Noise Control Program

NOISE COMPLAINTS

With its diverse and active population, proximity of homes to businesses, urban traffic, and construction, Sacramento can be a loud place. Sound is inevitable in cities, yet levels or types of sound occurring in some parts of Sacramento may be bothersome to residents and workers and in some cases could be high enough to harm health and quality of life. Any unwanted sound can be characterized as noise; everyone reacts differently to noise, and not everyone agrees about what sounds are noisy.

In the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County, there are several regulatory agencies that respond to different nuisance noise sources.  Incorporated cities, such as Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, City of Sacramento have separate authority to address nuisance noise.

Regulatory Agencies to Respond to Noise Complaints in Unincorporated Sacramento County:

Environmental Management Department
Sheriff’s Department
Department of Animal Care and Regulation

Regulatory Agencies in Incorporated Cities

City of Sacramento   Non-Emergency Police Line (916) 264-5471
City of Elk Grove   Non-Emergency Police Line (916) 691-2489
City of Rancho Cordova  Non-Emergency Police Line (916) 362-5115
City of Folsom   Non-Emergency Police Line (916) 355-7231
City of Galt    Non-Emergency Police Line (209) 366-7000
City of Isleton   City Offices (916) 777-7770

Sacramento County Environmental Management Department is responsible for the investigation of complaints of ongoing and aggravated noise which require monitoring with sound level meters or which are of a habitual or mechanical nature such as pool pumps, mechanical equipment, and HVAC systems at commercial enterprises or residential sites.  Sacramento County Code, chapter 6.68, provides for Noise Control regulation.  Generally, in residential zones of unincorporated Sacramento County, maximum noise levels shall not exceed 55 decibels (dBA) between the hours of 7am to 10pm and 50 dBA between the hours of 10pm and 7am.  These noise limits may be adjusted for, or exemptions may apply to certain activities.  Complaints are addressed with a letter to owner or occupant of the property suspected to be the noise source.  This usually resolves the issue.  If noise problems continue, an additional complaint should be filed. 
To report noise during daytime hours related to commercial or industrial operations, call 311, Monday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
To report a noise issue outside of daytime hours or not related to a business, please contact Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Non-Emergency Dispatch at (916) 874-5115.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What should neighbors do?

A noisy neighbor may create a disturbance by playing loud music, having an out-of-control party or using loud equipment too late or too early in the day.

  • When noise gets too loud from a neighbor's property, and you are able to and feel comfortable doing so, call the occupant and ask nicely to have them keep the noise down. Surprisingly, asking nicely often is effective.
  • If you do not know who to call, consider calling the landlord if it is a rental unit.
  • To request a law enforcement response to noise problems in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento, please call the Non-Emergency SSD Dispatch at (916) 874-5115.
  • If the problem persists and you have documented it adequately, you may be able to institute legal action for damages. Contact the property owner with a written notice that a problem has occurred and ask for their assistance in preventing a recurrence. In cases of persistent problems, your documentation may be the basis for a private suit for deprivation of the quiet enjoyment of your property. Keep a chronological diary with dates, times, addresses and a description of the incident. Solicit neighbors to do the same.
  • You can also contact the Sacramento Mediation Center for private conflict resolution services.

What is the law regarding loud vehicle alarms?
The law regarding loud vehicle alarm systems is contained in the California Vehicle Code, Section 22651.5, which, in part, states that a police officer may, upon complaint, remove a vehicle if the vehicle alarm system has been activated for 20 minutes after the officer's arrival, and the alarm has not silenced within that time.

A complaint for a loud vehicle alarm should be reported to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Non-Emergency Dispatch at (916) 874-5115.

What is the law regarding garbage trucks and noise?
Sacramento County Code 6.68.140 provides that garbage trucks cannot exceed noise levels of 75dB, when measured at a distance of 50ft in an open area. 
Additionally, the Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority, a joint powers authority regulating franchised haulers in Sacramento County and incorporated cities, has issued rules prohibiting waste hauling activity prior to 6am. 

