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
- Endangers or injures the health or safety of humans or animals;
- Endangers or injures personal or real property; or
- Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivity. [Section 10-82 (d)]
If I am disturbed by noise, what can I do?
There are two possible enforcement officers for a noise disturbance depending on the time and type of call.
- The Asheville Police Department is available to cite any offender (including barking dogs) at all times.
- Animal Services Officers, part 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.
To report a noise disturbance at any time contact Asheville Police Department Communications at 828-252–1110.
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 download the Noise Ordinance Complaint Form and mail to:
Asheville Police Department
Attention: Julie Moore
PO Box 7148
Asheville NC 28802
In the form, you will need to explain the dates and times of the noise violations, as well as the steps you have taken to attempt to solve the problem.
Please note that the complaint form must be completed by two or more individuals who live at two separate addresses. A hearing of the complaint shall occur within 15 days of receipt but may be extended by order of the Board. You must appear before the board to present your side.
Julie Moore, Board Secretary