Chapter 7

Noise Control

5-7-1: Purpose


The purpose of this chapter is the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City. It is determined that sound can and does constitute a hazard to the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of residents of the City. The Mayor and Council, by way of Idaho Code section 50-308, are empowered to impose reasonable limitations and regulations upon the production of sound to reduce the harmful effects thereof. Now, therefore, it is hereafter the policy of this City to prevent and regulate sound generated by loud amplification devices wherever it is deemed to be harmful to the health, safety, welfare or quality of life of the citizens of the City, and this chapter shall be liberally construed to effectuate that purpose. (1952 Code § 6-20-01)

5-7-2: Definitions


For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

CITY: Boise City, Idaho, or the area within the City limits of Boise City, Idaho.

COMMON AREAS: The areas of a facility, complex, apartment unit, hotel, motel or the like that are open either to the general public or persons with the permission of the owner or agent of the owner of the area. This definition would include, but not be limited to, the following: swimming pools, restaurants, patios, hot tubs, saunas, laundry rooms, meeting rooms, lobbies, lounges, bars and other areas within the facility that are either constructed or designed for use in this manner.

EMERGENCY: Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage demanding immediate attention.

EMERGENCY VEHICLE: A motor vehicle belonging to a Fire Department, Firefighting Association or Fire District, an ambulance, or a motor vehicle belonging to a Federal, State, County or Municipal law enforcement agency.

LOUD AMPLIFICATION DEVICE: Any equipment designed or used for sound production, reproduction or amplification, including, but not limited to, any radio, television, phonograph, musical instrument, stereo, tape player, compact disc player, loud speaker, public address (PA) system, sound amplifier or comparable sound broadcasting device.

PERSON: Any individual, association, organization or entity having a legally recognized existence, whether public or private.

PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Any building or portion thereof adapted or used and intended for the overnight accommodation of persons. In the event the building is used for multiple individual units (i.e., apartment, condominium, hotel, motel, duplex, triplex, etc.) each individual unit shall be considered a separate residence for the purposes of this chapter.

PLAINLY AUDIBLE: Sound for which the information content is clearly communicated to the listener, including, but not limited to, understandable spoken speech, comprehension of whether a voice is raised or normal, comprehensible musical rhythms, melody or instrumentation, and the source of which is identifiable to the listener. (1952 Code § 6-20-02)

5-7-3: Noise Prohibitions


It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or permit the operation of any loud amplification device in such a manner that the sound therefrom:


A. Is plainly audible within any place of residence not the source of the sound; or


B. Is plainly audible upon a public right-of-way or street at a distance of one hundred feet (100') or more from the source of such sound. (1952 Code § 6-20-03)

5-7-4: Exemptions


The following sounds are exempted from the provisions of this chapter:


A. Sounds caused by any emergency vehicle or personnel when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency;


B. Sounds caused by activities upon any outdoor Municipal, school, religious or publicly owned property or facility; provided, that such activities have been authorized by the owner of such property or facility or its agent;


C. Sounds caused by parades, fireworks displays or any other event for which a permit for that type of activity is required and has been obtained from the authorized governmental entity within such hours as may be imposed as a condition for the issuance of said permit;


D. Sounds caused by locomotives or other railroad equipment;


E. Sounds caused by burglar alarms that are not in violation of this Code;


F. Sounds caused by safety warning devices required by law;


G. Sounds caused by devices approved for use within the confines of the particular zoning designation that the device is located or pursuant to a conditional use permit (i.e., drive-through window speakers, car lot PA systems);


H. Sounds emanating from devices used within the common areas of a multi-unit facility whose use has been approved by the owners or management of the facility. Said use must be in compliance with any regulations imposed by the owners or management of the facility to be exempt under this chapter. This exemption only applies in relation to other units within the same facility. (1952 Code § 6-20-06)

5-7-5: Provisions Cumulative


The provisions of this chapter shall be cumulative and nonexclusive and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy; nor, unless specifically provided, shall it be deemed to repeal, amend or modify any law, ordinance or regulation relating to noise or sound, but shall be deemed additional to existing legislation and common law on such subject. (1952 Code § 6-20-05)

5-7-6: Enforcement


A. Peace Officer Citation: Any City peace officer or person empowered to enforce this provision of this Code is authorized to issue a uniform citation upon his own observation of a violation without the necessity of a citizen complainant's signature on said citation. By signing the citation, the officer or person is certifying that he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person cited committed the offense contrary to law.


B. Citizen Citation: A uniform citation may also be signed by any citizen or person in whose presence an alleged violation of this chapter occurred and be witnessed by a City peace officer or person empowered to enforce this provision of this Code whose name shall be endorsed on the citation. (1952 Code § 6-20-04)

5-7-7: Penalty


Any person who shall violate any of the terms or provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-2 of this Code. (1952 Code § 6-20-07; amd. 2019 Code)