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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 16

Meeting Date: January 8, 2002

Subject/Title: Public Hearing to repeal Chapter 9.32 (Unnecessary Noise) and adopted a new Chapter 9.32 (Noise Regulations).

Submitted by: Community Development Department (Oshinsky/Zilm)

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

____________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATION

The Planning Commission and staff recommends that the Council introduce and waive the first reading of Ordinance No. ____ repealing Chapter 9.32 (Unnecessary Noise) and adopting a new Chapter 9.32 (Noise Regulations).

PREVIOUS ACTION
None

BACKGROUND
The existing City of Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 9.32 establishes guidelines for the protection of the health, safety, welfare, peace and comfort of the inhabitants of the City of Brentwood, so that such activities may be conducted in harmony with other uses of land within the City.

The City Council, in recognition that our existing noise guidelines in the General Plan may unduly restrict commercial and industrial development, has directed that Municipal Code Chapter 9.32 be amended to further define and amend our noise standards.

The result of the amendment of Chapter 9.32 will be to expand the Chapter and provide noise safeguards necessary for protection of the environment, health, safety and welfare in the City of Brentwood.

AMENDMENT
The proposed zoning ordinance amendment is contained in Exhibit A to the attached City Council Resolution. The Exhibit contains both the existing text and the new text.

In preparing the new text, staff reviewed noise ordinances from eighteen cities (Agoura Hills, Costa Mesa, Cypress, El Centro, Fremont, Fresno, Gilroy, Hemet, Irvine, Los Gatos, Mission Viejo, Oceanside, San Buenaventura, San Fernando, Santa Ana, Villa Park, West Covina, and Yorba Linda). 

The goal of the amendment was to respond to the Council direction mentioned above, and to update our standards in line with other cities and counties, provide standards for noise limits and enforcement procedures, if necessary. At the same time, we do not want to be so restrictive as to inhibit activities, which may be conducted in harmony with other uses of land within the City. With that in mind, the major areas of new text are for:

· Designated Noise Zones
· Exterior noise levels
· Interior noise levels
· Prohibited special noise sources
· Exemptions

POLICY CONSISTENCY

The General Plan Environmental Impact Report states that land use compatibility with noise is an important consideration in the planning and design process. Some land uses are more susceptible to noise intrusion than others, depending on the nature of activities expected with the land use. For instance, interference with sleep may occur at 45dBA, so residential land use standards must reflect this noise level.

Some land uses are more tolerant of noise than others. These uses typically include activities that generate loud noise levels or those that do not require verbal interaction, concentration or sleep. Commercial and industrial facilities require very little speech communication and therefore are generally allowed in noisier environments. 

This amendment, which would help to expound the noise chapter and make it more realistically in tune with ambient noise conditions related to traffic and will help us with enforcement and is consistent with City policies.

On December 18, 2001, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and voted to recommend City Council approval of this action.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

As discussed above, because the amendment expounds upon the noise aspects of the existing ordinance, and because these provisions are necessary for protection of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City, an Initial Study and Negative Declaration (attached) have been prepared pursuant to CEQA, which conclude that the amendment could not have a significant effect on the environment. 

FISCAL IMPACT

None.

In conclusion, it is recommended that the City Council:

· Approve the Negative Declaration and direct staff to file a Notice of Determination with the County Clerk; and
· Approve this Municipal Code Amendment.


Exhibits: 

1. Ordinance No. ___ and the Amended Noise Ordinance Chapter 9.32
2. Existing Noise Ordinance Chapter 9.32
3. Initial Study and Negative Declaration





EXHIBIT 1

ORDINANCE NO.


AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD REPEALING CHAPTER 9.32, UNNECCESARY NOISE, AND ADOPTING A NEW CHAPTER 9.32, NOISE REGULATIONS 

WHEREAS, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 74 in 1954 to regulate disturbing noise;

WHEREAS, the current Chapter 9.32, Unnecessary Noise, is outdated and needs to be consistent with the City’s General Plan and the modern needs of a growing mixed land use community with potential conflicting noise issues and to meet the expectations of its citizens;

WHEREAS, the City’s Ordinance No. 74 and its amendments should be repealed in its entirety and new noise regulations adopted.

