ORDINANCE NO. 327
AN ORDINANCE RESCINDING AND REPLACING ALL PRIOR ORDINANCES REGULATING NOISE Within THE CORPORATE LIMITS OP THE TOWN OF MAGGIE VALLEY
OFFENSES AND PUBLIC NUISANCES
3. Maximum permitted sound levels by use occupancy
4. Prohibited noise
7. Motor vehicle noise
9. Off‑road vehicle
10. Penalties for violations
All Words used in this chapter not defined below shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body. For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phases are defined and shall be construed as defined below unless it shall be apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:
(l) A‑weighted sound level: The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A‑weighting network. The level so read is designated dB(A).
(2) Decibel (dB): A unit for describing the amplitude of sound, equal to twenty (20) times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is twenty (20) micronewtons per square meter.
(3) Sound: An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that causes compression, and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristic of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.
(4) Sound pressure level: Twenty (20) times the logarithms to the base l0 ratio of the root mean squared (RMS) sound pressure to the reference pressure of twenty (20) micronewtons per square meter.
(5) Sound level meter: An instrument which includes a microphone, amplifier, RSM detector, integrator or time average, output meter and weighting network used to measure sound pressure levels.
(6) Sound Level: The weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency weighting network, such as A, B, or C as specified in American National standards Institute specifications for sound level meters (ANSI S1.41971 or the latest approved version thereof) If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.
(7) Noise: Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
(8) Slow response: A measuring technique to obtain an average value when measuring a noise level that fluctuates over a range of four (4) dB or more. By way of illustration only, a sound level meter set on "slow response" would record a sound level between two (2) and six (6) decibels less than the reading for a steadying signal of the same frequency and amplitude when a tone of one thousand (1,000) Hz and for a duration of 0.5 seconds is applied.
(9) Person: Any individual, association, partnership, or corporation and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, the state or any political subdivision thereof.
(10) Emergency work: Any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviation physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an existing or imminent peril.
(11) Outdoor amplified sound: Any sound using amplifying equipment, whose source is outside or whose source is inside and the sound propagates to the outside through open doors or windows or other openings in the building.
(12) Classification of use occupancies: Use occupancies shall be as follows:
A. Residential use": All premises containing habitually occupied sleeping quarters. Hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, and churches are considered residential uses. B. "Public space": Any area owned, utilized or occupied by a municipal, county, state or federal agency, including, but not limited to, park or recreation areas, streets and sidewalks. C. "Commercial or business": All premises where sales, professional or other commercial activities are legally permitted, except that residences with lawful home occupations are considered residential. D. "Manufacturing or industrial": All premises where goods or wares are made, warehoused or stored or where manufacturing is legally permitted. E. "Agricultural": All premises which are bona fide farms or which are characterized by farming activities as the primary use of the premises. P. In classifying uses under this section, the zoning classification of an area may be considered, however, the actual use of premises shall control when the use and the zoning classification conflict. Any area not otherwise classified under this section shall be considered commercial. G. In case of multiple use the more restrictive category shall prevail.
(13) Holiday: For the purposes of this chapter, the following days will be recognized as holidays for the purpose of granting permits to exceed maximum sound level: St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, December thirty‑first and any other day designated by the Town of Maggie Valley as a holiday.
(14) Muffler: An apparatus consisting of a series of chambers or baffle plates designed for the purpose of transmitting gases while reducing sound emanation from such apparatus.
(15) Owner of real property: The owner, or listing owner, of real property as defined in G.S. 105‑302.
(16) Tenant: One who resides on or has the temporary use or occupation of real property owned by another person. In the case of residential property, "tenant" shall be construed to mean any individual actually residing at the residential location, whether such person is listed on a lease or not.
(17) Sound amplification system: Any radio, tape player, compact disc player, loud speaker or other electronic device used for the amplification of sound.
