Noisey Neighbor 

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 "Financial Loss of work and affected quality of work"

      "EMOTIONALLY DISTRESS"

It is now possible for the police or animal control to set up a webcam near the yard of any dog suspected of barking problematically. Then, if someone reports that a monitored dog is barking disruptively, the authorities can simple switch on their webcam monitor and see for themselves whether or not the animal is, in fact, barking. That's it, then, they have no more excuses left to them.

 

Plaintiff

Defendent

March 1st 2010

 

 

 

 

 Dear Sir,

Because of Mental and Financial suffering as a result of continual dog barking, I am giving you notice of intent to sue.  

MY RIGHTS

Pursuant to 8.04.179  Prohibition of habitual animal noise which unreasonably disturbs the peace

 I can, if necessary sue for financial damages, mental suffering and legal expenses  under the above Marin County Ordinance and State Civil Codes.

 I am protected by State Law, HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 118825

where it states that excessive noise must be considered a degradation of our environment and a health hazard to our citizens”.

According to this regulation, I may sue you in any qualified state court, including small claims court in my area.

 Such financial damages to include but not limited to:

  • financial loss due to capital depreciation from inability to sell property for at least one year,
  • all other financial loss related to inability to sell property for at least one year,
  • financial loss from inability to sublet for at least 9 months  
  •  loss of work and deteriorating quality of work
  • expenses for considerable time spent and fees paid to obtain advice and support ( other than legal ).

At this point in time this amounts to excess of $100,000 and may be considerably more on detailed calculation.

While I prefer not to litigate, I will use the courts as needed to enforce my rights.

 Be it known that several neighbors will testify on my behalf.

This letter is a formal declaration of intent to sue.

 Please be aware that I am exercising all of my rights per these laws and all other applicable laws protecting me.  

 Your failure to satisfy this request for complete termination of dog barking from 10pm to 7am, within 10 days, will be construed as your refusal to terminate the noise nuisance, degradation of environment and health hazard. Full return of any attorney fees will be rigorously pursued.

Sincerely,

              ________________     _________      

                               DATE       

 

 

 ===================================================================

 Do not include the following

 The law Marin County

 8.04.179  Prohibition of habitual animal noise which unreasonably disturbs the peace.

(a)   Subject to the provisions of subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e) of this section, it is unlawful for any person to suffer or permit any dog, cat, fowl or other animal to habitually bark, yelp, howl or create noise in such a manner which unreasonably disturbs the peace of any person(s).

(b)   Any person who shall keep or permit to remain on any premises, an animal which disturbs the peace of any person in the manner set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of an infraction for a first citable offense (and under subsection (e) be subject to fines pursuant to Section 1.05.030) and for a subsequent second citable offense of a misdemeanor as provided in Section 8.04.260(b). Any person found in violation of this subsection for a third or additional citable offense shall be guilty of a misdemeanor under 8.04.260(a). An animal kennel regulated by a use permit under the provisions of this code shall not be subject to the provisions of this section. This section shall not apply to customary animal noises of livestock, horses or other animals kept for agricultural activities in areas including but not limited to farms, ranches and stables which are zoned or legally permitted for such purposes.

(c)   Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, where the animal owner/guardian is present and available at a household, the sheriff will notify the keeper of the offending animal of the noise violation and direct that such violation be abated. If the sheriff receives a second complaint from any person within thirty days of the notice of complaint of an additional violation by the animal, then the sheriff may issue a citation provided there is probable cause to believe the noise has been continuous for half an hour or more. If an animal creates noise, but not to the extent of a half hour of continuous noise, and the owner/guardian is not present at home, the sheriff shall issue a written notice of complaint upon a first complaint that informs the owner/guardian that a further violation within thirty days of the notice of complaint may result in the issuance of a citation. Written notice of complaint shall be sufficient by securely posting the notice of the complaint upon the door of the household where the animal is kept. If the sheriff receives a second complaint from any person within thirty days of the notice of complaint of an additional violation by the animal, then the sheriff may issue a citation provided there is probable cause to believe the noise has been continuous for a half an hour or more. Whenever possible, the sheriff may recommend the services of county mediation to the complainant and the keeper of the animal as a means of resolving the animal nuisance noise. If mediation is refused by either party or is unsuccessful at the end of the thirty business days, then the matter shall proceed as if it were never referred to mediation.