WHEREAS, a duly noticed public hearing on this project, including the Negative Declaration, was advertised in the Ledger-Dispatch; and

WHEREAS, the environmental effects of this proposed action have been considered in an Initial Study and Negative Declaration subject to the California Environmental Quality Act, which showed that there is no substantial evidence that the project may have a significant effect on the environment and the Planning Commission has considered the proposed Negative Declaration before making a recommendation on this project to the City Council; and 

WHEREAS, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed Municipal Code Amendment for the purpose of reviewing the Negative Declaration, staff report, which includes an analysis of the consistency of the proposed project with all goals and policies of the General Plan, considering all comments made by public testimony with the respect to this project amendment and all other pertinent documents; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the City Council of the City of Brentwood does ordain as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 9.32. of the Brentwood Municipal Code is repealed.

Section 2. A new Chapter 9.32, Noise Regulations, is added to the Brentwood Municipal Code to read as follows:

Chapter 9.32 – Noise Regulations

Sections:

9.32.010 – Intent of Provisions
9.32.020 – Definitions
9.32.030 – Designated Noise Zones
9.32.040 – Sound Level Measurement
9.32.050 – Prohibited Special Noise Sources
9.32.060 – General Noise Regulations
9.32.070 – Exemptions
9.32.080 – Temporary Use Permits Required for Certain Activities
9.32.090 – Penalty
9.32.100 - Enforcement

9.32.010 – Intent of Provisions

A. Declaration of Policy:

1. The City Council enacts this legislation for the sole purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, safety and welfare of its residents.

2. In order to control unnecessary, excessive and annoying noises in the City of Brentwood, it is declared to be the policy of the City to prohibit noise, which is detrimental to the health and welfare of its residents.

3. It shall be the policy of the City of Brentwood to maintain and preserve the quiet atmosphere of the City, and to implement programs and enact legislation consistent with the objectives and goals set forth in the noise element of the General Plan and aimed at retaining noise levels throughout the City acceptable values established in the General Plan.

9.32.020 – Definitions

A. The following words, phrases and terms, as used in this article, shall have the meanings as indicated:

Ambient noise means the composite of all noise from sources near and far, excluding the alleged intrusive noise source. The ambient noise level (or ambient level) is the normal or existing level of environmental noise at a given location.

A weighted sound level means the sound level as measured on a sound level meter using the “A” weighting network. The level so read is designated in units of dBA. 

Construction means any site preparation, assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration, or similar action, for or of public or private right-of-way, structures, utilities or similar property.

Decibel means a unit for measuring the amplitude of a sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base of ten of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals.

Designated noise zone means a zone consisting of real property corresponding to the City of Brentwood’s official zoning map and the noise element of the City’s General Plan, as it may be amended from time to time.

Emergency work means work made necessary to protect, provide or restore safe conditions in the community or for the citizenry, or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger, or work by private or public utilities when restoring utility service.

Fixed noise source means a stationary device, which creates sounds while in a fixed or stationary position, including but not limited to industrial and commercial machinery and equipment, pumps, fan compressors, generators, air-conditioners and refrigeration equipment.

Impulsive noise means a sound of short duration, and lasting less than one second with an abrupt onset and rapid delay.

Intrusive noise means that alleged offensive noise, which intrudes over and above the ambient noise for the receiving property.

Leq is the energy equivalent level, defined as the average sound level on the basis of sound energy ( or sound pressure squared). The Leq is a dosage type measured and I the basis for the descriptors used in current standards, such as the 24-hour CNEL used by the State of California.

Mobile noise source means ay noise source other than a fixed noise source.

Noise level (sound level) means the “A” weighted sound level.

Noise level limit means the maximum noise level acceptable under this article for the stated time period.

Noise sensitive property shall mean any property, regardless of zone, so designated in the noise element of the City’s General Plan. Noise sensitive properties include schools, hospitals, convalescent care, boarding and rest homes.

Person means any individual, firm, association, partnership, joint venture or corporation.

Public right-of-way means that area dedicated or subject to an easement for public use for vehicles and/or pedestrian travel including, but not limited to, streets, alleyways and sidewalks.

Pure tone shall mean any sound, which can be judged as audible as a single frequency or set of single frequencies. For the purpose of this chapter, a pure tone shall exist if the one-third octave band sound pressure level in the band with the tone exceeds the arithmetic average of the sound pressure levels of the two contiguous one-third octave band as follows: by five (5) dB for band frequencies between 160 and 400 Hz; or by 15 dB for band frequencies less than or equal to 125 Hz.