(18) Plainly audible: Any sound produced by a sound amplification system, which can be clearly heard at a distance of seventy‑five (75) feet or more. Measurement standards shall be the auditory senses, based upon the direct line of sight. Words or phrases need not be discernible and bass reverberations are included.
(A) Standards, ‑instrumentation, personnel, measurement procedures, and reporting procedures to be used in the measurement of sound shall be specified in this section.
(b) Sound level measurement shall be made with a sound level meter using the A‑weighting scale, set on "slow" response and set to measure and average sounds for a period of twenty (20) seconds. The resulting high, low and average sounds shall be recorded with the average sound being used for enforcement purposes.
(e) Sound level meters shall be at least Type II meeting American National Standard Institute (ANSI) S1.4‑1971 requirements. Persons using the sound level meters shall be trained in sound level measurement and the operation of sound level measurement equipment.
(d) Sound level measurements shall be taken at a distance of no more than ten (10) feet beyond the property line from which such sound originates.
3. MAXIMUM PERMITTED SOUND LEVELS BY USE OCCUPANCY.
(a) Except as allowed in the subsection below, no person shall operate or cause to be operated any source of sound in such a manner as to create a sound level which at its peak exceeds the limits set forth for the use occupancy categories in Table 1 when measured at or beyond the property line of the property from which the sound originates. For purposes of measurement, the back of the curb, the outside edges of driveways, fences, hedges, or other physical features commonly associated with property boundaries are presumed to be at a point which is at or beyond the property line. In all cases the maximum sound level permitted by use occupancy shall be determined on the basis of the use occupancy of the property from which the sound originates and not by the use occupancy of any surrounding property. Sound which originates from a dwelling unit in a duplex or other multi‑family housing unit shall be measured from any point which is at least twenty‑five (25) lineal feet, whether inside or outside a building, from the nearest point of the enclosed or habitable space of the dwelling unit from which the sound originates.
Ordinance No. 296 Page 4
Sound Levels by Use Occupancy
Use Occupancy Time Sound Level
Category Limit (dB(A))
Residential 11:00 a.m. ‑ 11:00 p.m. 60
11:00 p.m. ‑ 7:00 a.m. 55
Public space, 7:00 a.m. ‑ 11:00 p.m. 65
Commercial or 11:00 p.m. ‑ 7:00 a.m. 60
Industrial or At all times 75
(b) Sound levels in excess of the limits established in Table 1 will be permitted in public space, commercial or business space, manufacturing, industrial or agricultural space, but not on residential space, as follows:
Without With Permit
Permit to Exceed
(1:00 p.m.‑11:00 p.m.) 75 80
(10:00 a.m.‑ 11:00 p.m.) 75 80
Sunday (1:00 p.m. ‑ 6:00 p.m.) 75 80
Holidays (as defined in
section 1‑13 (Noon‑ 11:00 p.m.) 75 80
(c) No property owner shall allow a noise ‑related nuisance or health or safety hazard to be erected or maintained by or on account of tenants of the property owner. For purposes of this subsection a noise‑related nuisance or health or safety hazard shall be deemed to exist when a tenant or group of tenants at a specific location receives a third citation for noise ordinance violation pursuant to this chapter. The property owner shall be liable for the costs of remedying the nuisance or health or safety hazard in accordance with the provisions of section 9‑(e). A property owner may be held liable for the costs of abating the nuisance or remedying the health or safety hazard only if the property owner has been notified in writing, via actual delivery or certified mail, of the first two (2) ordinance violations. A property owner shall be liable for the costs of abating the nuisance or remedying the health or safety hazard upon the third and any subsequent action by the same tenant at a specific location provided the third violation occurs at least fifteen (15) days from the date of actual receipt of notice of the second violations. It shall be a complete defense to a citation under this subsection if the owner of the real property involved can prove that he or she is actively pursuing an eviction process according to law, and that the process was begun prior to the date of the third or any subsequent violation by the same tenant at a specific location.