(d)   If the animal owner/guardian of the offending animal is unavailable, the sheriff may issue a citation with a first complaint if it is determined by the sheriff after investigation of the complaint and interview of the complainant that the noise created by the animal has persisted for one half hour or more and cannot be abated or quieted so that it continues to disturb the peace of the complaining person(s). If the noise created by the animal can be abated or quieted so that it does not continue to disturb the peace, such abatement or quieting shall be done and the sheriff shall issue a written notice of complaint upon a first complaint that informs the owner/guardian that a further violation within thirty days of the notice of complaint may result in the issuance of a citation. Written notice of complaint shall be sufficient by securely posting the notice of the complaint upon the door of the household where the animal is kept. If the sheriff receives a second complaint from any person within thirty days of the notice of complaint of an additional violation by the animal, then the sheriff may issue a citation provided there is probable cause to believe the noise has been continuous for a half an hour or more. The sheriff may in addition make a referral to animal services so an investigation may ensue as to whether the animal should be taken into protective custody. The animal may be taken into protective custody by animal services for animal owner/guardian abuse, neglect, or any other grounds within their authority. An animal placed under protective custody under this section may be redeemed by the owner/guardian provided there is presented to the animal services agency proof of the owner/guard-ian's identity and any required license certificate or license tag or other satisfactory proof of own-er/guardianship and by paying the charges referenced under Section 8.04.150 and the fees that may be established by separate ordinance of the board of supervisors in reference thereto.

(e)   The owner/guardian of an animal taken into protective custody under this section shall be entitled to a hearing conducted by a hearing officer designated by the county administrator or his/her designee pursuant to the provisions of Section 8.04.122 of this chapter. The hearing shall be conducted for the purpose of determining whether the taking of the animal into protective custody was proper and whether the protective custody should continue. The hearing shall be held within ten business days following the taking of the animal into custody provided such own-er/guardian files a written request for a hearing with the sheriff within five business days following written notice. Unless the hearing officer otherwise determines, the owner/guardian is liable for all charges related to such taking of the animal into protective custody.

(f)   Such repeated acts by an owner/guardian of allowing an animal to disturb the peace, as described by subsection (a) and subject to the limitations set forth in subsections (b), (c), and (d), shall constitute a public nuisance under the provisions of Marin County Code Section 1.05.020. Persons responsible for such disturbances may be held liable to the civil penalties set forth in Marin County Code Section 1.05.030.

(Ord. 3476 § 1 (part), 2007: Ord. 3377 § 1 (part), 2003) 

3476  

Amends Chapters 8.04, 8.08 and 8.12, animals (8.04, 8.08, 8.12)  

 

3377  

Amends Chs. 8.04, 8.08 and 8.12, animals (8.04, 8.08, 8.12)

                                                                        

1.05.030  Marin County Code violations--Civil penalties--Hearing officers.

A.   Any person who violates any provision of the Marin County Code shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars for each violation. After any person has been given notice that any act or failure to act is a violation of the county code, it shall be a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which that person knowingly commits or permits additional acts constituting a violation of that provision of the Marin County Code. After such notice of the violation has been given to the person, a reasonable period of time shall be given to that person to correct or remedy the violation(s). This reasonable period of time shall not be less than ten days from the date the county issues a notice, other than the abatement hearing notice specified in Section 1.05.030D below, that any act or failure to act is a violation of the county code.

B.   Any person who constructs or converts or allows a structure to be used for human habitation without a building, development or use permit required by any provision of the Marin County Code shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of any rent received from any person occupying the illegal structure, or, in the alternative, in the amount of the reasonable rental value of the structure from the date of its construction or conversion or initiation of use.

C.   Any person violating any of the provisions of this Code shall be liable to pay the county's total costs of enforcement, including charges for attorney's fees as set forth below. Pursuant to Government Code Section 25845(c), attorney's fees may be recovered by the prevailing party in any action brought under this chapter if the county elects at the initiation of the action to seek recovery of its own attorney's fees. For the purposes of this section the initiation of the action shall be the date of service of the notice to abate nuisance sent by the county pursuant to Section 1.05.040. Attorney's fees may be recovered by the county if the county is the prevailing party in an action brought under this chapter. If the person alleged to have violated this Code is the prevailing party, that person may recover their reasonable attorney's fees in an amount not to exceed the amount of attorney's fees incurred by the county in the action.

D.   The board of supervisors shall provide one or more hearing officers to conduct hearings, to issue subpoenas, to receive evidence, to administer oaths, to rule on questions of law and the admissibility of evidence, to prepare a record of the proceedings, to issue enforcement orders with regard to violations of the county code or of specified chapters of the county code, and to provide for the recovery of enforcement costs, any civil penalties, and any other costs of abatement as a special assessment against the property on which the violation(s) occurred or as a personal obligation of the person committing or permitting the violation(s). Written notice of the hearing shall be provided at least fifteen days prior to the date of the first hearing. This written notice shall be given in accordance with the provisions of Section 1.04.190 to the person or persons alleged to have violated the county code, and to any other person known to own or possess the property.