Receiving property means the property for which the intrusive noise is alleged to be offensive.

Sound amplifying equipment means any machine or device for the amplification of the human voice, music or other sound regardless of location. “Sound amplifying equipment” as used in this article, shall not include warning devices on authorized emergency vehicle or horns or other warning devices on any vehicles used only for traffic safety purposes.

Sound level meter means an instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and frequency weighting networks for measurement of sound levels, which satisfies the requirements pertinent for sound level meters in American National Standard Institute specifications for sound level meters, section 1.4-1971, or the most recent revision therefore, for type S-2A sound meters.

Supplementary definition of technical terms. Definitions of technical terms not defined herein shall be obtained from American Standard Acoustical Terminology, section 1-1-1971 or the most recent revision thereof.

9.32.030 – Designated Noise Zones

A. Assignment of noise zones. Receiving properties are assigned to designated noise zones as follows:

1. Designated noise Zone I – Residential properties

2. Designated noise Zone II – Commercial properties

3. Designated noise Zone III – Industrial properties

B. Exterior noise levels.

1. Noise zone exterior noise levels. The following exterior noise levels, unless otherwise specifically indicated, shall apply to all receiving properties within a designated noise zone for the purpose of establishing noise level limits in Subsection B-2 below:

Zones #’s Designated Zone Time Interval Exterior Noise Levels
Zone I Residential 7 am – 10 pm 60
10 pm – 7 am 45
Zone II Commercial 7 am – 10 pm 60
10 pm – 7 am 45
Zone III Industrial 7 am – 10 pm 65
10 pm – 7 am 60

2. Noise level limits. Unless otherwise provided in this article, no person shall operate or cause to be operated any source of sound at any location within the city, or allow the creation of any noise on property owned, leased, occupied or otherwise controlled by such person which causes the noise level when measured on any receiving property to exceed the following noise level limits:

( a ) The exterior noise levels for that land use, as specified in Subsection B-1 above, for a total of more than 30 minutes in any consecutive 60 minutes;

( b ) The exterior noise levels plus 5 dB for a total period of more than 15 minutes in any consecutive 60 minutes;

( c ) The exterior noise levels plus 10 dB for a total period of more than 5 minutes in any consecutive 60 minutes; or

( d ) The exterior noise levels plus 15 dB for a total period of more than 1 minute in any consecutive 60 minutes; or

( e ) The exterior noise levels plus 20 dB for any time.

3. Ambient noise level in excess of noise level limits. If the ambient noise level exceeds that permissible for any of the noise level limits in Subsection 2 (a), (b), (c), and (d) above, the noise level limit shall be increased in 5 dB increments as appropriate to encompass or reflect said ambient noise level. In the event the ambient noise level exceeds the noise level limit in Subsection 2 (e) above, this limit shall be increased to the maximum ambient noise level.

4. Boundary between different zones. If the measurement location is on a boundary between two different designated noise zones, the lower noise level limit applicable to the two zones shall apply.

5. Content of intrusive noise. In the event the intrusive noise is judged by the enforcing officer to contain a steady, audible, pure tone such as a whine, screech or hum, or is an impulsive noise, or is a repetitive noise exceeding one second in duration or contains music or speech, the noise level limits set forth in Subsection 2 above, shall be reduced by 5 dB.

C. Interior noise levels.

1. Noise zone interior noise levels. The following interior noise levels, unless otherwise specifically indicated, shall apply within all receiving multi-family residential units within Noise Zone I and II for the purpose of establishing noise level limits in Subsection 2 below:

Time Interval Interior Noise
Multi-family residential 10:00 pm to 7:00am 40
7:00 am to 10:00 pm 45

2. Residential unit, interior noise level limits. No person shall operate or cause to be operated within a multi-family residential unit, any source of sound or allow the creation of any noise which causes the noise level when measured inside a neighboring receiving residential unit whether adjacent or not, to exceed the following noise level limits:

( a ) The interior noise levels as specified in Subsection 1 above for a total period of more than 5 minutes in any consecutive 60 minutes;

( b ) The interior noise levels, plus 5 dB for a total period of more than 1 minute in any consecutive 60 minutes; or

(c ) The interior noise levels, plus 10 dB for any period of time.

