Noise Ordinance Revisions

Happening Now

The City’s final draft of the proposed revised noise ordinance is now available for public comment. The public comment period will remain open until Dec. 4, 2020.




Staff anticipate presenting the final noise ordinance proposal that incorporates public comment to the City Council for vote in February 2021. See the timeline below for additional information.

Click here for more information about filing a noise complaint.


As Asheville continues to develop and grow, the City of Asheville recognizes the need to revisit and update the current municipal ordinance governing excessive noise in the City limits (Chapter 10 – Article IV). In 2019, City staff engaged residents, business owners, industrial, and institutional operators in a public process to identify and prioritize noise concerns and develop clear and enforceable thresholds for noise generation.

The City of Asheville recognizes the following foundation for noise ordinance development:

  • Excessive noise is a hazard to the public health, welfare, and safety.
  • The community has a right to an environment free from excessive noise that may degrade their quality of life or diminish property values.
  • Noise Ordinance development must use equity as a lens through which to evaluate policy criteria and enforcement action.
  • Noise Ordinance development must balance the reasonable needs of residents and visitors with those of facilities and operations, and recognize that all parties are essential to a thriving local economy.
  • Excessive noise generation can be reasonably addressed through the adoption of a Noise Ordinance that contains clear, enforceable, and effective measures to control noise.



The following timeline is subject to change according to progress of the public engagement process. Changes and updates will be reflected on this project page.

February 2019 — City staff began collecting and analyzing available noise data and benchmarking examples of noise ordinances from other municipalities.

March 2019 — The City launched a city-wide survey through Open City Hall in English and Spanish that gathered input from residents to better understand current noise sources and perceptions toward noise in the city. The survey remained open for resident input until June 16, 2019. Paper surveys were made available at the front counters of the following locations:

  • The Linwood Crump Shiloh Center, 121 Shiloh Rd.
  • South Buncombe Library, 260 Overlook Rd.
  • Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave.
  • Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, 285 Livingston St.
  • Burton Street Center, 134 Burton St.
  • East Asheville Branch Library, 906 Tunnel Rd.
  • Asheville Housing Authority, 165 S French Broad Ave.

The City also promoted the NoiseScore app, a free smartphone and tablet app for Androids and iPhones developed by Boston University’s Community Noise Lab and Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL). Results can be viewed on real time on the live NoiseScore map. To see results on the live NoiseScore map, set the date range between 3/25/19 to today’s date. The NoiseScore app should not be used to file a noise complaint with the City of Asheville.  Click here for more information about filing a noise complaint.

April – September 2019 — The City held a series of separate meetings with residents, businesses and institutional/industrial groups to hear concerns and ordinance recommendations, and review preliminary survey results.


Residential Outreach Date/Time Location
Residential small group meeting March 3, 4 p.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods small group meeting March 26, 9 a.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods monthly meeting April 8, 4 p.m. First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street
 Downtown Asheville Residents monthly meeting April 18, 2 p.m. City Bakery, 60 Biltmore Avenue
Neighborhood Advisory Committee monthly meeting April 22, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Neighborhood Association small group facilitated content meeting May 6, 4 p.m. Public Works Building, Room A-109
Residents Noise Ordinance Forum May 16, 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center
Neighborhood Issues Forum August 3, 10:00 am Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center


Business Outreach Date/Time Location
Asheville Independent Restaurants monthly meeting April 3, 9 a.m. 27 College Place
Asheville Downtown Association monthly meeting April 10, 12 p.m. The Grove Arcade Conference Room
Charlotte Street Business Association monthly meeting April 23, 8 am. Taco Temple, 132 Charlotte Street
Eagle/Market Street Business Association monthly meeting April 24, 2 p.m. The Block Off Biltmore, 39 S. Market Street
West Asheville Business Association monthly meeting April 25, 8:30 a.m. Isis Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road
River Arts District Business Association April 30, 4 p.m. FLS Energy, 130 Roberts Street
Asheville Independent Restaurants membership meeting April 9, 9 a.m. 27 College Place
Buskers group meeting May 14, 8:30 a.m. Public Works, Room A109
Business Noise Ordinance Forum May 15, 8:30 a.m. Chamber of Commerce, 2nd Floor Conference Room
Asheville Music Professionals (AMP) June 13, 10:00 a.m. Public Works, Development Services Conference Rm