4. Prohibited noise. (Does not require noise level measurement)
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to play, use, or permit to be played any loud "sound amplification system" if it is located in any of the following:
(1) Any public property, including any public street, highway, building, sidewalk, park or thoroughfare; or
(2) Any motor vehicle on a public street, highway, public space, or commercial space; or
(3) Any commercial space or place of business; and if the sound generated is "plainly audible" at a distance of seventy‑five (75) feet from the device producing sound, unless authorized or exempted by any other section of this article.
(b) Possession by a person or persons of any machines or
devices which may be classified as a "loud sound amplification system shall be prima facie evidence that person or those persons operated that machine or device.
(c )The keepin of any dog, bird, or animal which, by causing frequent or long continued barking or other noise, within any area in such a manner as to annoy or disturb the peace, quiet, and comfort of the public.
The following are exempt from the provisions of Table 1 and Table 2 of section 3:
(1) Sound emanation from scheduled outdoor athletic events.
(2) Construction operations from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on
weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays for which building permits have been issued or construction operations not requiring permits; providing all equipment is operated in accord with the manufacturer's specifications and with all standard equipment manufacturer's mufflers and noise‑reducing equipment in use and in proper operating condition.
(3) Noise of safety signals, warning devices, emergency pressure relief valves, and all church bells. For purposes of this subsection, the term "church bells" shall not include electronic devices or artificial sound reproduction systems intended to sound like church bells.
(4) Noise resulting from any authorized emergency vehicle.
(5) Noise resulting from parades, lawful picketing or other public demonstrations protected by the U.S. Constitution or federal law, or for which a local permit has been granted by the town, provided such activity is of a temporary duration lasting no longer than two (2) hours during any twenty‑four‑hour period. Regulation of noise emanation from activities under permit shall be according to the conditions and limits stated in this chapter and according to any additional conditions stated on the permit.
(6) Un-amplified and amplified sound at street fairs conducted, sponsored or sanctioned by the town.
(7) All noises coming from the normal operations of properly equipped aircraft (not including scale model aircraft).
(8) Noise from noisemakers on holidays and fireworks on holidays or at times allowed under a pyrotechnics permit issued pursuant to Article 54, Chapter 14 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.
(9) Lawn mowers and agricultural equipment used between daylight hours 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. when operated with all the manufacturerÕs standard mufflers and noise‑reducing equipment in use and in proper operating condition.
(lO) Un-amplified and amplified sound at community concerts
conducted, sponsored or sanctioned by the town.
(ll) Practice sessions or performances by marching bands.
(12) Emergency work, as defined in section 1‑(10)
(13) Those places of business found to be in violation of this limit shall be subject to the penalties in Section l0‑(a).
(a) Who may apply. A person or group of persons may produce or cause to be produced sound in excess of the limits set in Table 1 only if a "permit it exceed" has been obtained. With a permit granted pursuant to this section, maximum sound levels shall be as set out in Table 2.
(b) Application for permit. Any person or group of persons desiring an "outdoor amplified sound permit" or a "permit to exceed" shall apply as provided in this section, and shall provide all information required. All applications for a "permit to exceed" shall be submitted to the town manager or his designee at least seventy‑two (72) hours prior to the scheduled event failure to comply with this requirement shall be grounds for denying the permit.
(c) Action by Town Manager. The Town Manager or his or her designee shall act upon all requests for permits. In considering and acting on all requests for permits pursuant to this chapter, the town manager shall consider, but shall not be limited to the following, in issuing or denying such permit: The timeliness of the application; the nature of the requested activity; previous experience with the applicant; the time of the event; other activities in the vicinity of the location proposed; the frequency of the application; the cultural or social benefits of the proposed activity; the effect of the activity on any residential area of the town and, previous violations, if any, of the applicant.
(d) Fee for permit. Every application for a permit or permits shall require a fee, of $25 and such fee shall be amended from time to time.