3. Ambient noise level in excess of noise level limits. If the ambient noise level exceeds that permissible for noise level limits in Subsection 2 (a) or (b) above, the limit shall be increased in 5 dB increments as appropriate to reflect said ambient noise level. In the event the ambient noise level exceeds the noise level limit in Subsection 2 (c) above, this limit shall be increased to the maximum ambient noise level.

4. Content of intrusive noise. In the event the intrusive noise is judged by the enforcing officer to contain a steady, audible, pure tone such as a whine, screech or hum, or is an impulsive noise or a repetitive noise exceeding one second in duration, or contains music or human voices, the noise level limits set forth in Subsection 2 above, shall be reduced by 5 dB.

9.32.040 Sound level measurement.

A. Use of "A" weighted sound level. Any sound levels measured pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be "A" weighted sound levels, measured with a sound level meter using the "A" weighting and slow response, except for impulsive noise, for which the fast response shall be used. The microphone should whenever possible be located four to five feet above the ground and ten feet or more from the nearest reflective surface.

B. Exterior noise measurement. The microphone shall not be less than 5 feet above ground, at least 5 feet distance from walls or other large reflecting surfaces, and shall be protected from the effects of wind noise by the appropriate windscreens. In cases when the microphone must be located within 10 feet of walls or similar large reflecting surfaces, the actual measured distance and orientation of sources, microphone and reflecting surfaces shall be noted and recorded. In no case shall a noise measurement be taken at 5 feet of the noise source. 

C. Interior noise measurement. Interior noise measurements shall be made within the affected residential unit. The measurements should whenever possible be made at a point at least four feet from the wall, ceiling or floor nearest the noise source with windows opened or closed at the discretion of the resident.

D. Calibration prior to measurement. Calibration of the measurement equipment, utilizing an acoustic calibrator, shall be performed prior to making any noise measurements.

E. Ambient noise level measurement. When ambient noise levels are measured, these levels should be measured whenever possible at a location and time of day comparable to that used for measuring the intrusive noise.

F. Method for sound level measurement. The director of community development may, from time to time, cause preparation of a noise control enforcement manual to assist in implementing the purpose of this article.




9.32.050 Prohibited Special Noise Sources.

A. Outside Heavy Construction. Monday through Thursday between the hours of 5:00 p.m. of one day and 8:00 a.m. of the next, Friday between the hours of 5:00 p.m. of one day and 9:00 a.m. of the next, Saturday after 4:00 p.m., and never on Sunday or City Holidays, no person adjacent to or within any residential zone in the city shall operate power construction equipment or perform any outside construction work, such as but not limited to, grading and trenching or operate any other construction device so as to create any noise, which exceeds the noise level limits of this article. These specified construction activities are permitted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Saturday with City Engineer approval only, and never on Sunday or City Holidays The performance of emergency work is exempt from the provisions of this section.

1. Home repairs and routine maintenance of personal property is not considered construction.

2. The Planning Commission and City Council shall retain the right to impose more restrictive hours of construction upon any projects involving construction activity by adding appropriate conditions to the city's approval of subdivisions, planned development permits, conditional use permits, variances and other projects.

B. Outside Carpentry Construction. Monday through Thursday between the hours of 7:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the next, Friday between the hours of 7:00 p.m. of one day and 9:00 a.m. of the next, Saturday after 5:00 p.m. and never on Sunday or City Holidays, no person in a residential zone shall operate or permit the operation of any mechanically powered saw, sander, drill, grinder or similar tools, so as to create any noise which exceeds the noise level limits of this article unless it is within a completely enclosed structure. These specified domestic activities are permitted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Saturday and never on Sunday or City Holidays.

1. Home repairs, lawn mowing, gardening and routine maintenance of personal property is not considered construction.

C. Vehicles off public right-of-way. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle, off a right-of-way, in such a manner that the sound levels emitted there from exceed the noise level limits of this article.

D. Vehicle repair and testing. No person shall repair, rebuild, modify or test any motor vehicle in such a manner as to create any noise, which exceeds the noise level limits of this article.

9.32.060 General noise regulations

A. Environmental factors. The environmental factors which may be considered in determining whether a violation of provisions of subsection A. exists includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. The sound level of the intrusive noise
2. The sound level of the ambient noise
3. The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities
4. The nature and zoning of the area from which the noise emanates.
5. The number of persons affected by the alleged intrusive noise.
6. The time of day or night the noise occurs.
7. The duration of the noise and its tonal content.
8. Whether the noise is continuous, recurrent, or intermittent.

