20) micropascals. This sound pressure level is expressed in decibels.
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Sec. 10-92. - Offenses; nuisance declared.
(a) Tampering with sound instrument. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or render inaccurate or inoperative any sound level meter or any similar monitoring instrument or device positioned for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this article. It shall be unlawful for any person to provide false readings of any sound instrument.
(b) Noise and vibration nuisance. A person shall not create, assist in creating, permit or continue any excessive or unnecessary noise of a volume, intensity, or duration that is clearly audible, or a vibration, which disturbs, annoys, or endangers the calm, comfort, quiet, repose, health, peace or safety of persons of ordinary is hereby declared a nuisance and sensibilities beyond the immediate vicinity of the noise. Such noise or vibration shall be a violation of this article.
(c) Prima facie violation. The following acts of noise or vibration are prima facie evidence of a violation of this article:
(1) Permitting an unreasonably loud, harsh, or prolonged sounding of any horn, alarm, or other signal device on any vehicle, unless:
a. Necessary to ensure safe operation as authorized by state law; or
b. Caused by mechanical failure beyond the operator's control and the operator takes all reasonable measures to stop the noise made by the horn, alarm, or other device.
(2) Playing or use of any sound producing or amplifying device, speaker, or instrument, including a musical instrument, in such a manner or in such loud volume or intensity, at any time or place, so as to disturb, destroy, or endanger the peace, comfort, repose, or rest of persons of ordinary sensibilities beyond the immediate vicinity of the noise or disturbance or when such noise exceeds the dBA levels shown in Table 1, herein below.
(3) Creating a loud noise or disturbance in or with a motor vehicle or any appurtenance to such vehicle, including without limitation, a bed, trailer, or other equipment connected in any manner to the vehicle, so as to disturb, destroy, endanger the peace, comfort, repose or rest of persons of ordinary sensibilities beyond the immediate vicinity of the source of the noise when such noise exceeds the dBA levels shown in Table 1, herein below.
(4) Operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a muffler in good working order and in use at all times.
(5) Using any mechanical device operated by compressed air, unless the noise is effectively muffled and reduced to the dBA levels shown in Table 1.
(6) Permitting any loud, harsh, or prolonged sounding of any burglar or fire alarm or other distress signal on any dwelling, commercial building, or other premises, unless:
a. Authorized by law; or
b. Caused by mechanical failure beyond the operator's control and the operator takes all reasonable measures to stop the noise made by the alarm or other device.
(7) Operating any heavy equipment, machinery or apparatus used in any exterior or outdoor construction, repair, remodeling, demolition, drilling, excavation, grading, earth moving, paving, cement laying or pouring, or other work of any nature during the nighttime or anytime on Sunday within one thousand (1,000) feet of any residential property, unless otherwise indicated in the exceptions set forth in section 10-94.
(8) Creating any loud or raucous noise or vibration within one thousand (1,000) lineal feet of any school building or court that is in session or adjacent to any hospital building or similar care facility, provided that conspicuous signs located on the premises identify the premises.
(9) Operating, as a part of any business, any equipment or machinery, including, but not limited to, combustion engines, fans, blowers, grinders, welders, loaders, washers, winches, lifts, and hoists, whether independent or attached to a motor vehicle, during the nighttime within one thousand (1,000) lineal feet of any residential dwelling, unless otherwise indicated in the exceptions set forth in the exceptions set forth in section 10-94.
(10) Discharging into the open air the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, or motor vehicle engine or boat engine, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises or vibrations.
(11) Conducting any commercial or industrial trash or waste pickup within one thousand (1,000) lineal feet of any residential dwelling during the nighttime.
(12) The continuous barking, howling, crowing or other loud noises by an animal for more than fifteen (15) minutes near a private residence that the animal's owner or person in control of the animal has no right to occupy, unless otherwise indicated in the exceptions set forth in section 10-94.
(13) Loud grating, grinding, banging, rattling, back-firing noises or vibrations caused by the use of any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle that is out of repair or poorly or improperly loaded.
(14) The shouting and crying or peddlers and vendors, or the use of any drum, musical instrument, load speakers or sound amplifying equipment, for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention by the creation of noise, without first obtaining a permit pursuant to section 10-95.
(15) The operation of sound equipment, including a car stereo, in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the noise is so audible or causes such a vibration as to unreasonably disturb the peace, quiet, or comfort of persons of ordinary sensibilities beyond the immediate vicinity of the noise or disturbance or when such noise exceeds the dBA levels shown in Table 1, herein below.
(16) Conducting or permitting any activity that produces a dBA level beyond the immediate vicinity that exceeds the dBA levels specified in Table 1:
(17) Any offense as set forth in Texas Penal Code, Section 42.01(a)(5) and (c)(2).
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Sec. 10-93. - Noise from idling of commercial motor vehicles.
(a) In this section:
(1) Commercial motor vehicle means any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over fourteen thousand (14,000) pounds.
(2) Idle means the operation of a motor vehicle engine in operating mode where the engine is not engaged in gear.
(b) A person commits an offense if he idles a commercial motor vehicle for more than ten (10) consecutive minutes at a location on or within three hundred (300) feet of any residential use.
