Albuquerque, New Mexico
ARTICLE 9: NOISE CONTROL
(Amendments as of 5/2001)
|9-9-3||Decibel measurement criteria|
|9-9-4||Sound amplifying equipment|
|9-9-5||Drums and bells|
|9-9-6||Schools, hospitals, churches and libraries|
|9-9-7||Machinery, equipment fans, and air conditioners|
|9-9-8||Construction of buildings and projects|
|9-9-11||Aircraft engine noise|
|9-9-12||General noise regulation|
|9-9-98||Violations; additional remedies; injunctions|
§ 9-9-1 Short Title.
This article may be cited as the "Noise Control
('74 Code, § 6-22-1) (Ord. 21-1975)
§ 9-9-2 Definitions.
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
A-weighted Sound Pressure Level. The sound pressure level as measured on an ANSI-S1.4-1971 Type 1 or Type 2 Sound Level Meter using the A-weighting network. Instrument response shall be "fast" for motor vehicle measurements and "slow" for all other measurements.
Ambient Noise Level. The sound pressure level of the all encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources and excluding the specific noise under investigations; the A-weighted sound pressure level exceeded 90 percent of the time and based on a maximum of a one hour period (L90).
Emergency Work. Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work to restore public utilities or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger.
Mayor. The Mayor or his designated representative.
Motorcycle. Every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for use by the rider and designated to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, including every motorscooter, motordriven cycle and mini-bike, but excluding a tractor.
Motor Vehicle. Every vehicle which is self-propelled, but excluding off-highway construction equipment, or unlicensed construction equipment or equipment operated upon rails.
Nighttime. From 10:00 p.m. (2200 hours) to 7:00 a.m. (0700 hours).
Person. A person, firm, association, copartnership, joint venture, corporation, or any entity, public or private in nature.
Plainly Audible Sound. Any sound for which the information content of that sound is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as, but not limited to, understandable spoken speech, comprehension of whether a voice is raised or normal, or comprehensible musical rhythms.
Reference Pressure. The reference pressure for all sound level measurements shall be 20 micronewtons per square meter (20 uN/m2). This shall be further defined as 0 dB(A).
Residential, Office, or Commercial Zone. Any area of the city defined as residential, office or commercial in the Zoning Code of the city.
Sound Amplifying Equipment. Any machine or device for the sound amplification of the human voice, music, or any other sound. "Sound amplifying equipment" shall not include standard automobile radios when used and heard only by the occupants of the vehicle in which the automobile radio is installed. "Sound amplifying equipment" shall not include warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles or horns or other warning devices on any vehicles used only for traffic safety purposes.
Sound-Level Meter. An instrument including a
microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and weighting networks that is
sensitive to pressure fluctuations. The output meter reads sound pressure
level when properly calibrated and the instrument is of Type 2 or better
as specified in ANSI S1.4-1971.
('74 Code, § 6-22-2) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-3 Decibel Measurement Criteria.
Any decibel measurement made pursuant to the provisions of
this article shall be based on the reference sound pressure and measured
with a sound-level meter using the A-weighting network.
('74 Code, § 6-22-3) (Ord. 21-1975)
§ 9-9-4 Sound Amplifying Equipment.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person within any zone of the city to practice, play, or conduct live band activities using sound amplifying equipment in such a manner that the noise level produced exceeds 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher, when measured at the property line of any residential property (or if a condominium or apartment house, within any adjoining apartment) or to conduct such activities or operate any such device between 10:00 p.m. (2200 hours) and 7:00 a.m. (0700 hours) so as to be plainly audible within any dwelling unit which is not the source of sound.
(B) Division (A) of this section shall not apply to any person who has applied for and received a temporary permit as described in § 9-9-15.
(C) Radios, televisions, stereos, and other sound
amplifying equipment shall be operated in such a manner that the noise
level will not exceed 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level,
whichever is higher, when measured at the property line of any residential
property, or, if a condominium or apartment house, within any adjoining
apartment; provided that between 10:00 p.m. (2200 hours) and 7:00 a.m.
(0700 hours) such equipment shall not be operated so as to be plainly
audible within any dwelling unit which is not the source of the sound.
