"Good Neighbors Keep Their Noise to Themselves"
Fairfax, VA Noise Ordinance
(NPC posted this October 2004)
CODE City of FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA Codified through Ord. No. 2003-23,
enacted Nov. 25, 2003. (Supp. No. 4)
Chapter 110 ZONING
ARTICLE XXIV. NOISE CONTROL
Sec. 110-1136. Maximum permissible noise levels.
(a) No person shall operate, and no property owner or business owner shall permit to be operated, any noise source in such a manner as to create a sound pressure level which exceeds the limits set forth in the table following, titled "Maximum Sound Pressure Levels." The noise limits for each parcel of land shall depend upon the zoning district within which the parcel is classified. All activities on parcels in residential, commercial or industrial districts shall operate within the residential, commercial or industrial limits set forth in the table. All mixed-use zones shall meet the most restrictive standard among those set forth in the table for the uses for which certificates of occupancy apply on the parcel at the time of measurement.
MAXIMUM SOUND PRESSURE LEVELS
|Zoning District Classification||Maximum dBA||Octave Band Limit Center Frequency Hertz - (HZ)||dB|
(b) The city council may, after a duly advertised public hearing, and upon finding the necessity to further restrict noise in the interest of public health, safety and welfare, designate a defined geographical area within the city as a "quiet zone." The designation of each such area shall include a description of the subject area, the reasons for its designation, and a prescribed limit of sound pressure to apply within the zone.
(Ord. No. 2000-4, §26-226.7, 3-14-2000)
Sec. 110-1137. Violation; penalties.
(a) Any violation of the provisions of this article shall constitute a misdemeanor, and any person violating this article shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or both. Each separate act on the part of the person violating this article shall be deemed to be a separate offense, and each day a violation is permitted to continue unabated shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense.
(b) In addition to any other penalty or remedy provided for in this article, the violation of any provision of this article or other operation of any vehicle, machinery, device or instrument which adversely affects the health, safety or general welfare of the public may be deemed to be a public nuisance and the imposition of any penalty under subsection (a) shall not abrogate the right of the city to cause the abatement of any such public nuisance, including the seeking of a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(Ord. No. 2000-4, § 26-226.8, 3-14-2000)
Sec. 110-1138. Exemptions.
(a) Any person responsible for any noise source may apply to the city manager or his designee for an exemption or partial exemption from the provisions of this article. The application shall be accompanied by such information and data as the city manager or his designee shall require. The city manager or his designee may grant such exemption or partial exemption if he finds that:
(1) The detriment to the community due to the noise is outweighed by the benefit to the public interest during the period of the exemption or partial exemption; and
(2) Strict compliance with the provisions of this article would produce serious hardship. Any such exemption or partial exemption shall be revocable at the sole discretion of the city manager or his designee. A copy of any exemption or partial exemption granted shall be conspicuously posted at the source of the noise.
(b) The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this article:
(1) Noises from any authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency, or any alarm, siren, bell or whistle related to, used for, or connected with any emergency machinery, vehicle, work or alarm, provided the sounding of any alarm, siren, bell or whistle on or near any building or motor vehicle shall terminate immediately upon the ending of any such emergency.
(2) Work necessary to repair or restore services provided by public service companies or the city, including but not limited to water, gas, sewer, telephone and electric companies.
(3) Any activity to the extent regulation thereof has been preempted by state or federal law.
(4) Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space.
(5) Outdoor gatherings, shows and sporting and other entertainment events conducted during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. provided that these events are conducted in strict compliance with a permit issued by the city or are part of a school sponsored entertainment or sporting event.
(6) Any noise conducted in connection with a special use permit issued by the city and displayed at the place of noise generation, provided that such noise does not exceed the limits established therein.
(7) Any noise arising from the lawn mowing or use of any electrical, hand or gas-powered garden equipment associated with gardening or grounds maintenance activities, provided that no such equipment shall be utilized except during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
(8) Any city-sponsored festival or event.
(Ord. No. 2000-4, § 26-226.9, 3-14-2000)
Secs. 110-1139--110-1160. Reserved.