Omaha, Nebraska

as of 2001

animal noise | main noise ordinance | zoning

Chapter 6: Animals and Fowl

(back to top)
Sec. 6-6.  Noisy animals.

No person shall harbor, keep or maintain any animal, fowl or bird which shall by loud and unusual noises disturb and destroy the peace and quiet of the neighbors in the locality where kept.

(Code 1980, 6-6)
Cross reference(s)--Noisy dogs, 6-107; noise control, ch. 17; offenses against public peace, 20-41 et seq.
Secs. 6-7--6-20.  Reserved.
Sec. 6-21.  Authority of chief of police.

The enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall be under the general direction and supervision of the chief of police.

(Code 1980, 6-21; Ord. No. 33793, 2, 1-23-96)
Sec. 6-22.  Designation of poundmaster.

The mayor and council shall appoint a poundmaster, or shall enter into a contract with any humane society or other like institution, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

(Code 1980, 6-22)
Sec. 6-23.  Enforcement by poundmaster.

It shall be the duty of the poundmaster to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 6-107.  Noisy dogs.

No person shall own, keep, harbor, maintain, or permit on any parcel of land or premises under his control any dog which by loud, continued, or frequent barking, howling, or yelping shall annoy or disturb the peace and comfort of the inhabitants of any neighborhood or interfere with any person or persons in the reasonable and comfortable enjoyment of life or property; provided, however, this section shall not apply to the animal shelter, veterinarians, and medical laboratories.

(Code 1980, 6-107)
Cross reference(s)--Noisy animals, 6-6; noise control, ch. 17; offenses against public peace, 20-41 et seq.
Sec. 6-108.  Strays.

No person shall allow any stray dog to habitually remain or to be lodged or fed within his house, store, yard, enclosure, or place, but shall turn such dog over to the poundmaster for observation for a period of 72 hours, after which time the dog shall be handled the same as an impounded dog.

(Code 1980, 6-108)
Sec. 6-109.  Confinement of dangerous animals.

No person owning, harboring or having the care of a dangerous dog or other dangerous animal shall permit such animal to go unconfined on the premises of such person. A dangerous dog or other dangerous animal is unconfined as the term is used in this section if such dog or other animal is not:

(a)     Confined indoors; or

(b)     Confined outdoors in an enclosed and locked pen or structure upon the premises of the person described above; provided the existence of such a pen or structure is permitted by zoning regulations. Maintenance of a dangerous dog or other dangerous animal is not permitted in areas where such structures or pens are not authorized by zoning regulations. If permitted, such pen or structure shall be at least two lengths of the dog or other animal wide, four lengths of the dog or other animal long, and two lengths of the dog or other animal high, and must be constructed with chain link fencing for all four sides and the top. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be imbedded in the ground no less than one foot, or have a concrete pad for the bottom. The pen or structure shall be set back at least ten feet from the nearest property line.

(Code 1980, 6-109)
Sec. 6-110.  Leashing of dangerous animals.

No person owning, harboring or having the care of a dangerous dog or other dangerous animal shall permit such dog or other animal to go beyond the premises of such person unless such dog or other animal is securely leashed, as defined in section 6-101.

Sec. 6-174.  Same--Creation of nuisance.

No cattery shall be maintained nor shall a license be issued to a cattery that creates a nuisance in the immediate neighborhood through noise, odor or unsanitary conditions.

Any person may by affidavit file a complaint of excessive noise, odor or ordinance violation personally with the city prosecutor, and said complaint may result in loss of the holder's commercial or noncommercial license or impoundment or penalty as provided in section 6-26 or as otherwise provided by this Code.

(Code 1980, 6-174)
Sec. 6-175.  Application.

Written application for a license required by the provisions of this division shall be made to the permits and inspections division, or such agents as are provided in section 6-41 of this Code, and shall state:

(a)     The name and address of the owner;

(b)     The name, breed, color, age and sex of the cat;

(c)     Whether such cat is neutered, spayed or intact; and

(d)     Such other information as may identify the cat.

The applicant shall certify to the information contained therein under penalty of law for the wilful making of any untrue statement.

(Code 1980, 6-175)
Sec. 6-176.  When due.

Licenses required by the provision of this division shall be procured on or before the expiration date of the previous year's license. An initial license shall be procured in the following manner:

(1)     When a cat is acquired by an owner, such license shall be acquired within 30 days after the date of acquisition of such cat.