Industrial/Construction Outreach Date/Time Location
Industrial/Construction Noise Ordinance Forum May 14, 8 a.m. Public Works, Room A109
Mission Hospital Noise Ordinance meeting July 19, 11 a.m. Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center
Waste Hauler meeting December 11, 9 a.m. Public Works, Room A109


Additional Meeting Date/Time Location
Downtown Commission monthly meeting May 10, 8:30 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting May 23, 11:00 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting August 22, 11:00 a.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room
Noise Ordinance Update Meeting September 23, 3:30 p.m. Mission Health / A-B Tech Conference Center
Public Safety Committee monthly meeting December 17, 1:30 p.m. City Hall, First Floor Conference Room


June – July 2019 — City staff organized public engagement results and compiled final results from the Open City Hall survey (closed June 16, 2019) and paper surveys.

August 2019 — City staff co-hosted Neighborhood Issues Forum on Aug. 3; City staff released a public engagement summary and began collecting sound measurement samples. 

September 2019 — City staff held a joint meeting with all groups to review findings, progress, and outstanding concerns on September 23 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m at the A-B Tech Mission Health Conference Center at 16 Fernihurst Drive. City staff continue to gather sound measurement samples and collect surveys from residents participating in the following Buncombe County Community Engagement Markets:

  • Sept. 16 at Deaverview Community Center
  • Sept. 18 at Shiloh/Rock Hill Church
  • Sept. 24 at Bartlett Arms Apartments
  • Sept. 25 at Pisgah View Apartments
  • October 7 at the Arthur A. Edington Center

October – November 2019 – City staff completed public engagement and data analysis.

December 2019 – City staff presented a data and engagement summary to the Public Safety Committee on Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m. in the First Floor Conference Room of City Hall. Click here for the presentation.  Click here for the supporting report.  

February 2020 (postponed due to Coronavirus/COVID-19) – City staff finalized a draft noise ordinance proposal and prepared to posted it online for public review.   

November 2020 – City staff will released the draft noise ordinance proposal public comment. Click here to review the proposed noise ordinance. The comment period will remain open between Nov. 18 – Dec. 4, 2020. 

Jan. 26, 2020 (est.) – Staff will present the final proposed noise ordinance and public comments to the Public Safety Committee

Feb. 9, 2020 (est.) – Staff will present final proposed noise ordinance to the City Council

July 1, 2020 – Proposed effective date for updated noise ordinance and Noise Control program (housed in DSD)


Supporting Documents

Noise Ordinance Public Engagement and Data Report (December 2019)

Noise Public Engagement Summary (August 2019)

City of Asheville Noise Ordinance Appeals Board web page

City of Asheville Noise Complaint Heat Map (March 2019)

Municipal Noise Ordinance Case Examples (March 2019)

Article – ¿Cómo afecta el ruido su calidad de vida?

Closed on 06/16/19: Noise Ordinance Survey   (versión en Español aquí)

Noise Score – A mobile app for community noise issues: Use this free app to measure and map noise in your environment and view results in real time! The Noise Score app should not be used to file a noise complaint with the City of Asheville.


Noise Ordinance Update Meeting Presentations and Notes

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update to the Public Safety Committee on 12/17/19

Notes – Noise Ordinance Update on 09/23/19

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update on 09/23/19

Notes –  Neighborhood Issues Forum on 08/03/19

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update to the Public Safety Committee 06/23/19

Notes – Residents Noise Forums on 5/16/2019

Notes – Business Noise Forum on 5/15/2019

Notes – Institutional/Industrial Noise Forum on 5/14/2019

Presentation – Noise Ordinance Update April 2019


Contact Information

Ben Woody, AICP
Director, Development Services Department

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