(Ord. 3271 § 1, 1998; Ord. 3223 § 1 (part), 1996; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1994: Ord. 1539 § 1, 1966: prior Ord. 1508 § 1 (part), 1966)

 

1.04.190  Service of notices.

Whenever a notice is required to be given under this Code (unless different provisions are otherwise specifically made herein) such notice may be given either by personal delivery thereof to the person to be notified or by deposit in the United States Mail in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to such person to be notified, at his last known business or residence address as the same appears in the public records or other records pertaining to the matters to which such notice is directed. Service by mail shall be deemed to have been completed at the time of deposit in the post office.

(Ord. 1416 § 2 (part), 1965)

3271  

Amends §§ 1.05.030(C) and 1.05.050(E), recovery of attorney fees and imposition of civil penalties (1.05)

3223  

Amends §§ 1.05.030(A), 1.05.050(G) and 1.05.080(B); repeals § 22.06.040, administrative procedures for code enforcement (1.05)  

3186  

Adds § 1.05.120 and amends §§ 1.05.030 -- 1.05.060, 1.05.080 -- 1.05.100; repeals § 1.05.070, nuisance abatement (1.05)  

1539  

Amends Ch. 1.05, nuisance abatement (1.05)  

 =====================================================================================

 STATE LAW

 
HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
SECTION 118825


118825.  The Legislature, recognizing the growing problem of noise
pollution throughout the state and that we are daily assaulted with
increased noise from advancing technology, machines, vehicles, and
human clamor, declares that excessive noise must be considered a
degradation of our environment and a health hazard to our citizens.
   The Legislature further declares that it is particularly concerned
that the proposed supersonic transport aircraft may significantly
increase the noise level in the areas surrounding our state's
airports unless preventive legal sanctions are invoked.
   The Legislature is compelled to enact a noise limit for aircraft
landing in the state, as a necessary and proper function of its
police powers, in order to protect the health and welfare of the
citizens of this state.
=====================================================================================

AFFECTED WORK, THE ENJOYMENT OF PROPERTY,  EMOTIONALLY STRESS. suffering from chronic exhaustion

Show how it affects you and your work, your sleep, your emotional stress etc...

The barking is costing you your mental health, and your physical health too, .

your quality of life is devastated and the health and well being of your family is imperiled, that you could turn to your local police and animal control departments and get timely relief from the ongoing torment. http://barkingdogs.net/barkinglaws.shtml

·  The disruption of sleep is impacting the health and well being  and your ability to function and make a living. (In that regard, a letter from the family doctor and any other relevant documentation you can provide may help your case.)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DEALING WITH NOISY NEIGHBOR

http://barkingdogs.net/barkinglaws.shtml before the authorities will even consider taking legal action against an irresponsible dog owner, the victim must speak with the neighbor about the barking. Then you must write a detailed letter of complaint and file legal papers against the owner. You must also gather data relevant to his prosecution, and you must serve as a witness against him in court and then -- and this is the killer clause -- then you must persuade at least two of your neighbors, from separate households, to do the same. (For a total of three households.)

 it is a case of one person victimizing another by behaving either irresponsibly or maliciously. Therefore, it should be dealt with through the criminal codes   --    criminal law, of which the "anti-barking" laws are a part, is supposed to protect us in situations where we are victimized by someone who is behaving either maliciously or irresponsibly

A private citizen should not be forced to correct a neighbor's criminal behavior by pursing the matter through the civil courts. Nonetheless, most of the criminal codes pertaining to barking abuse are so patently unworkable that people are often forced to turn to civil law to in an attempt to abate their barking problems.  

Desperate for a little quiet, the guy proceeded in San Francisco superior court, seeking an injunction to quiet the dogs. He successfully solicited written depositions from his neighbors, gathered the data, and placed a security camera on his roof to provide an electronic record of the dog's activities. He filed the papers, bore the expense, endured the anxiety and sleepless nights and waited in anguish for his day in court. It was a long, expensive and an emotionally traumatic experience, however, when the day finally came, the court granted him his injunction against the dog owner.

Before you applaud the happy ending, think back to what I said in the section about dealing with the owners of barking dogs; they self-select for the traits of hostility and recalcitrance. True to form, the dog owner ignored the court order. The victim returned to superior court to request that the authorities enforce the injunction against the owner, only to be told that the court was "too busy" to involve itself further with his case. To the best of my knowledge that dog is barking still.   

In either branch of the court, if you can prove that the barking is debilitatingly problematic, the judge may award you the cost of any work you were forced to do to make your house more sound resistant. If you are driven from your home by barking, especially if you are sick at the time, you may be able to sue the neighbor for the cost of a hotel room for the night. If you are forced to move your place of residence to escape the noise, you may be able to get moving expenses. In addition, a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court now allows Californians to sue in small claims for the amount their property values have declined (as long as it is under the $5,000 cap) as a result of the barking.

