Noise Ordinance Appeals Board

The purpose of the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board is to advise the city on matters related to noise and noise control, and to hear and decide appeals and complaints from citizens as set forth in the Noise Ordinance. The Board was created to provide a body outside of the court system to hear complaints brought by individuals and appeals from those cited who believe the citation was wrong.

The Board consists of five members: one city zoning or building safety enforcement officer, one city police officer, one city animal control officer (or employee of contracted animal control agency) and two city residents. The two alternate positions are for one city employee and one city resident. The city employees are designated by and serve at the pleasure of the city manager. The residents are appointed by City Council for three-year terms and serve at the pleasure of the City Council.

To view the full Noise Ordinance please click here

 

Background

In mid-August, 1998, the City of Asheville hosted a public meeting to hear the concerns of residents about the existing noise ordinance. It was clear from the meeting that the existing ordinance was not working, and the problem of noise was a significant concern to many residents of Asheville.

Beyond providing an opportunity for residents to ask questions and express some of their frustration, the public meeting was intended to begin the process of revamping the noise ordinance so that it would be:

  • Understandable;
  • Acceptable; and
  • Enforceable.

A committee of concerned, knowledgeable, and committed citizens and public officials attended weekly meetings to rewrite the ordinance. The new ordinance was approved by City Council in November 2012, and is presently being enforced throughout the City of Asheville.

What is considered a “noise disturbance” (or, what is a violation of the City’s Noise Ordinance)?

Noise is any sound or combination of sounds which, because of its volume or quality, tends to disturb reasonable persons of normal sensitivity or to interfere with normal human activity. [Section 10-82 (c)]

A noise disturbance is any unreasonably loud and raucous sound or noise which

  1. Endangers or injures the health or safety of humans or animals;
  2. Endangers or injures personal or real property; or
  3. Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivity. [Section 10-82 (d)]

If I am disturbed by noise, what can I do?

There are three possible enforcement officers for a noise disturbance. The Asheville Police Department is available to cite any offender (including barking dogs) at all times. Animal Service Officers, a division of the Asheville Police Department, are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.  They can assist with noise complaints that are created by animals. 

You can contact the Asheville Police or Animal Services at 252–1110 to report what you believe is a violation of the noise ordinance. An enforcement officer (i.e., a Police Officer or an Animal Services Officer) must witness the violation in order to cite the offender. Please be advised that the APD responds to calls for service based on the severity of the call. Noise ordinance violations have lower priority than other criminal offenses. Officers will respond to noise ordinance complaints once the officer has cleared the higher priority call. APD asks that the citizens be patient waiting for the police to respond to a noise complaint.

What can I do if the enforcement officer can’t cite the offender?

Circumstances don’t always permit officers to witness violations of the Noise Ordinance. The ordinance provides a unique remedy for this situation. Two or more individuals from separate households can file a complaint with the City. A Noise Ordinance Appeals Board has been created to hear these complaints, and the Board has the authority to issue citations if it believes a Noise Ordinance violation has occurred. People wishing to file such a complaint can use the downloadable forms available on this website, and submit them to the Noise Ordinance Appeal Board, c/o Julie Moore in the Administrative Office of the Asheville Police Department, 100 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801. The Board will usually hear the complaint at its next monthly meeting. This is a quasi-judicial proceeding, and complainants are advised to present strong evidence of the problem they have experienced. It is recommended that complainants provide a written record of the noise disturbance(s) at issue, such as a log of basic details such as time, date, and location of the disturbance(s). Complainants and defendants are permitted to bring witnesses and documentation such as photos or police records supporting their case to the hearing. Board members do not seek such evidence outside the hearing and base their decisions entirely on the information that is presented at the hearing.

Need to file a complaint?  Noise Ordinance Complaint Form

How can a person appeal a citation if he or she is cited for a noise violation?

An individual who receives a citation can file a written appeal with the Noise Ordinance Appeal Board, c/o Julie Moore in the Administrative Office of the Asheville Police Department, 100 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801. Such an appeal must be made in writing and must be received by APD within 15 days of the date of the citation. Documentation supporting your appeal is permitted during the hearing (see section above).

A person can appeal a decision of the Noise Ordinance Appeal Board to the City Manager. Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the City Manager within 10 days of receipt of the Board’s decision.

Need to appeal your citation?  Noise Ordinance Appeals Form

What are the penalties an offender faces?

An offender faces a fine of $50 for the first offense. For a second offense, the offender will be fined $100. For a third offense, the offender will be fined $200, and subsequent offenses carry a $300 fine per offense.

Meetings

The Noise Ordinance Board meets on an as-needed basis, typically at 3:00 pm on the 4th Thursday of the month, at the Asheville Police Department. The normal length of the meeting is one to two hours. Meetings are open to the public.

NOTICE: The Noise Ordinance Board hearing scheduled for November 29 has been cancelled.  

Questions:

Julie Moore, Board Secretary (828) 259-5813 or jmoore2@ashevillenc.gov
City Manager's Office (828) 259-5604

Meeting Documents: 

Date  Agenda Documents
October 25, 2018  NOB Agenda 10.25.18   
     

 

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