('74 Code, § 6-22-6) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-5 Drums and Bells.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use any drum or
other percussion or musical instrument for the purpose of attracting
attention by the creation of noise if the noise level produced exceeds 50
dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher,
when measured at any residential property line. This section shall not
apply to any person who is a participant in a school band or duly licensed
parade or who has been otherwise duly authorized to engage in such
('74 Code, § 6-22-7) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-6 Schools, Hospitals, Churches and Libraries.
It shall be unlawful for any person to create any
unnecessary noise on any street, sidewalk, or public place adjacent to any
school, library, or other institution of learning, or church, while the
same is in use; or adjacent to any hospital, which noise unreasonably
interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or
unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided conspicuous signs are
displayed in such streets, sidewalk or public place indicating the
presence of a school, hospital, church or library.
('74 Code, § 6-22-8) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-7 Machinery, Equipment Fans, and Air Conditioners.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate, cause to operate or permit to operate any stationary machinery, equipment, fan, air-conditioning apparatus, or similar permanently installed mechanical device in any manner so as to create noise which exceeds 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher, when measured at a residential property line.
(B) Stationary machinery, equipment, fans, and air conditioners, as defined by this section, shall have the following replacement periods:
(C) Nothing in division (B) of this section shall be interpreted in
such a way as to relieve the person responsible for such stationary
machinery, equipment, fan, air conditioning apparatus, or similar
permanently installed mechanical device, from the responsibility of taking
other reasonable actions, other than replacement, directed at reducing
noise levels from these sources at a residential property line.
('74 Code, § 6-22-9) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-8 Construction of Buildings and Projects.
It shall be unlawful for any person within a residential zone, or
within a radius of 500 feet therefrom, to operate or cause to be operated
any equipment used in construction, repair, alteration or demolition work
on buildings, structures, streets, alleys or appurtenances thereto, with
sound control devices less effective than those provided on the original
equipment, or in violation of any regulations of the United States
Environmental Protection Agency; or to operate or cause to be operated any
such equipment during the nighttime, except in emergency situations as
defined in this article, in such manner that the sound produced exceeds 50
dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher,
when measured at the residential property line.
('74 Code, § 6-22-10) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-9 Vehicle Repairs.
It shall be unlawful for any person within any residential zone of the
city to repair, rebuild, or test any motor vehicle in such a manner that
the noise produced by such activity exceeds 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above
the ambient noise level, whichever is higher, when measured at the
residential property line.
('74 Code, § 6-22-11) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-10 Motor Vehicles.
(A) (1) (a) No person shall operate within the speed limits specified in this section in any roadway within the city either a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles of a type subject to registration at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to exceed the following noise limits when measured 50 feet from the center of the vehicle path:
|Noise Limit in Relation to Posted Speed Limit|
|Type of Vehicle||40 mph or less||Over 40 mph|
|(a) Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer's GVW rating of 8,000 lbs. or more, and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle||86 dB(A)||90 dB(A)|
|(b) Any motorcycle||82 dB(A)||86 dB(A)|
|(c) Any other motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles||76 dB(A)||82 dB(A)|
(b) This division (1) applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provisions of this article relating to motor vehicle mufflers for noise control.
(2) No person shall operate a motor vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle rating of less than 6,000 lb., except a motorcycle, which exceeds 95 dB(A), measured 20 in. (508 mm) from the exhaust outlet. The measured exhaust system sound level of a stationary vehicle shall be the highest reading obtained during the test, disregarding unrelated peaks due to extraneous ambient noise. When there is more than one exhaust outlet extending from a single muffler, separated by less then 12 in. (305 mm), measurements shall not be made on the outlet furthest from the side of the vehicle.
(3) No person shall operate a motor vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of at least 6,000 lb. which exceeds 93 dB(A), measured 25 ft. (7.6 m) from the side of the vehicle. The sound level meter shall be observed during the full cycle of engine acceleration-deceleration, and the measured sound level reading shall be the highest value obtained during this cycle, excluding unrelated peaks due to extraneous ambient noise. When there is more than one outlet, the sound level for each side of the vehicle shall be measured, and the reported sound level shall be the average of the two highest readings within 1 dB of each other on the loudest side.
(B) (1) No person shall sell or offer for sale a recreational or off-highway motor vehicle, go-cart, or motorcycle, that produces a maximum noise exceeding 88 dB(A) at a distance of 50 feet from the center line of travel.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle off
a public right-of-way at any time or under any condition of load,
acceleration, or deceleration, in such a manner that the noise produced by
such operation exceeds 82 dB(A) at any point on occupied property zoned
for residential, office or commercial use at a distance of not less than
50 feet from the path of travel. This division shall not apply to
commercial enterprises which are lawfully engaged in the repair and
maintenance of such motor vehicles.