If you do sue your neighbor for barking-related expenses, be sure to leave a paper trail showing that you notified him in advance that you would incur those expenses and would hold him accountable if he failed to control his dog in a timely fashion.

http://barkingdogs.net/courts.shtml 

 purchased the "dog silencer pro" but they dont work that effectively because the dogs are usually further away. With a stereo though, you can record the same silent dog whistle sounds but play them extremely loud. Something you might want to consider.

Here's the trick - your 100W stereo receiver, a PA system speaker cabinet and a CD of barking dogs. Sounds like a lot of trouble but well worth it. When his dogs go off at 3AM I insert the CD and crank the stereo for about 30 seconds. The speaker is hidden in the yard. The dogs go into a frenzy, he comes out cursing in his underwear and surrounding neighbors suspect him because I don't own any dogs.

 http://community.livejournal.com/barkingdogs/56255.html 

sdog.shtml

My battle with a dog barking nuisance...

Hello All:

I happen to have a neighbor who is free loading at his Mom's house, and to my detriment happens to be a crazy-dog afficiando. Works in a restaurant or something. Comes home between midnight and 2 AM. Brings the two crazy dogs out in the back yard, below adjacent to our bedroom windows. Is loud on his cell phone at 1 AM and is playing with his dogs at that hour creating a racket. Usually about 10 minutes till he finishes his cigarette. Not time enough for me to get the cops over. Dog noise is low priority for them. If I call at 1 AM, a cop may show up at 8 AM in the morning. 
5 AM in the morning. It is his mother's turn to smoke her cigarette. She lets the dogs out again while she puffs herself to death. Another racket for 5-7 minutes.
Animal Control? LOL. They 'work' 9-5, Monday to Friday. Left a message on their 'hotline' aka answering machine. Four days later found a business card stuck to my front door, saying 'AC was here. call our hotline again if you are still having trouble'

And I believe this is the situation all over the country. Officials are apathetic. Even judges can be unfair, if they themselves are dog owners creating nuisance for their neighbors.

Back to my story. Tried to talk to this individual two times. I made the good faith effort to deal with it in a good citizen manner by trying to talk to him. Both times, as soon as I mentioned the dogs, I got cussed out and yelled at. The fellow considers himself some kind of expert at the law. Yells at me that the dogs can bark for 20 minutes each session, at upto 120 decibels anytime, 'according to the law'. 'They are animals and animals cannot be controlled' he says. Typical cocky dog owner attitude. So much for my good citizen efforts..

With all other options exhausted, here is what I have done. Is costing me some money but have no choice. We remodelled our house three years ago and love its location, so moving out is not an option. No guarantee we'll have peace and quiet at the next place, if we move. So we have decided to stay and fight.
Tried the bar association contact list and called about ten attorneys. Dog barking issue? No, sorry we're too busy. Attorneys are too busy if no one has died or gotten hurt. Most of them are not interested in small time stuff.
  

 Anyways, I posted a message in Craigslist, looking for an attorney who'd be willing to help, got lucky and found this gentleman attorney in Denver. Paid 50 quid for consultation and 200 quid for him to write a cease and desist letter to the property owner -the cocky guy's mother. He and his dogs are free loading at his mom's, but he's about to create a major problem for her. Attorrney is researching the dog laws in my city, a suburb of Denver. Then he'll write the letter next week. Letter will also tell the home owner that she is causing us injury by interrupting our sleep, by way of the conduct of the occupants of her house. For maximum impact I'll have the Sheriff Dept. deliver the letter to the cocky fellow's mother.
 

 If all disturbances don't stop after the letter, I'll sue her for damages and also request a court for injunction. May cost me 4000 to 5000 to get the ball rolling in District Court, if it come to that. Once I lay down that kind of money there will be no going back, unless she agrees to pay all of my legal costs and stop the nuisance. If the attorney agrees to tack on damages for sleep deprivation, she'll be in serious trouble.

When you want to sue someone, attorneys want 200 quid an hour (in Denver). If you're sued, they'll want 400/hour to defend you. These are the realities which cocky dog owners -and their mothers- don't realize.
Even if dog barking laws in places may allow the nuisance to be perpetrated on others, they do not protect the perpetrators from civil action.

