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Carrollton City Council Amends Noise Ordinance

Post Date:11/20/2019 5:30 PM

The Carrollton City Council approved an amendment to the City's ordinance regarding unlawful noise during the Tuesday, October 15 worksession. Council voted to prohibit the collection of commercial waste, disruptive commercial and industrial activities, and lawn maintenance between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. within 500 feet of any residential area. A violation will result in a fine not to exceed $500. The amendment includes an exception to allow the operation of an emergency generator during a power outage.

These expanded restrictions are in response to citizen concerns expressed at the Tuesday, April 16 City Council meeting regarding the City's current noise ordinance and are an amendment to Title XIII, Section 130.18 of the Carrollton Code of Ordinances Regarding Unlawful Noise.

“The City is targeting habitual violators with these amendments,” Environmental Services Director Cory Heiple said. “There's been an increase in commercial activities, increased consumer traffic, and increased commercial waste disposal due to the growing renovation and development of areas in and around residential housing.”

Heiple said quiet neighborhoods are not as quiet as they once were and the increase in traffic due to commercial activity is out of the ordinary.

The amendment specifically prohibits, within 500 feet of a residential area between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., the operation of solid waste collection vehicles for residential and commercial waste and recycling container collection, and solid waste compaction; engagement in activities associated with commercial or industrial businesses that creates a loud or disturbing noise including, but not limited to, loading or unloading operations, outdoor facility maintenance, the outdoor use of gasoline-powered or high-pressure equipment for sanitation and maintenance purposes, or liquid waste removal; the operation of any powered lawn and garden equipment including, but not limited to, lawn mowers, edgers, leaf blowers, clippers, and garden tillers; and, the operation of engine-generators. Noise caused by engine-generators during a power outage for the purposes of maintaining residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial utility services will be allowed.

The existing ordinance prohibits the operation of model aircraft, boats, vehicles or devices with internal combustion or loud engines from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. within 1,000 feet of any residence and the operation of construction equipment or machinery Monday-Friday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Saturday from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., all day Sunday, and holidays including New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Friday, and Christmas Day. Continuous noise of any kind is a violation during the day if it equals 65 decibels or above and during the night if it equals 58 decibels or above.

In addition, the ordinance states that certain noises prohibited are those which are “offensive to the ordinary sensibilities of any individual in the City, which noise renders the enjoyment of life or property uncomfortable or interferes with the public peace and comfort.”

The ordinance also declares in violation acts which create loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noises including a radio receiver, musical instrument, television, phonograph, stereo, drum machine, loudspeaker, or sound-amplifying equipment; the sound of any horn or signal device on any vehicles except as a danger signal; the loud and unusual discharge of the exhaust of any motor vehicle; and, the loud, unnecessary continuous acceleration or racing of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine adjacent to or in a single- or multi-family residential area.

Ice cream and snow cone vendors operating vehicles with amplifiers producing jingles or music to attract patrons are permitted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., as long as the music is not produced in a loud, offensive manner. Noise caused by emergency or public service personnel including police, fire, environmental services, public works, and public utility operations acting in the performance of lawful duties are permitted. Noise between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. created at official municipal functions for which a special event permit has been issued are also permitted.

For more information, visit Carrollton’s City Ordinance pages at or call 972-466-3060.

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