('74 Code, § 6-22-12) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-11 Aircraft Engine Noise.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate, run up or test or cause to be operated, run up or tested an aircraft engine which creates a noise level of 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher, measured at anyplace within an inhabited residential zone of the city during the nighttime hours.
(B) Any aircraft engine operating within an aircraft during a landing, takeoff or while moving upon the ground surface of an airport shall be exempt from the provisions to this section.
(C) The intent of this section is to regulate the noise levels produced
in the testing, maintenance and repairing of aircraft engines and aircraft
in the nighttime hours to the extent such levels exceed 50 dB(A), or 10
dB(A) above the ambient noise level, whichever is higher, measured within
any inhabited residential zone of the city.
('74 Code, § 6-22-13) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-12 General Noise Regulation.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, it shall be unlawful for
any person to make or continue, cause to be made or continued, or allow to
be made or continued, any noise in excess of 50 dB(A), or 10 dB(A) above
the ambient noise level, whichever is higher at any residential property
('74 Code, § 6-22-14) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-13 Administration.
The mayor shall be responsible for the administration of this article.
Rules, regulations, and test and compliance procedures to carry out the
intent and purpose of this article shall be promulgated by the Mayor after
a public hearing.
('74 Code, § 6-22-15) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-14 Variances.
(A) The Mayor may grant an individual variance from the limitations prescribed in this article whenever it is found, upon presentation of adequate proof, that compliance with any part of this article will result in an arbitrary and unreasonable taking of property, or will impose an undue economic burden upon any lawful business, occupation or activity, and the granting of the variance will not result in a condition injurious to health or safety.
(B) Any variance, or renewal thereof, shall be granted within the
requirements of division (A) of this section and for time periods and
under conditions consistent with the reasons therefor, and within the
(1) If the variance is granted on the grounds that compliance with the particular requirement or requirements will necessitate the taking of measures which, because of their extent or cost, must be spread over a considerable period of time, it shall be for a period not to exceed such reasonable time as, in the view of the Mayor is requisite for taking of the necessary measures. A variance granted on the ground specified in this division shall contain a timetable for taking of action in an expeditious manner and shall be conditioned on adherence to the timetable; or
(2) If the variance is granted on the ground that it is justified to relieve or prevent hardship of a kind other than that provided for in division (1) of this division (B), it shall be for not more than one year.
(C) Any person seeking a variance shall file a petition for variance with the Mayor. The Mayor shall investigate the petition and make a determination as to the disposition thereof within ten working days following receipt of the request by the Mayor.
(D) Any person aggrieved by the disposition of a petition for variance
may appeal such disposition by filing a written petition with the Mayor
within 30 days of such disposition. The procedures governing such appeals
shall be those procedures that have been promulgated by the Mayor as
('74 Code, § 6-22-4) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-15 Temporary Permits.
(A) The Mayor may grant a temporary permit which allows noncompliance with the limitations prescribed in this article for the purpose of amplified sound activities of short duration. The issuance of such permits will be only for a time period between 7:00 a.m. (0700 hours) and 12 a.m. (2400 hours).
(B) Permits shall be granted upon application, at no cost to applicant, provided an initial investigation assures that the permit will not result in a condition injurious to health or safety.
(C) The following factors shall be considered, in the initial investigation, in order to determine whether granting the permit will result in a condition injurious to health or safety:
(1) Distance of proposed activities from a residential zone.
(2) Number of amplification devices to be used in the proposed activities.
(3) Anticipated direction of amplification devices.
(4) Anticipated length of proposed activities.
(5) Whether the activity will be held within or without a structure.
(D) Upon a determination that the granting of a permit will not result in a condition injurious to health or safety, the permit shall be issued specifying place, duration, and any restrictions appropriate to the proposed site of the activities.
(E) Issued permits will be surrendered to any city police officer upon request when it is determined that the restriction of the permit specifying duration has been violated.
(F) Reapplication for a permit may be denied upon evidence of a complaint(s) by a resident(s) in the locality of the permitted activity or if an applicant has in the past been required to surrender a permit as described in division (E).