9.32.070 Exemptions.

A. The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an actual emergency or the emission of sound in the performance of emergency work shall not be subject to the provisions of this article. 

B. Warning devices necessary for the protection of public safety, as, for example, police and fire and ambulance sirens, including the testing of such devices shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

C. Activities conducted on public playgrounds and public or private school grounds including but not limited to school athletic and school entertainment events, are exempt from the provisions of this article. Sounds emanating from regularly scheduled athletic events at city parks. 

D. Sounds or noise from lawful fireworks.

E. City authorized parades, street fairs, festivals or celebrations.

F. Construction activity or garbage collection performed by an agency of government provided that all equipment is operated in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and is equipped with all noised reducing equipment in proper condition.

G. In-Home private parties are exempt from obtaining a Temporary Use Permit for activities, however they are not exempt from the noise standards within this chapter.

H. All agricultural and farming activities.

9.32.080 Temporary Use Permits Required for Certain Activities.

A. The City of Brentwood Community Development Department may grant a temporary use permit, which allows noncompliance with the limitations prescribed in this ordinance for the purpose of sound activities of short duration.

B. Permits may be granted upon application and when said application is in compliance with the provisions of Subsection ( c ) herein.

C. The following factors shall be considered in the initial investigation in order to determine whether granting of the permit in a condition injurious to health or safety:

1. Distance of proposed activities from any residential or noise sensitive zone;
2. Number of amplification devices, if any, to be used in the proposed activities;
3. Sound level capability of amplification devices and anticipated sound level;
4. Anticipated direction of amplification devices;
5. Anticipated duration of proposed activities;
6. Whether the activity will be held within or outside of structure;
7. Time of day and day of week or proposed activities;
8. Submit proposed activity plan to the Police Department for review and approval;
8. Any other consideration deemed necessary by the Community Development Department.

D. The permit, if issued shall specify the place, duration, and any restrictions appropriate to the proposed site of the activities.

E. Permits must be displayed and available for review by Police or Code Enforcement Officer upon request.

F. Issued permits will be surrendered to any Police or Code Enforcement Officer or other City official upon request when the restrictions of the permit have been violated.

G. Reapplication for a permit may be denied upon evidence of a complaint by a resident in the locality of the permitted activity or if an applicant has in the past been required to surrender a permit as described in Subsection ( F ).

H. A permit may be issued for more than one (1) occasion of activity. However, the time of such activity must be indicated on the application and cannot be for more than four (4) occasions or in excess of a six-week period.

I. If the City denies the temporary use permit the applicant may appeal the decision pursuant to Chapter 17.880 (Appeal) of the City of Brentwood’s Zoning Ordinance.

9.32.090 Penalty

A. Every person, firm, association or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction there-of shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred (500) dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail of Contra Costa County, state of California, for a period of not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

B. Every person, firm, association or corporation is guilty of a separate offensive for each and every day the provisions of this chapter are violated, and for every day during which any violation of this chapter or its provisions continues, such person, firm, association or corporation shall be punishable therefore as provided in Subsection “A” above.

9.32.100 Enforcement

A. The Code Enforcement Officer or Her/His duly authorized representative can monitor and enforce as appropriate the provisions of this chapter. No person shall interfere with, oppose or resist any authorized person charged with the enforcement of the chapter while such person is engaged in the performance of Her/His duty. Violators may be punished pursuant to Chapter 1.08 of the City of Brentwood’s Municipal Code.

SECTION 3. This ordinance shall go into effect and be in full force and operation from and after thirty (30) days after its final passage and adoption.


PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 8th day of January, 2002 by the following vote:

AYES: Councilmembers
NOES: 
ABSENT: 



______________________ 
Michael A. McPoland, Sr.
Mayor



ATTEST:

___________________
Karen Diaz, CMC
City Clerk


State of California )
County of Contra Costa ) ss.
City of Brentwood )

I, Karen Diaz, City Clerk of the City of Brentwood, do hereby certify that the foregoing Ordinance had its first reading on January 8, 2002 and had its second reading on January 22, 2002 and was passed by the following vote:

AYES: Councilmembers 
NOES: None
ABSENT: None

_________________________ 
Karen Diaz, CMC
City Clerk


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