(c) A person commits an offense if, on any premises that he owns or controls, he permits the idling of a commercial motor vehicle for more than ten (10) consecutive minutes at a location on or within three hundred (300) feet of any residential use.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under subsections (b) and (c) of this section that the commercial motor vehicle was:
(1) Idling in obedience to an official traffic control device;
(2) Idling while stopped in traffic;
(3) Idling in obedience to a peace officer;
(4) Idling while being repaired in an enclosed structure;
(5) Idling in order to defrost a windshield;
(6) A school bus;
(7) Intended for commercial passenger transportation and idling on a public street;
(8) A concrete mixer truck idling while actually pouring concrete or staging to pour concrete; or
(9) A utility truck idling while providing power as needed to perform utility work.
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Sec. 10-94. - Exceptions.
The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this article:
(1) Emergency work immediately necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a fire, accident or natural disaster, to restore public utilities, or to protect persons or property from imminent danger;
(2) Sounds made to alert persons to the existence of an emergency, an imminent danger, or an attempted crime;
(3) Parades, concerts, festivals, fairs or similar activities specifically approved by the city council or sponsored by or on behalf of a governmental body;
(4) Athletic, musical, or cultural activities or events, including practices and rehearsals, conducted by or under the auspices of public or private schools;
(5) Sound created by animals or livestock kept or maintained by persons on agriculturally zoned parcels where such animal or livestock is a part of a bona fide agricultural operation;
(6) Sounds created while conducting yard work or lawn maintenance during the daytime, including, but not limited to, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, brush clearing, and use of chain saws;
(7) Sounds created as a part of new construction, remodeling or maintenance activities on a building or structure during the daytime, excluding Sundays; or new construction, remodeling or maintenance activities indoors on Sunday during the daytime and which do not produce any clearly audible noise outside of the immediate vicinity;
(8) Sounds authorized under a temporary noise exemption permit as provided in this article;
(9) Sounds created during construction, maintenance, or repairs conducted by or on behalf of a governmental entity providing basic utility services or roadway projects approved by the city council;
(10) Sounds created by agricultural operations when such operations are related to activities directly associated with agricultural business, including raking, baling, plowing, planting, harvesting, milking, feeding, and mowing;
(11) Sounds created by typical roadway noises from traffic flow;
(12) Any aircraft in flight subject to federal law regarding noise control and any helicopter in the act of landing or taking off at a helipad licensed by the city or for use in emergency rescue or any railroad governed by federal law; and
(13) Any activity of a temporary duration for which a license or permit has been granted by the city, state or federal government, including, but not limited to ice cream and snow cone vehicle vendors.
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Sec. 10-95. - Temporary noise exemption permits.
(a) Permit generally. A person may apply for a permit to engage in any activity that creates a noise that would otherwise constitute a nuisance or be a violation of this article. A person must apply in writing to the director at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the requested issuance date and time, unless the director determines that unforeseeable circumstances justify a shorter amount of time.
(b) Application for permit. The application for a permit shall be on a form prescribed by the director and must include the following:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant for both daytime and nighttime contact;
(2) A description of the type, duration, and location of the noise, specifically including the date and time the noise will occur;
(3) The reason the noise level is expected to exceed the provisions of this article;
(4) The name, if different from the applicant, of the owner of the property on which the noise will occur and a written letter of permission from the owner and any tenants or other persons occupying the property from which the noise will occur;
(5) A statement from the applicant that all property owners within two hundred (200) lineal feet to the property upon which the noise originates will be provided written notification within twenty-four (24) hours of making the application of their right to respond directly to the director to voice support or opposition to the application; and
(6) A copy of the notification(s) sent to any such property owners.
(c) Filling fee. A filing fee must be submitted with the application for a permit, in an amount prescribed in a fee schedule adopted by the city council, or twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in the absence of such fee schedule. No such fees shall be assessed to any governmental entity or any person conducting activities on behalf of the governmental entity.
(d) Duration of permit. The duration of such permit shall not exceed two (2) calendar days.
(e) Grounds for granting or denying permit. In determining whether to grant or deny the permit, the director may consider the following factors, among others:
(1) The safety of the persons that will be subjected to the noise, whether voluntarily or involuntarily;
(2) The number of persons that will be involuntarily subjected to the noise;
(3) The reasonableness of the time, place, and manner of the noise and the duration of the noise; and
(4) Any other factors necessary to determine the impact on the public health or safety and the disruption of the peace that the noise may cause.
(f) Notice of director's decision. The director shall, within five (5) calendar days following the date of the application, notify the applicant of the director's decision either to grant or deny the permit. If the director denies the permit, the director shall state the reasons for the denial in a written notice provided to the applicant. If the director grants the permit, the director may place reasonable time, place, and other restrictions on the activity authorized by the permit.
(g) Appeal. Upon receiving such notice from the director, the applicant may appeal the director's decision, including restrictions placed on the activity authorized by the permit, to the city manager. Within one (1) working day of receiving the appeal, the city manager shall consider the application, the basis of denial, or any restrictions placed on issuance of the permit. Based on standards stated in subsection (e) of this section, the city manager may:
(1) Uphold the decision of the director;
(2) Approve or deny the issuance of the permit as applied for; or
(3) Modify or delete restrictions placed on the permit.
(h) Permit. The permit shall be in a form prescribed by the director and shall be displayed in the immediate vicinity of the source of the noise at all times during the commission of the noise. The permit shall include the following:
(1) The date and time that the permit shall begin and end;
(2) The name of the permit holder and who will be generating the noise;
(3) A description of the basic nature of the noise;
(4) The specific location of the noise; and
(5) Any special limitations or restrictions placed on the permit.
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Sec. 10-96. - Penalty.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to punishment as provided in section 1-7 of this Code.
(Ord. No. 587, 8-8-06)
Secs. 10-97—10-120. - Reserved.