Here is what I have setup for collecting evidence. I bought one miniature security camera with audio from Amazon (about 50 quids). Then I bought a time lapse VCR from EBay ( a Philips for 70 quid including shipping). This VCR records for upto 40 hours on a 8-hour VHS tape with date and time stamp. I have installed the camera on my side of the fence looking into my yard, to be non intrusive, but is listening into my cocky neighbor's yard. It's picking up all sounds and noises they are making. Unaware of what's coming to them. One day my cocky neighbor was telling his dogs, out loud so we could hear it, that they had '19 more minutes to bark'. Another night at 10:30 PM he was himself barking like a dog. Provocation. But I didn't get provoked. Because I know that I have much bigger things in the works for him, and his mother. And I'll nail them with both witnesses and with evidence.
I am offering 50 quid to persons in my neighborhood who can come at short notice and witness the dog disturbance and will pay him/her 10 quid an hour for testifying in court, if needed. Two witnesses will cost me about $300.
There are other neighbors who are affected by the nuisance but they are afraid of getting involved. Typical of our society today, unfortunately. Cocky dog owners are like bullys and most folks are afraid of bullys. Not me. He's messing with the wrong person...

So far my costs, altogether, are at 417 bucks. 
If the cease and desist letter doesn't give him a jolt and bring him down from his cocky dog heaven, I have the attorney's retainer ready for the next step, which will be huge.
Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do....
Hope details of my situation can give you any helpful clues for your situation.
I'll write an update after a few weeks....

Sincerely:
 

                    http://barkingdogs.net/ducthreat.shtml

On the Value of Informational Letters and Letters Threatening Legal Action

Barking Dogs Webmaster:
People will sometimes hire an attorney to write a fake-out letter threatening legal action against the dog owner, even though in reality, they don't have the resources necessary to follow through with a court case. Do you recommend that?

:
No. Those posturing threat letters don't do anything for anybody. The letters I send, when I do send letters, are designed to educate and not really to bully or threaten. My letters say things like, "Here's what the code says," and "here's what this case says," and "here's what this rule says." I have footnotes and I recite a case or a section from another lawsuit. The point is not so much that the dog owner gets it and says, "Wow, that must be right." It's that they get it and they take it to their lawyer and the lawyer now has a chance, before anything else has happened, before a lawsuit is filed or anything, to see pretty much whether the complaining party, the neighbors, actually know what the rules are and whether they have a chance of winning. So the letter is not so much threatening as informational - with the information going to the attorney as opposed to the dog owner. Sometimes that helps. But threats don't get you where you want to go - action does.  

 the last time I went over to a neighbor's house to talk to them about their barking dogs, I spoke just three or four very polite sentences, asking them to take responsibility for the animals. They responded by immediately telephoning the local police with a fantasy version of the event in which I supposedly threatened acts of violence. Now fortunately, I had recorded the conversation on a small tape recorder tucked into my shirt pocket.

In my experience that kind of outrageous falsehood is typical of what you get from recalcitrant dog owners when you stand up for yourself and press the issue. So, based on my experience, I figure that, even if it's illegal, at least I have the tape. So I can prove what was actually said. 

====================================================================================================

Chapter 8.13 - NOISE (San Rafael Ordinance)

 
  • Sections:

  • 8.13.010 - Declaration of policy.
  • It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City of San Rafael, in the exercise of its police power, to protect the peace, health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of San Rafael from excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable noises from any and all sources in the community. It is the intention of the city council to control the adverse effect of such noise sources on the citizens by prescribing standards prohibiting detrimental levels of noise and by providing a remedy for violations. The provisions of this chapter and the remedies contained in this code shall be cumulative and are not intended to replace any otherwise available remedies for public or private nuisances, nor any other civil or criminal remedies otherwise available. In addition, the regulations contained herein are not intended to substitute for any noise analysis conducted as a part of the city's environmental review process for discretionary permit approvals, nor is it intended to limit more strict noise control requirements for discretionary permit approvals should more strict measures be found to be necessary in order to maintain noise levels that are not detrimental to the health and welfare of the citizens of the city.

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.020 - Definitions.
  • For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms are defined as follows:

    A." 'A'-Weighted Sound Level (dBA)" means a decibel scale that approximates the way the human ear responds to various acoustic frequencies.

    B."Commercial property" means property zoned for commercial, office, marine, marine commercial, or water uses, as provided in the City of San Rafael Zoning Ordinance, San Rafael Municipal Code Title 14, or properties zoned as planned development where the principal use is commercial, marine, marine commercial, or water use.

    C."Constant" noise means a continuous noise produced where there is no noticeable change in the level of the noise source. Examples would include such noises as those associated with air conditioners and pool equipment.

    D."Daytime" for purposes of this chapter means the period between seven a.m. (7:00 a.m.) and nine p.m. (9:00 p.m.) Sunday through Thursday and between seven a.m. (7:00 a.m.) and ten p.m. (10:00 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday.