(G) This section shall not apply to any person who has been granted a variance as prescribed by § 9-9-14.
(H) Any person aggrieved by the disposition of an application for a
temporary permit may appeal such disposition by filing a written petition
with the Mayor within 30 days of the disposition. The procedures governing
such appeals are those procedures promulgated by the Mayor as provided
('74 Code, § 6-22-5) (Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-98 Violations; Additional Remedies; Injunctions.
As an additional remedy (to the penalty set forth in § 9-9-99),
the operation or maintenance of any device, instrument, vehicle, or
machinery in violation of any provision of this article, which operation
or maintenance exceeds the limitations of this article may be subject to
abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court
of competent jurisdiction.
('74 Code, § 6-22-17) (Ord. 21-1975; Am. Ord. 30-1981)
§ 9-9-99 Penalty.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall be
subject to the general penalty provisions of this code set forth in §
('74 Code, § 6-22-16) (Ord. 21-1975)
§ 9-2-3-7 Animals Disturbing the Peace.
No person shall allow an animal in his possession or control to
persistently or continuously bark, howl or make noise common to its
species, or otherwise to disturb the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of
the city or keep or maintain an animal in a manner which produces noxious
or offensive odors or otherwise endangers the health and welfare of the
inhabitants of the city.
('74 Code, § 6-2-6G) (Ord. 40-1987; Am. Ord. 71-1989; Am. Ord. 33-1992)
§ 12-2-4 Unreasonable Noise.
Unreasonable noise consists of creating any unreasonably loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise of such character, intensity or duration as to be detrimental to the repose, life or health of others, including but not limited to, the following specific noises if created in violation of this section:
(A) The sounding of any horn or signaling device for any automobile, motorcycle, truck or other vehicle on any street or public place, except as a danger warning, which creates an unreasonable, loud or harsh sound or which occurs for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time. This is not to include noise caused by accident or mechanical, electrical or other difficulty or failure.
(B) The playing of any radio, television, phonograph, musical instrument or other sound producing machine in such a manner or with such an unreasonable volume as to disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, motel, hotel, hospital or sanitorium.
(C) The use of any automobile, truck, bus or motorcycle so out of repair or so loaded or in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
(D) The use of any loudspeaker, drum, whistle, bell or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by the creation of sound to any performance, show, sale, display or merchandise or political candidate, party or platform without first obtaining a written permit from the Mayor or his designated representative. The Mayor or his designated representative shall issue such permit, subject only to such reasonable standards of noise volume and hours of operation as he or his representative may adopt.
(E) The creating of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any
hospital, school institution of learning, church or court which interferes
with the workings of such institution or which disrupts or annoys
occupants of said buildings.
('74 Code, § 12-1-2-4) (Ord. 96-1973; Am. Ord. 78-1978)
§ 12-2-5 Disorderly Conduct.
Disorderly conduct consists of either:
(A) Engaging in any public place in violent, abusive or indecent conduct which creates a clear and present danger of violence; or
(B) Maliciously making a telephone call with intent to annoy or threaten another, whether or not conversation ensues. Any offense committed by use of telephone as set forth in this section shall be deemed to have been committed at either the place where the telephone call or calls originated or at the place where the telephone call or calls were received; or
(C) Maliciously disturbing, threatening or, in an insolent manner, intentionally touching any house or vehicle occupied by any person; or
(D) Inciting, causing, aiding, abetting or assisting in creating any riot, affray or disturbance at or within any dwelling or building, whether public or private, or at any other public place in the city; or
(E) Using in any public place fighting words which by their very utterance are likely to provoke a violent reaction in an average person to whom such words are addressed; or
(F) Maliciously disturbing, or threatening, or in an insolent manner, intentionally touching or applying force to any person, in the building or grounds of any public, private school, preschool, primary or secondary school or college; or
(G) Urinating or defecating in public view on any public place or on any private property without the consent of the person lawfully in possession of the property.
('74 Code, § 12-1-2-5) (Ord. 96-1973; Am. Ord. 91-1977; Am. Ord. 78-1978)
§ 12-2-6 Unlawful Assembly
Unlawful assembly consists of the gathering together or assemblage of three or more persons for a common purpose which either:
(A) Creates a clear and present danger or an immediate threat of substantial harm to persons and/or property.
