Loud Hooting, Whistling Among Noises Banned In New City Noise Ordinance

  • Saturday, March 25, 2023

Loud hooting and whistling will be among the noises banned in areas of Chattanooga outside the Downtown Amplified Music District under a new city noise ordinance.

Councilwoman Carol Berz is the main sponsor for the noise ordinance that will be considered by the full council next Tuesday night. It must pass on two readings.

Enforcement of the ordinance will not require officers to carry equipment that measures noise decibels.

The standard will be those noises that "annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity."

It covers such noises as loud honking of vehicle horns, barking dogs, fireworks outside designated times, loud playing of music and construction noises except for specified times.

Here is the full ordinance:

ORDINANCE NO. ________


AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHATTANOOGA CITY CODE,
PART II, CHAPTER 25, ARTICLE III, BY ADDING SECTION
25-79, RELATIVE TO ENUMERATION OF PROHIBITED
NOISES IN ALL RESIDENTIAL ZONES OUTSIDE THE
DOWNTOWN AMPLIFIED MUSIC DISTRICT.
______________________________________________________
SECTION 1. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, that Chattanooga City Code, Part II, Chapter 25, Article III,
by adding Section 25-79, relative to enumeration of prohibited noises in all residential zones
outside the Downtown Amplified Music District as follows:
ARTICLE III. SOUNDS

Sec. 25-79. Enumeration of prohibited noises in all Residential Zones outside the

Downtown Amplified Music District.

(a) The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing, and unnecessary
noises in all residential zones outside the Downtown Amplified Music District and shall
be considered a violation of this article, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be
exclusive:
(1) Horns or other signal devices on vehicles. The sounding of any horn or signal
device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or other vehicle, while not in motion,
except as a danger signal if another vehicle is approaching apparently out of
control, or while in motion only as a danger signal after or as brakes are being
applied and deceleration of the vehicle is intended; the creation by means of such
signal device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound, and the sounding of such
device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time.
(2) Musical instruments. The playing of any radio, phonograph, or any musical
instrument in such a manner or with such volume, particularly during the hours
between 8:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or
repose of persons in any dwelling, or other type of residence or of any persons in
the vicinity.

(3) Yelling, hawking, etc., in streets. Yelling, hawking, shouting, hooting, whistling,

or singing on the streets or sidewalks or in any residential neighborhoods, at any
time of the day, in a manner which disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of
persons in any dwelling, or other type of residence.
(4) Dogs. The keeping of any dog(s) which, by causing frequent or long, continued
noise, disturbs the comfort or repose of any person in any residence. For the
purposes of this subsection, "frequent or long, continued noise" shall include, but
shall not be limited to, barking at an average rate of ten (10) or more barks per
minute over a period of five (5) minutes which can be heard from a distance of
one hundred (100) feet or more, but shall not include the barking of any dog(s)
responding to an emergency or to a trespasser on the property of the owner of
such dog(s).
(5) Operation of vehicles. The operation of any automobile, motorcycle, or other
vehicle so out of repair or loaded in such manner as to create loud and
unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise in any residential community
or parks.
(6) Construction work. The erection (including excavation), demolition, alteration or
repair of any building in any residential neighborhood, and the excavation of
streets in any residential district or section, other than between the hours of 7:00

(9) Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed-eaters, chain saws, etc. Operate lawn mowers,
leaf blowers, weed-eaters, chain saws or other domestic tools out-of-doors
between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. without the express consent of
adjoining residential property owners.
(10) Fireworks. It shall be unlawful to set off fireworks after the hour of 11:30 p.m.,
except on July 4th and New Year's Eve when the hours prohibited shall be 12:30
a.m. until 800 a.m.
(11) No person shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification
system, including, but not limited to, any radio, tape player, compact disc player,
loud speaker, or any other electrical device used for the amplification of sound so
that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred (100) feet or more
and on someone else's property located in a Residential neighborhood outside of
the Downtown Amplified Music District. This section shall not apply to events
attended by more than one thousand (1,000) people, athletic events, nor to sounds
emanating from a Downtown Amplified Music District outside of the residential
neighborhood.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any vehicle of the city or other
governmental entity while engaged upon necessary public business, to excavations or
repairs of bridges or streets by or on behalf of the city during the night hours, where the
public welfare and convenience renders it necessary to perform the work at night.
SECTION 2. BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED, That this Ordinance shall take effect within
thirty (30) days from and after its passage as provided by law.
a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except in cases of urgent necessity in the interest of the public
health and safety, and then only with a permit from the building inspector, which
may be granted for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days while such emergency
continues. If the building inspector determines that the public health and safety
will not be impaired by the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any
building or the excavation of a street within the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.,
and further determines that loss or inconvenience would result to any party in
interest through delay, the inspector may grant permission for such work to be
done within the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. upon application made at the
time the permit for such work is awarded or during the progress of the work.
(7) Excessive Noise in Residential Communities. The creation of any excessive noise
on any street in residential neighborhood outside of the Downtown Amplified
Music District adjacent to any residence, which disturbs the quiet, comfort or
repose of persons in any dwelling, or other type of residence unless otherwise
stipulated in this ordinance.
(8) Refuse collection in Residential Communities. Operate a mechanical loader for
refuse collection between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. within or adjacent
to any residential communities.

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