Chapter 17: Noise Control

(back to top)
Chapter 17  NOISE CONTROL*
__________
*Cross reference(s)--Noisy animals, 6-6; noisy dogs, 6-107; nuisances, ch. 18; offenses against public peace, 20-41 et seq.; use of noise by auctioneers to attract customers, 30-161; measurement of noise, 55-803; maximum permitted sound levels, 55-804.
__________
ARTICLE I.  IN GENERAL
Sec. 17-1.  Operation of construction equipment prohibited during certain hours.

It shall be unlawful for any person in the construction of buildings to operate between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist or other appliance, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.

(Code 1980, 17-1)
Sec. 17-2.  Mufflers for fans and engines.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or cause to be operated any noise-creating blower or power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, unless the noise from such blower or fan is muffled and such engine is equipped with a muffler device sufficient to deaden such noise, so that the same shall not cause annoyance to the public or disturb the rest and quiet of persons on adjacent premises.

(Code 1980, 17-2)
Sec. 17-3.  Volume control.

No person shall play, use, operate or permit to be played, used or operated, any radio, tape recorder, cassette player, compact disc (CD) player, or other machine or device for reproducing sound, if it is located in or on:

(1)     Any public property, including any public street, highway, building, sidewalk, park or thoroughfare; or any motor vehicle on a public street, highway or public space unless the volume of amplified sound shall be so controlled that it will not be audible for a distance in excess of one hundred (100) feet from the source and so that the volume is not unreasonably great and the noise, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons within the area of audibility; or

(2)     Residential property, whether a unit of a multiple-family residential dwelling or a single-family dwelling structure, unless the volume of amplified sound shall be so controlled that it will not be audible in any adjoining unit. Provided, however, that actual notice from the occupant of the adjoining residence to the occupant of the property containing the source of amplified sound shall be a necessary element under this subsection.

(Ord. No. 34037, 1, 11-5-96)
Editor's note--Ordinance No. 34037, 1, adopted November 5, 1996, added a new 17-50. However, in order to provide better classification in an article, such section was redesignated as 17-3 at the discretion of the editor.
Secs. 17-4--17-20.  Reserved.
ARTICLE II.  MOTOR VEHICLE NOISE CONTROL*
__________
*Cross reference(s)--Motor vehicles, ch. 16; traffic, ch. 36.
__________
Sec. 17-21.  Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:

A band level: The total sound level of all noise as measured with a sound level meter using the A weighting network. The unit of measurement is the dB(A).

Ambient noise: The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources, near and far.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute or its successor bodies.

Authorized emergency vehicle: Vehicles of the police and fire divisions of the public safety department of the city and such ambulances and other vehicles as are designated and authorized as emergency vehicles by the public safety director of the city.

Band pressure level: Of sound for a specified frequency band, the sound pressure level for the sound contained within the restricted band. The reference pressure must be specified.

Bel: A unit of level when the base of logarithm is 10. Use of the bel is restricted to levels of quantities proportional to power.

Cycle: The complete sequence of values of a periodic quantity that occur during a period.

Decibel: One-tenth of a bel and a unit of level when the base of the logarithm is the tenth root of 10, and the quantities concerned are proportional to power.

Frequency: Of a function periodic in time, the reciprocal of the primitive period. The unit is the cycle per unit time and must be specified.

Microbar: A unit of pressure commonly used in acoustics and is equal to one dyne per square centimeter.

Motor vehicle: Any passenger vehicle, truck, truck-trailer, trailer or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power, and shall include all vehicles except self-propelled invalid chairs, farm tractors used occasionally outside of general farm usage, road rollers, and any vehicles which run only on rails or tracks.

Muffler: An apparatus consisting of a series of chambers or baffle plates designed for the purpose of transmitting gases while reducing sound emanating from such apparatus.

Period: A periodic quantity, the smallest increment of time for which the function repeats itself.

Periodic quantity: An oscillating quantity, the values of which recur for equal increments of time.

SAE: The Society of Automotive Engineers or its successor bodies.

Sound analyzer: A device for measuring the band pressure level or pressure spectrum level of a sound as a function of frequency.

Sound-level meter: An instrument including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of noise and sound levels in a specified manner.

Sound pressure level: In decibels of sound, 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of this sound to the reference pressure, which reference pressure must be explicitly stated.

Spectrum: A function of time, and a description of its resolution into components, each of different frequency and usually of different amplitude and phase, and is also used to signify a continuous range of components usually wide in extent within which waves have some specified characteristics, such as the audio-frequency spectrum, and is also applied to functions of variables other than time.