    E."Decibel" means the measurement unit used for the level of sound/noise.

    F."Holidays" mean those holidays designated as federal holidays and the day after Thanksgiving.

    G."Industrial property" means property zoned for industrial or light industrial use as provided in the City of San Rafael Zoning Ordinance, San Rafael Municipal Code Title 14, or properties zoned as planned development where the principal use is industrial or light industrial.

    H."Intermittent" noise means repetitive noises where there is a distinction between the onset and decay of the sound. Examples would include hammering and dog barking.

    I."Mixed use property" means property zoned for both residential and for office and/or commercial use as provided in the City of San Rafael Zoning Ordinance, San Rafael Municipal Code Title 14.

    J."Multi-family residential structure" means any dwelling structure where two or more dwellings are separated by a common wall, floor, or ceiling, including but not limited to apartments, condominiums and townhouses.

    K."Nighttime" for purposes of this chapter means the period between nine p.m. (9:00 p.m.) and seven a.m. (7:00 a.m.) Sunday through Thursday and between ten p.m. (10:00 p.m.) and seven a.m. (7:00 a.m.) on Friday and Saturday.

    L."Noise level" means the maximum constant or intermittent sound level produced by a source or group of sources as measured with a sound level meter using fast response and "A"-weighting. In order to measure a noise level, the controls of the sound level meter should be arranged to the setting appropriate to the type of noise being measured.

    M."Sound level meter" means a device for measuring sound level in decibel units within the performance specifications in the American National Standards Institute Standard S1.4, "Specification for Sound Level Meters."

    N."Property plane" means a vertical plane including the property line that determines the property boundaries in space.

    O."Public property" means property zoned for public/quasi-public or parks/open space use as provided in the City of San Rafael Zoning Ordinance, San Rafael Municipal Code Title 14, or the San Rafael City Plaza, or any public street, right-of-way, or easement.

    P."Residential power equipment" means any mechanically powered saw, sander, drill, grinder, leaf blower, lawnmower, hedge trimmer, edger, or any other similar tool or device, when used in or on any residential property.

    Q."Residential property" means property zoned for residential use as provided in the City of San Rafael Zoning Ordinance, San Rafael Municipal Code Title 14, or properties zoned for mixed use or as planned development where the principal use is residential.

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.030 - Loud or unusual noises prohibited.
     
  • No person shall maintain, emit or make, or cause, suffer or permit to be maintained, emitted or made, any noise or sound produced by human, animal, mechanical or other means, which by reason of its raucous or nerve-wracking nature, shall disturb the peace or comfort or be injurious to the health of any person or persons; and such a noise or sound may be deemed in violation of this section regardless whether it is found to be within the noise limits established elsewhere in this chapter for the location or type of noise or sound.

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.040 - General noise limits.
  • Subject to the exceptions and exemptions set forth in Sections 8.13.050 and 8.13.060 of this chapter, the general noise limits set forth in this section shall apply. A summary of the general noise limits set forth in this section is set forth in Table 8.13-1. Where two or more noise limits may apply, the more restrictive noise limit shall govern. For purposes of determining sound levels from any source of sound, a sound level measurement shall be made at any point on any receiving private or public property. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in multi-family structures, the microphone shall be placed no closer than 3-˝ feet from a wall through which the source of sound at issue is transmitting, and shall also be placed five (5) feet above the floor regardless of whether the source of sound at issue transmits through the floor, ceiling or wall. Sound level measurements shall be made with a sound level meter (Type 1 or 2) set to A-weighting, and "fast" response for intermittent sound. Slow or fast response may be used for constant noise sources. For intermittent sound, the one second rms maximum level (Lmax) shall be used. For constant sound, the average level (Leq) shall be used.

    A.Residential property noise limits.

    1.No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device, or by any other means, a noise level greater than the following, when measured on any residential property:

    a. Daytime: 60 dBA intermittent
        50 dBA constant
    b. Nighttime: 50 dBA intermittent
        40 dBA constant

    2.No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal, or device, or by any other means, a noise level greater than the following, when measured on any mixed use property:

    a. Daytime: 65 dBA intermittent
        55 dBA constant
    b. Nighttime: 55 dBA intermittent
        45 dBA constant

    3.No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device, or by any other means, within the interior of a multi-family residential structure, a noise level greater than the following, when measured through a common interior partition (wall, floor or ceiling) from any other interior location:

    a. Daytime: 40 dBA intermittent
        35 dBA constant
    b. Nighttime: 35 dBA intermittent
        30 dBA constant

    B.Commercial property noise limits.

    No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal, or device, or by any other means, a noise level greater than sixty-five (65) dBA intermittent or fifty-five (55) dBA constant, when measured on any commercial property.

