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New City of Tacoma noise ordinance in effect

Beginning April 2, a new, comprehensive noise ordinance is in effect for Tacoma. The noise ordinance was created to help regulate noise levels that exceed the recommended day and night time levels that are considered disruptive to the health and welfare of the community.

The noise ordinance prohibits the following:

-- General prohibitions

The general prohibitions limit night time noise from any source to be no more than five decibels above the background noise levels and day time noise is limited to no more than ten decibels above background noise levels.

-- Commercial music

Sound levels associated with commercial music cannot be more than six decibels above background noise levels as measured within a dwelling. In addition, commercial music cannot be plainly audible from a distance of 100 feet or more from the property line of business.

-- Construction

The ordinance limits construction hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays.

-- Public disturbance noise

Music from instruments, stereos, or car stereos that is plainly audible 50 feet from the source, or any sound that is plainly audible within any dwelling unit that is not the source of the sound, is prohibited.

Frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds such as horn honking (except for emergency purposes) or revving engines is also prohibited.

Residents wishing to report a noise issue can call Tacoma CARES at (253) 591-5001; emergency situations should be reported to 911. Civil complaints will be investigated by Building and Land Use Services and criminal investigations will be performed by the Tacoma Police Department.

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