Unnecessary noise: Any excessive or unusually loud sound or any sound which disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or which does annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of any person, or causes damage to property or business.

All technical terminology used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, shall be defined in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publication S1.1-1960, revised 1971, or successor publications of ANSI or its successor bodies.

(Code 1980, 17-21)
Cross reference(s)--Definitions and rules of construction generally, 1-2.
Sec. 17-22.  Policy.

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the city to reduce the ambient noise level in the city, so as to preserve, protect and promote public health, safety and welfare and the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the city and prevent injury to human, plant and animal life and property, foster the convenience and comfort of its inhabitants and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attractions of the city.

(Code 1980, 17-22)
Sec. 17-23.  Applicability of article.

The provisions of this article shall apply within the corporate limits of the city.

(Code 1980, 17-23)
Sec. 17-24.  Enforcement of article.

The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the police department.

(Code 1980, 17-24)
Sec. 17-25.  Operation standards.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to discharge or emit total noise beyond the following noise limits for each category of motor vehicle. Noise level limits shall be applied to each category of vehicle regardless of actual speed of the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles within the set out speed limit zone.

    Speed Limit Zone
Type of Motor Vehicle 35 mph
or Less
Over
35 mph
(1) Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more 86 dB(A) 90 dB(A)
(2) Any motorcycle 82 dB(A) 86 dB(A)
(3) Any other motor vehicle 76 dB(A) 82 dB(A)

The foregoing noise limits shall be applied to measurements taken at a distance 50 feet from the curbline of the street on which the motor vehicle or combination vehicles is traveling; provided, nothing herein shall be construed to require that measurements shall be made only at such distance. If measured at a distance less or greater than 50 feet, the following correction factor shall be applied to any limit for each category of motor vehicle or combination of vehicles:

Measurement
Distance
(feet)
Correction
to Limit
25 +6
28 +5
32 +4
35 +3
40 +2
45 +1

Measurement
Distance
(feet)
Correction
to Limit
50 0
56 -1
63 -2
70 -3
80 -4
90 -5
100 -6

The provisions hereof shall apply to the total noise discharged or emitted from a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or preclude the enforcement of any other applicable provision of this Code, including those relating to motor vehicle mufflers.

(Code 1980, 17-25)
Sec. 17-26.  Sound level meters--Type required.

The noise limit of any motor vehicle shall be measured and determined with a sound level meter type 2 or better meeting the standards prescribed by the American National Standards Institute.

(Code 1980, 17-26)
Sec. 17-27.  Same--Specifications.

There is hereby adopted by the city the American National Standard, Specification for Sound Level Meters, same being designated as ANSI S1.4-1971 (R1976), published by the American National Standards Institute, Inc., 1430 Broadway, New York, New York, 10018, of which not less than three copies are on file in the office of the city clerk, and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out in length herein, and the provisions thereof shall be controlling and shall be the specification for sound level meters within the jurisdictional area outside the city limits.

(Code 1980, 17-27)
Sec. 17-28.  Same--Calibration.

The sound level meter shall be maintained in calibration and good working order. A calibration check shall be made of the system at the time of any noise measurement.

(Code 1980, 17-28)
Sec. 17-29.  Manner of taking measurement.

Noise measurements recorded shall be taken so as to provide a proper representation of the noise source. The microphone, during measurement, shall be positioned so as not to create any unnatural enhancement or diminution of the measured noise. A windscreen for the microphone shall be used. Traffic, aircraft and other transportation noise sources and other background noises shall not be considered in taking measurements except where such background noise interferes with the primary noise being measured. Readings taken for the enforcement of this article shall be taken on the fast response scale.

(Code 1980, 17-29)
Sec. 17-30.  Use of noise measurement as evidence of vehicle noise.

The noise limit of any motor vehicle measured in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of the total noise of the vehicle in any court or legal proceedings when the noise limit of the vehicle is at issue.

(Code 1980, 17-30)
Sec. 17-31.  Exceptions.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any authorized emergency vehicle when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency.

(Code 1980, 17-31)
Sec. 17-32.  Penalty.

Any person convicted of an offense under this chapter may be punished as provided in section 1-10 of this Code. A person imprisoned for nonpayment of fines and costs shall be given credit on such fines and costs for time served at the rate prescribed by state law governing fines and costs for time served.

(Code 1980, 17-32)
Sec. 17-33.  Adequate muffler or sound-dissipative device required.

(a)     No person shall operate, or cause to be operated, any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with a muffler or other sound-dissipative device in good working order and in constant operation.