(e) Conditions on permits. "Permits to exceed" and "outdoor amplified sound permits" shall specify the duration of which noncompliance shall be permitted and shall prescribe the conditions or requirements necessary to minimize adverse effects upon the community or surrounding neighborhood. The manager or his or her designee may require, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) No sound speakers may be set up more than fifteen (15) feet off the ground unless permanently installed and approved by the Town Manager or his designee.
(2) That permit holder(s) change the arrangement of amplifying equipment or sound instruments upon the request of any Maggie Valley police officer so as to minimize the disturbance to others resulting from the position or orientation of the amplifying equipment or from atmospherically or geographically caused dispersal of sound beyond the property lines.
(3) That no permitted event may last more than eight (8) hours in duration. This is a mandatory condition.
(4) That no event may extend beyond 12:00 midnight. This is a mandatory condition.
(5) That permit holders hire off‑duty police officers equipped with noise meters, to monitor compliance of the applicant with the conditions on the permit. The applicant will employ officers based upon the estimated number of persons attending and the type of event to be held. The Chief of Police shall be consulted as to the number of officers to be hired for each event.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure that the number persons actually attending the event do not exceed the estimated numbers specified in the application.
(6) That the site of the event, and the area surrounding the site of the event, will be cleaned, by the applicant, of all the trash, litter and debris by 10:00 a.m. the following day, or by sunset of the day of the event if the event ends at least four (4) hours before sunset.
(f) Cooperation with police. Permit holder(s) shall agree to cooperate with the police department in enforcing the noise control ordinance by having the signer(s) of the permit available at the site of the event during the entire time for which a permit has been issued and capable of assisting the police in enforcing the noise control ordinance. Failure of such signer(s) of a permit to be present or to assist the police in complying with this chapter will be cause for revocation of said permit.
7. Motor vehicle noise.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, operate, move, or permit to be driven, operated, or moved, a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles to include motorcycles at any time in such a manner that the sound level of the vehicle exceeds 80 (dB)
(b) Sound levels are to be measured at a distance of twenty‑five (253 feet from the nearest lane(s) being l monitored and at a height of at least four (4) feet above the | immediate surrounding surface.
(c) This section shall apply to the total noise from a | vehicle and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding | the enforcement of any other provisions of this chapter relating to motor vehicle mufflers or noise control.
(d) The use of any automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicle, in such a manner to cause squealing or screeching of tires, or in such manner as to cause the tires to propel rock or gravel.
(e) Traffic, aircraft and other transportation noise sources and other background noises shall not be considered in taking measurements under this section.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or cause to be operated a motor vehicle unless the exhaust system is free from defects, which affect sound reduction.
9. Off‑road vehicle.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or cause to be operated a recreational or off‑road motor vehicle individually, in a group, or in an organized racing event, on public or private property in such a manner that the sound level exceeds the maximum permissible levels set forth previously in section 7 adjusted to a distance of twenty-five (25) feet from the path of the vehicle when operated on public space, or at the boundary of private property when operated on private property.
(b) This subsection shall apply to all recreational vehicles, whether or not duly licensed or registered including, but not limited to, commercial or non-commercial racing vehicles, motorcycles, go‑carts, amphibious craft and dune buggies.
1O. Penalties for violations.
A separate offense shall be deemed to have been committed each day during or upon which a violations occurs or is permitted to continue. In accordance with G.S. 160A-75, ( and unless this code of ordinances provides otherwise), violations of any provisions by a fine not exceeding $50 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days.
The operation or mainenance of any device, vehicle, or machinery, or the keeping of animals in violation of any provision of this chapter which causes discomfort or annoyance to reasonable persons of normal sensitiveness or which endangers the comfort, repose, health, or peace of residence of this town shall be deemed, and is declared to be a public nuisance, and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injuntion issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
In addition to or in lieu of remedies authorized, violations of this chapter may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in accordancy with G.S. 160A-175.
Adopted this the 19, day of November, 2002
Adopted as amended this 16th day of September, 2003
Ralph Wallace, Mayor
Vickie Best, Town Clerk