Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reminder From Resident About City Noise Ordinance On Friday And Saturday Nights

The Laurelhurst Blog Staff received this email from a neighbor:

On the evening of August 8, there was a large party at one of the large lakeside homes along Surber Drive.  The very loud band played until midnight.  My home isn't even close to their home, and I could hear the band very clearly.    
I phoned the police shortly after 11pm, but I don't believe they responded.  The next day at noon I delivered a copy of the noise ordinance to one of the owners who stated she didn't know about it, which specifically states no loud noise after 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. 

The Seattle Municipal Code reads as follows:

Seattle Municipal Code 25.08.225:
"Residential disturbance" means a gathering of more than one (1) person at a residential property located in a single family or multifamily zone, as defined SMC Section 23.84.048 between the hours of 10:00 P.M., (11:00 P.M. on Friday and Saturday nights) and 7:00 A.M., at which noise associated with the gathering is frequent, repetitive or continuous and is audible to a person of normal hearing at a distance of seventy-five (75) feet or more from the property.
Penalties: Officers may issue a civil infraction (citation) on the spot. The fine for the infraction is $250. A person who continues to be in violation of this ordinance after receiving an infraction or who again violates this ordinance within 24 hours of receiving an infraction, can be charged with a crime. If found guilty, a judge may impose a maximum sentence of up to 180 days incarceration in jail, and/or a fine up to $500.
In addition to criminal penalties, the property owner is notified when a tenant or other person has received more than one citation. A residential property at which 3 or more violations have occurred within a 12-month period may constitute a nuisance and be subjected to an abatement action provided that the person(s) responsible for the violation were residents of the same housing unit during this time. If the property owner does not take action to evict the tenant responsible for the 3 violations or otherwise abate further violations, the court may prohibit the property owner from renting the property.
Note: The offending noise must emanate from a residentially zoned property. This code section does not cover noise from commercial establishments, even though the victim lives in a residentially zoned property. This ordinance does not require that the offender be given a warning or that you be contacted by a police officer or be identified on the citation.

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