(b     No person shall remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler or sound-dissipative device on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.

(Code 1980, 17-33)


Chapter 55: Zoning

(back to top)
Sec. 55-717.  Screening.

(a)     Screening is required between adjacent zoning districts as indicated in table 55-716 when one of the following conditions in the more intensive zoning district is directly visible from and faces toward the boundary of the less intensive zoning district:

(1)     The rear elevation of buildings.

(2)     Outdoor storage areas, unless otherwise screened.

(3)     Loading docks, refuse collection points, and other service areas.

(4)     Major machinery or areas housing a manufacturing process.

(5)     Major on-site traffic circulation areas or truck and/or trailer parking.

(6)     Sources of glare, noise or other environmental effects.

(b)     A six-foot opaque barrier shall be provided which visually screens the potentially offensive uses listed in section 55-717(a) from less intensive districts as follows:

(1)     A solid wood and/or masonry fence or wall at least six feet in height, of a design approved by the planning director.

(2)     A hedge-like screen or a random or informal screen of evergreen or approved deciduous plant material, capable of providing a substantially opaque barrier and attaining a minimum height of six feet within three years of planting. Hedges shall be planted initially at minimum spacings and sizes consistent with the City of Omaha's Standards for Urban Landscaping, on file with the planning director.

(3)     A landscaped earth berm with a maximum slope of three to one, rising no less than six feet above the existing grade of the lot line separating the zoning districts.

(4)     Any combination of these methods that achieves a cumulative six-foot-high screen.

(c)     A screening fence or wall shall be installed no closer to the less intensive district than one-half the width of the required bufferyard.

(d)     Screening shall not adversely affect surface water drainage.

Sec. 55-802.  Compliance with article.

(a)     Generally. Except as otherwise provided herein, no land, building or structure in any district shall be used or occupied in a way that creates an objectionable fire, explosive, radiation or other hazard; excessive noise or vibration; air pollution and odors; or any other result that adversely affects its surrounding area. Permitted uses as set forth in this chapter must conform to the regulations of this section.

(b)     Permit applications. The building official may require an applicant for a building permit or certificate of occupancy to submit information certifying that the proposed use will and is capable of complying with the applicable performance standards.

(c)     Existing uses. Uses existing and lawfully complying with all other provisions of this Code on the effective date of this chapter [March 4, 1987] shall not be required to change their operations to comply with more restrictive performance standards. Such uses shall be subject to the following provisions:

(1)     Operations shall not be changed so as to increase the degree of noncompliance with these performance standards.

(2)     An expansion of the use or installation of new equipment or processes shall be subject to all applicable performance standards.

(Code 1980, 55-802)
Sec. 55-803.  Measurement of noise.

The following provisions regulate noise generation by any use within a specific zoning district:

(a)     Method of measurement.

(1)     Scale. All noise measurements shall be measured in units of the frequency weighted sound level (dB(A)), in accordance with American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters S1.4-1971.

(2)     Point of measurement. Sound level measurements for R6 and more intensive districts shall be taken at the boundary line between the zoning district in which the use is located and the adjacent less intensive zoning district. Sound level measurements for R5 and less intensive districts shall be taken at the property line of each use. If the use is located across a public street from a less intensive zoning district, the measurement shall be taken at the front property line of the use.

(3)     Instrument of measurement. Measurements shall be made with a sound level meter and octave band filter, maintained in calibration and good working order.

(Code 1980, 55-803)
Cross reference(s)--Noise control, ch. 17.
Sec. 55-803.  Measurement of noise.

The following provisions regulate noise generation by any use within a specific zoning district:

(a)     Method of measurement.

(1)     Scale. All noise measurements shall be measured in units of the frequency weighted sound level (dB(A)), in accordance with American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters S1.4-1971.

(2)     Point of measurement. Sound level measurements for R6 and more intensive districts shall be taken at the boundary line between the zoning district in which the use is located and the adjacent less intensive zoning district. Sound level measurements for R5 and less intensive districts shall be taken at the property line of each use. If the use is located across a public street from a less intensive zoning district, the measurement shall be taken at the front property line of the use.

(3)     Instrument of measurement. Measurements shall be made with a sound level meter and octave band filter, maintained in calibration and good working order.

(Code 1980, 55-803)
Cross reference(s)-- control, ch. 17.
Sec. 55-804.  Maximum permitted sound levels.

(a)     Sound levels. Table 55-804 displays the maximum permitted sound levels generated by uses in specific zoning districts, taken at the point of measurement set forth in section 55-803.

