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Noise Ordinance
(Effective June 15, 2011)

Recently adopted amendments to the City of Charlotte’s noise ordinance are designated to provide flexibility to address specific situations and develop tailored solutions for unreasonably loud noise.  Specifically, the ordinance covers the use of Outdoor Amplification and Music at Commercial Establishments.
 
A violation occurs if the sound exceeds the specified limits and it is determined that the sound is, using a reasonable person standard and taking into consideration the day of week and time of day, unreasonably loud and disturbing to the quite enjoyment and use of residentially occupied property.
 
Enforcement of the noise ordinance will be shared by the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Department and City Code Enforcement.
 
Police will monitor noise decibel levels and make a determination if there is a violation.
 
A $100 fine can be assessed during this phase.
 
If a property owner continually violates the ordinance, it is at the police’s discretion to label them a chronic noise producer.  In addition, if due to unique circumstances (e.g., a business directly abuts residential property), a business may be labeled a chronic noise producer even if it is not exceeding specified decibel limits.
 
Chronic noise producers will be referred to City Code Enforcement and will be required to develop and adhere to a noise mitigation plan.  The mitigation plan may include, among other things:
  • Restrictions on days of week or hours of noise producing activity
  • Placement, orientation and operation of noise producing activity or equipment
  • Structural changes including, but not limited to sound attenuation and baffling
  • Self monitoring and reporting requirements
  • A schedule for implementation, review and possible revision or termination of the plan

Acceptable Decibel (db) Levels Per Day of Week
 
Measured at the property line of the commercial property in which the sound is being generated.
 
Sunday – Thursday
  • 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. @ 85db
  • 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. (the following day) at 60db
Friday and Saturday

  • 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. @ 85db
  • 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. (the following day) at 60db
Chronic noise producers who refuse to cooperate or fail to follow the prescribed mitigation plan are subject to $1,000 in civil penalties, court action and suspension of outdoor amplified or acoustic music for up to 18 months.
 
To review the Noise Ordinances please visit the CMPD.org noise ordinance page
 
If you would like to apply for a large outdoor music facility permit, please follow the instructions on the Large Outdoor Music Facility Permit Application.