If you have been repeatedly awakened before 6 a.m. by early morning commercial garbage and/or recycling service noise, contact Sacramento Regional Solid Waste Authority staff at (916) 875-7165 or send an email to SWAInfo@saccounty.net.

What is the law regarding property maintenance (landscaping) noise?
Sacramento County Code section 6.68.090(h) provides that noise sources associated with maintenance of residential area property are exempt from maximum noise level requirements, provided said activities take place between the hours of 6am and 8pm on any day except Saturday or Sunday, or between the hours of 7am and 8pm on Saturday or Sunday.

What is the law governing use of leaf blowers?
Sacramento County Code section 6.68.090(h) provides that noise sources associated with maintenance of residential area property are exempt from maximum noise level requirements, provided said activities take place between the hours of 6am and 8pm on any day except Saturday or Sunday, or between the hours of 7am and 8pm on Saturday or Sunday.

What is the law regarding construction-related noise?
Sacramento County Code section 6.68.090(e) provides that noise sources associated with construction, repair, remodeling, demolition, paving or grading of any real property, are exempt from maximum noise level requirements, provided said activities do not take place between the hours of 8pm and 6am on weekdays and Friday commencing at 8pm through and including 7am on Saturday; Saturdays commencing at 8pm through and including 7am on the next following Sunday and on each Sunday after the hour of 8pm Provided, however, when an unforeseen or unavoidable condition occurs during a construction project and the nature of the project necessitates that work in process be continued until a specific phase is completed, the contractor or owner shall be allowed to continue work after 8pm and to operate machinery and equipment necessary until completion of the specific work in progress can be brought to conclusion under conditions which will not jeopardize inspection acceptance or create undue financial hardships for the contractor or owner.

What can I do about barking dogs in my neighborhood?
Complaints about barking dogs are often one of the most difficult, and each case is handled a little differently depending upon the situation. The Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation Department has the following information:
Talk to the Dog Owner:

  • If possible and you feel comfortable, speak to the dog owner about the noise. Often people are unaware that there is a problem.
  • If other neighbors share your concerns, try talking to the dog owner as a group, or sending a letter outlining the neighborhood’s concerns.
  • Keep a written log, documenting the times and duration of the barking. This will help your case should you consider civil action against the dog owner. It may take several complaints and/or interactions with your neighbor to see a difference; persistence and patience will be the key to finding a good resolution.

You can report a barking dog online or call 311.

  • The Animal Care and Regulation Department will reply in 3-5 business days and review each complaint to begin an investigation.
    You can also contact the Sacramento Mediation Center for private conflict resolution services.
    Please refer to the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulations webpage link for more information:  Barking Dog

What can I do about crowing fowl, such as roosters or peacocks?
Chickens and/or roosters can disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood and strain relationships with neighbors. They can cause noise, odors, and attract flies and other nuisance insects. They make it difficult for neighbors to spend time in their yards, noise can disturb their sleep, odors force people to keep windows closed, and interferes with the enjoyment of their homes.  The Sacramento County Zoning Code determines if you can keep chickens or roosters on your property in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County.

According to Sacramento County Code 8.08.050, animals are prohibited from making loud or disturbing noises without provocation, including, but not limited to, chronic howling, yowling, barking, whining, or other utterances. But, this does not apply to animal noises emanating from legally operated veterinary hospitals, humane societies, animal shelters, farm or agricultural facilities, or areas where keeping of farm animals or fowl is permitted. 

Please refer to the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulations webpage link for more information:  Chickens and Roosters in Sacramento County


 

For more information on this program, please contact:

Sacramento County Environmental Management Department
Environmental Health Division
10590 Armstrong Avenue, Suite B
Mather, CA 95655-4153

916-875-8440
916-875-8513 (fax)
emdinfo@saccounty.net