    C.Industrial property noise limits.

    No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device, or by any other means, a noise level greater than seventy (70) dBA intermittent or sixty (60) dBA constant, when measured on any industrial property.

    D.Public property noise limits.

    No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device, or by any other means, a noise level, when measured on any public property, that is greater than the most restrictive noise standard applicable under this chapter to any private property adjoining the receiving public property.

    TABLE 8.13-1—GENERAL NOISE LIMITS

    Property type or zone Daytime limits Nighttime limits
    Residential 60 dBA Intermittent
    50 dBA Constant
    50 dBA Intermittent
    40 dBA Constant
    Mixed-use 65 dBA Intermittent
    55 dBA Constant
    55 dBA Intermittent
    45 dBA Constant
    Multifamily residential
    (interior sound source)
    40 dBA Intermittent
    35 dBA Constant
    35 dBA Intermittent
    30 dBA Constant
    Commercial 65 dBA Intermittent
    55 dBA Constant
    65 dBA Intermittent
    55 dBA Constant
    Industrial 70 dBA Intermittent
    ;lt;60 dBA ConstantTc>70 dBA Intermittent
    60 dBA Constant
    Public Property Most restrictive noise limit applicable to
    adjoining private property
    Most restrictive noise limit applicable to
    adjoining private property

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.050 - Standard exceptions to general noise limits.
     
  • The following standard exceptions to the provisions of Section 8.13.040 shall be allowed as of right, to the extent and during the hours specified. A summary of the standard exceptions provided in this section is set forth in Table 8.13-2.

    A.

    Construction. Except as otherwise provided in subsection B of this section, or by the planning commission or city council as part of the development review for the project, on any construction project on property within the city, construction, alteration, demolition, maintenance of construction equipment, deliveries of materials or equipment, or repair activities otherwise allowed under applicable law shall be allowed between the hours of seven a.m. (7:00 a.m.) and six p.m. (6:00 p.m.), Monday through Friday, and nine a.m. (9:00 a.m.) and six p.m. (6:00 p.m.) on Saturdays, provided that the noise level at any point outside of the property plane of the project shall not exceed ninety (90) dBA. All such activities shall be precluded on Sundays and holidays. Violation of the foregoing may subject the permittee to suspension of work by the chief building official for up to two (2) days per violation.

    For any construction project involving the construction of one or more new buildings or residences within the city, or when required by the planning commission or city council as part of their development review for the property, the property owner or occupant shall post a sign at all entrances to the construction site upon commencement of construction, for the purpose of informing all contractors and subcontractors, their employees, agents, materialmen and all other persons at the construction site, of the basic requirements of this chapter.

    1.Said sign(s) shall be posted in a conspicuous place visible from the public right-of-way near the entrance to the job site, at least five feet (5') above ground level, and shall be of a white background, with legible black lettering, which lettering shall be a minimum of one and one-half inches (1 1/2") in height.

    2.Said sign shall read as follows (or as consistent with other hours approved by the planning commission or city council):

    CONSTRUCTION HOURS
    (includes any and all deliveries)

    MONDAY—FRIDAY 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    SATURDAY 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    SUNDAY/HOLIDAYS Prohibited

     

    NOISE LIMITS

    Noise level at any point outside of the construction property plane shall not exceed ninety (90) dBA.

    Violation of the construction hours and noise limits may be enforced as either an infraction or a misdemeanor punishable by fines or jail time or both, or by an administrative citation with a fine, or by a civil action with a monetary penalty, injunction and/or other remedies, as provided in Chapter 1.42 of this code. In addition, the chief building official may issue a stop work order requiring suspension of work for up to two (2) days per violation.

    B.Residential Power Equipment and Construction Activities by Residential Property Owners. Residential power equipment, and construction activities undertaken by residential property owners to maintain or improve their property, shall be allowed between the hours of eight a.m. (8:00 a.m.) and eight p.m. (8:00 p.m.), Monday through Friday, and nine a.m. (9:00 a.m.) and six p.m. (6:00 p.m.) on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, providing such equipment and/or activities do not produce a noise level that exceeds ninety (90) dBA beyond the property plane of the property on which the equipment is being used or the activity is occurring. For purposes of this subsection, "construction activities undertaken by the residential property owner" shall include work personally done by the property owner(s) and by a family member, friend or other persons assisting the property owner(s).

    C.Sound Performances; Sound-Generating Devices. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, on public property or any other open area to which the public has access, whether publicly or privately owned, sound-generating devices or instruments used for any indoor or outdoor sound performances, athletic events, and special events shall be permitted, provided they do not exceed a noise level of eighty (80) dBA measured at a distance of not less than fifty feet (50') from the property plane or such other limit as may be established by any required approvals and permits therefor obtained from the appropriate governmental entity. Except pursuant to an approved special event, street closure or parade permit, the use of any sound-generating device or instrument for such performances or events between the hours of ten p.m. (10:00 p.m.) and ten a.m. (10:00 a.m.) is unlawful.

