October 5, 1998
City to get tough on noise
by Andrew Walgamott
WOODINVILLE--Half a decade after incorporation, Woodinville is about to finally put a noise ordinance on the books.
"It's time to make sure the citizens have a tool to keep the peace and quiet," explained Police Chief Ken Wardstrom.
In the absence of a noise ordinance, all police can basically do is be diplomatic and politely ask the offender to turn the music down or cease what they're doing when responding to a noise complaint.
Wardstrom said of the 60 noise complaint calls that officers have responded to in the last 6 months, most have been resolved after chatting with those involved.
But for those troubling few, "This is a tool to deal with those who don't care about their neighbors," Wardstrom said. The ordinance will give police the authority to cite lawbreakers with a maximum $250 fine per offense, according to Wayne Tanaka, city attorney.
Under the ordinance:
- Sound from car or home stereo equipment couldn't be audible from more than 50-feet away;
- Noises from home repairs projects, like building a deck, would be allowed between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. any day of the week.
- Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing in the public streets that disturbs residents or business owners would be outlawed, particularly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.;
- Pet kennels, animal shelters, pet shops and vet clinics would be exempted from noise regulations, but only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m;
- Construction noise would be allowed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The council tightened Wardstrom's original proposal. He had suggested a 7 a.m. start to home repairs and setting a limit for stereo noise at 75 feet.
Mayor Don Brocha said that a noise ordinance has been on the backburner until recently. He said when the council set its priorities earlier this year, it was a subject they had agreed to look at.
Wardstrom writes in his staff report to council that noise ordinances aren't aimed at reducing background noises, like traffic, but rather irritating noises. He said the most complaints center on loud music, parties and barking dogs.
The council had first reading of the ordinance last week. Second reading is scheduled for Oct. 12.