__________
TABLE 55-804. MAXIMUM PERMITTED SOUND LEVELS
  Zoning District Adjacent to Measured Use
Hours of Operation HI GI LI LC, CC,
NBD, GC,
CBD, CH
R6, R7,
R8,
LO, GO
AG,
DR, R1,
R2, R3,
R4, R5
Daytime: 7:00 a.m.--
9:00 p.m.
85 dB(A) 80 dB(A) 75 dB(A) 70 dB(A) 65 dB(A) 60 dB(A)
Nighttime: 9:00 p.m.--
7:00 a.m.
80 dB(A) 75 dB(A) 70 dB(A) 65 dB(A) 60 dB(A) 55 dB(A)

__________

(b)     Adjustments. Maximum permitted sound levels may be adjusted subject to the following conditions:

Sec. 55-804.  Maximum permitted sound levels.

(a)     Sound levels. Table 55-804 displays the maximum permitted sound levels generated by uses in specific zoning districts, taken at the point of measurement set forth in section 55-803.

__________
TABLE 55-804. MAXIMUM PERMITTED SOUND LEVELS
  Zoning District Adjacent to Measured Use
Hours of Operation HI GI LI LC, CC,
NBD, GC,
CBD, CH
R6, R7,
R8,
LO, GO
AG,
DR, R1,
R2, R3,
R4, R5
Daytime: 7:00 a.m.--
9:00 p.m.
85 dB(A) 80 dB(A) 75 dB(A) 70 dB(A) 65 dB(A) 60 dB(A)
Nighttime: 9:00 p.m.--
7:00 a.m.
80 dB(A) 75 dB(A) 70 dB(A) 65 dB(A) 60 dB(A) 55 dB(A)

__________

(b)     Adjustments. Maximum permitted sound levels may be adjusted subject to the following conditions:

(1)     The permitted sound level may be exceeded by five dB(A) for a cumulative period not to exceed 30 minutes of a given hour during daytime hours.

(2)     The permitted sound level may be exceeded by ten dB(A) for a cumulative period not to exceed 15 minutes of a given hour during daytime hours.

(3)     If the ambient level measurement exceeds the maximum permitted sound level, the maximum permitted sound level shall be increased to equal the ambient noise level.

(c)     Exemptions. The following uses and activities shall not be considered in determining compliance with these standards and shall be exempt from these regulations:

(1)     Noises not directly under the direct control of the property user.

(2)     Noises emanating from construction and maintenance activities between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

(3)     Noises of safety signals, warning devices or emergency pressure relief valves.

(4)     Transient noises from moving sources, including automobiles, trucks, airplanes and railroads.

e.     Screens and buffers. Noise, dust and visual effects of the proposed activity to surrounding uses must be reduced by incorporating buffer strips, screens and other applicable methods.

The following table shows the required minimum buffer distances (in feet):

  Adjacent Uses
Length of
Time
Agricultural Residential Commercial Industrial
30--90 days 30 30 20 20
90 days--12 months 60 60* 20 20
12 months or more 70 70* 30* 20

*Screening requirements apply.

In areas where screening requirements apply, a six-foot opaque barrier shall be provided which visually screens the activity from adjacent uses as follows:

1.     A solid wood and/or masonry fence or wall at least six feet in height, of a design approved by the planning director.

2.     A hedge-like screen or a random or informal screen of evergreen or approved deciduous plant material, capable of providing a substantially opaque barrier and attaining a minimum height of six feet.

3.     A landscaped earth berm with a maximum slope of three to one, rising no less than six feet above the existing grade of the lot line separating the zoning districts.

4.     Any combination of these methods that achieves a cumulative six-foot-high screen.

5.     The screen shall be installed within the buffer so as to provide the most effective visual screen.

6.     Screening shall not adversely affect surface water drainage.

f.     Groundwater. The proposed activity shall not result in adverse effects on existing water supplies caused by reducing or impairing the function of the aquifer recharge area or by disturbance or pollution of the water table.

The permit holder shall not excavate below the water table or grade in a manner that exposes the water table or results in pollution of the water table.

Soil borings and an assessment of the effect of the proposed activity on the water table will be required if soils data in the Soil Survey of Douglas and Sarpy Counties indicates a potential effect to the water table. Modifications to the plan or other mitigation measures may be required to prevent potential adverse effects.

g.     Solid waste. Any solid waste material resulting from the proposed activity must be properly disposed of so that water quality and general health and safety are protected.