    D.Refuse Collection. Refuse collection activities shall be permitted as specified in this section, provided they do not produce a noise level in excess of ninety-five (95) dBA measured at a distance of twenty-five feet (25') from the activity:

    1.Residential or mixed-use property: between the hours of six a.m. (6:00 a.m.) and nine p.m. (9:00 p.m.), Monday through Saturday;

    2.Industrial or commercial property: between the hours of four a.m. (4:00 a.m.) and nine p.m. (9:00 p.m.) daily.

    TABLE 8.13-2 - STANDARD EXCEPTIONS TO GENERAL NOISE LIMITS

    Type of Activity Maximum Noise Level Days/Hours Permitted
    Construction 90 dBA Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
    Sat 9:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
    Sun, Hol.—prohibited
    or as otherwise set by city approval
    Residential Power Equipment and Construction Activities Undertaken by Residential Property Owners 90 dBA Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m.
    Sat, Sun, Hol. 9:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
    Sound performances 80 dBA measured fifty (50) feet or more from property plane, or as excepted by permit approval Every day 10:00 a.m.—10:00 p.m., or as excepted by permit approval
    Refuse Collection 95 dBA Residential or mixed-use property: Mon-Sat 6:00 a.m.—9:00 p.m.
    Industrial or commercial property: Daily 4:00 a.m.—9:00 p.m.

    (Ord. 1838 § 7, 2005; Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.060 - Exceptions allowed with permit.
     
  • A.In addition to the standard exceptions permitted pursuant to Section 8.13.050 of this chapter, the director of community development or his designee may grant a permit allowing an exception from any or all provisions of this chapter where the applicant can show that a diligent investigation of available noise abatement techniques indicates that immediate compliance with the requirements of this chapter would be impractical or unreasonable, or that no public detriment will result from the proposed exception. Any such permit shall be issued with appropriate conditions to minimize the public detriment caused by the permitted exceptions. Any such permit shall be of such duration, as approved by the director of community development or his designee, up to a maximum period of six (6) months, but shall be renewable upon a showing of good cause, and shall be conditioned by a schedule for compliance and details of methods therefor in appropriate cases. At the discretion of the director of community development or his designee, an exception permit may be issued and reissued for successive short periods of time in order to allow monitoring of the adverse noise impacts of the excepted activity, and additional conditions may be imposed upon reissuance of the permit, if the director of community development or his designee determines that such additional conditions are necessary to mitigate noise impacts from the excepted activity to a level he deems acceptable under all the circumstances.

    B.Any application for an exception permit under this section shall be accompanied by a fee to be set by resolution of the city council.

    C.Prior to granting any permit under this section, the director of community development or his designee shall provide at least ten (10) calendar days' written notice to all property owners within three hundred feet (300') of the property for which the application is made, and shall consider any objections to the granting of such permit received before issuance of the permit.

    D.Any person aggrieved with the decision of the director of community development or his designee may appeal to the city council, by writing filed with the city clerk within five (5) business days after the date of such decision; however, such decision shall not stay the effective date of the permit.

    (Ord. 1838 § 8, 2005; Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.070 - Exemptions.
     
  • The following shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

    A.Aerial warning devices which are required by law to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community;

    B.Emergency vehicle responses and all necessary equipment utilized for the purpose of responding to an emergency, or necessary to restore, preserve, protect or save lives or property from imminent danger of loss or harm;

    C.Aviation, railroad, and public transit operations;

    D.The operation of any municipal or public utility vehicles;

    E.Public safety training exercises conducted between the hours of eight a.m. (8:00 a.m.) and eight p.m. (8:00 p.m.);

    F.Uses established through any applicable discretionary review process containing specific noise conditions of approval and/or mitigation measures;

    G.Work on capital improvements, or repairs on public property by employees or contractors of the city;

    H.Vehicle noise subject to regulation under the California Vehicle Code;

    I.Emergency repair work performed by, or at the request of, a property owner on his or her private property, where the delay required to obtain an exception permit under this chapter would result in substantial damage, personal injuries, or property loss to the owner, provided that such emergency work shall be subject to such reasonable conditions as may be imposed by authorized city employees to mitigate the noise level of the activity.

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

  • 8.13.080 - Violations, penalties.
     

    Any violation of this chapter may be enforced either as an infraction or as a misdemeanor, or by any remedy available to the city under this code, or under state law.

    (Ord. 1789 § 3 (part), 2002).

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