(B) Manifests a common intent to do any unlawful act or acts by force
or violence against the person and/or property of another. Participation
in an unlawful assembly to further such unlawful purpose shall constitute
a violation of this code.
('74 Code, § 12-1-2-6) (Ord. 96-1973)
§ 1-1-98 Issuing Citations.
(A) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
Breach of the Peace. Any violation of any city ordinance which wholly or in part proscribes conduct prohibited by Sections 30-21-1 et seq. NMSA 1978.
Mayor. The Mayor or his agent when used in this section.
Ordinance. Any ordinance which has been legally passed, adopted, approved, and published under the authority granted to the City Council by the Charter or by state law.
Ordinance Violation Citation. The form of citation specified and approved by the Mayor.
Person. Any person, individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, society, association, and every officer, agent, or employee thereof.
Police Officer. Every officer of the Albuquerque Police Department, or other person authorized by the Chief of Police or Mayor to make arrests and to issue citations for violations of city ordinances.
(B) Procedures for Issuance of Ordinance Violation and Citation.
(1) Procedure for Police Officers.
(a) Whenever a person is arrested by a Police Officer for violating any ordinance of the city not amounting to a breach of the peace, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, the arresting Police Officer may prepare in triplicate using the Ordinance Violation Citation form provided by the city, written notice to appear in Court, containing the name, address, and telephone number of the person violating such city ordinance, the driver's license number of such violator, if any, the offense or ordinance allegedly violated, and the date and place when and where such person shall have allegedly committed the acts complained of or violated the city ordinance and the time and place when and where such person shall appear in Court.
(b) The arrested person in order to secure release, as provided for in this ordinance, must give his written promise to so appear in Court by signing at least one copy of the Ordinance Violation Citation prepared by the arresting Police Officer. The officer shall deliver a copy of the Ordinance Violation Citation to the person promising to appear. Thereupon, said officer shall forthwith release the person arrested from his custody.
(c) Should the alleged violator refuse to give his written promise to appear, the arresting Police Officer shall forthwith take the alleged violator to the City Jail and cause him to be booked in the normal manner.
(2) Procedure for Mayor or His Agents.
(a) Whenever the Mayor or his designated agent has probable cause to believe that a person has violated any ordinance of the city punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, the Mayor or his designated agent may prepare in triplicate using the Ordinance Violation Citation form provided by the city, written notice to appear in Court, containing the name, address, and telephone number of the person violating such city ordinance, the driver's license number of such violator, if any, the offense or ordinance allegedly violated, and the date and place when and where such person shall have allegedly committed the acts complained of or violated the city ordinance and the time and place when and where such person shall appear in Court. The Mayor or his designated agent shall present the same to the person he has probable cause to believe violated the ordinance as alleged in the Ordinance Violation Citation to secure the alleged violator's written promise to appear in Court by having the alleged violator sign at least one copy of the Ordinance Violation Citation to the person promising to appear.
(b) Should the alleged violator refuse to give his written promise to appear, the Mayor or his designated agent shall cause to be prepared a written complaint against the alleged violator and present the same to a Municipal Judge of the city requesting the Municipal Judge to cause an arrest to be issued for the alleged violator.
(C) Failure to Obey Citation.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to violate his written promise to appear given to a Police Officer, the Mayor or his designated agent upon the issuance of the Ordinance Violation Citation form regardless of the disposition of the charge for which the citation was originally issued.
(2) A written promise to appear in Court may be complied with by an appearance by counsel.
(D) Procedure Prescribed Herein Not Exclusive. The foregoing provisions of this section shall govern all Police Officers in making arrests without a warrant for violation of ordinances of the city, but the procedure prescribed herein shall not otherwise be exclusive of any other method prescribed by law for the arrest and prosecution of a person for an offense of any existing city ordinance or violation of state code.
(E) Penalty. This section is a penal ordinance subject to the
general penalty provisions of this code set forth in § 1-1-99.
('74 Code, §§ 12-4-1 - 12-4-5) (Ord. 98-1970)
§ 1-1-99 General Penalty.
Any person who violates any provision of this code for which another
penalty is not specifically provided shall, upon conviction, be subject to
a fine not exceeding 500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both
unless a different specific penalty is provided. Each separate violation
shall constitute a separate offense and, upon conviction, each day of
violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Penalty for misdemeanor, see Section 3-17-1, NMSA 1978