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City Noise Violations
updated: Aug 15, 2014, 9:22 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Hi edhat! I have a question for the community. A neighbor in the next apartment complex seems to enjoy blasting music in the early morning hours and sometimes late into the evening. What are the cut-off times for noise violations in the City? I'm curious to know if they are violating them or not.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 544775 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 09:29 AM

9.16.050 Sound Amplification.

No person shall amplify sound using sound amplifying equipment contrary to any of the following:
(a) The only amplified sound permitted shall be either music or the human voice or both.
(b) Sound emanating from any public park or place shall not be amplified above the ambient noise level so as to be audible within any hospital, rest home, convalescent hospital, or church while services therein are being conducted.
(c) The volume of amplified sound shall not exceed the noise levels set forth herein when measured outdoors at or beyond the property line of the property from which the sound emanates.
Time Period
10 p.m. - 7 a.m.
7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Maximum Noise Level
50 dBA
60 dBA


 COMMENT 544778 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 09:36 AM

According to the County's noise ordinance, amplified sound/music is not allowed from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM Sunday through Thursday, and from 12:00 AM to 7:00 AM Friday and Saturday nights. Not sure about the City, though.


 COMMENT 544779 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 09:39 AM

Try to get contact info for the complex owner or manager... that would get better results than trying to get them with a noise violation through the city, I would think.


 COMMENT 544781P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 09:43 AM

778, do you have the link to that ordinance?


 COMMENT 544789 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:01 AM

My neighbors do not know the meaning of being politely quiet in a neighborhood. The one across the street, has a beagle type dog that barks for hours on end from INSIDE the house loud enough that I hear it inside my house, another neighbor who plays his work out music loud enough that the bass vibrates my house and his arguments with his family are horrible to listen to, another one that has a large bird that squawks so loud it is startling, and it squawks for hours...another that let's the kids scream cuss words....I have tried polite conversations with each one...no change. Sent letters to the homeowners of the renters, no change. It makes me want to blast bad opera in the middle of the night just to get even, ... I think unless the person is willing to be quieter, nothing will change unless you move..which is what I am saving to do.


 COMMENT 544792 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:10 AM

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


 COMMENT 544793 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:11 AM

Whenever I buy a new house I go there dozens of times day and night to see what the neighbors, traffic, dogs are like. You can remodel or block an ugly view but you can't easily block noise. That said, I've had good luck talking with people since sometimes they don't know they can be heard. And you can complain to the city about barking dogs and they actually do something about it.


 COMMENT 544794 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:11 AM

@ GRITZ: Neighbors who beget noise, park RV's and boats, etc. rarely change. "It's my property and I'm the king of my castle."

We moved to a townhome community with rules and discovered peaceful, quiet, and respectful neighbors who moved here seeking the same thing.

Good luck.


 COMMENT 544797 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:16 AM

To me, by far the most annoying and disruptive noises, because they happen so often and so regularly, are the thrumming noise from light airplanes and the sometimes deafening "chopchopchop" from helicopters flying very low over town. Then, there are certain motorcycles and trucks - the owners of which seemingly want to continually demonstrate just how loud their engines are. And as for those damned gasoline powered leaf blowers - a pox on their manufacturers and operators!

Amplified music is annoying too, but it doesn't happen anywhere near as regularly as the aforementioned noise pollution and blight.


 COMMENT 544801P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:22 AM

792 must not live next to noisy neighbors/schools/or churches. Must be nice.


 COMMENT 544807P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:28 AM

What are the rules about air rifles? I am in the city and had a group amusing themselves by shooting air rifles into the shared canyon.


 COMMENT 544810P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:30 AM

Back when Goleta was still unincorporated, I had neighbors who would play loud music outside. I called the Sheriff's office to ask about noise ordinances, and was told that it doesn't matter what the time, if the noise is disturbing anyone, it's too loud.


 COMMENT 544814 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:41 AM

People in SB are lucky they have a noise ordinance that has a set time and decibel level. Up here in Lompoc the noise ordinance was rewritten a few years ago - now a noise complaint can be made at any time of the day or night and there is no set decibel level.

Any type of noise that would offend a "reasonable" person is a potential violation. The problem is that "reasonable" is not defined, and as we all know, some people simply are not reasonable.

Luckily, I'm quiet person and don't have much to worry about, but I can imagine how easy it would be to make life miserable for someone I didn't like.


 COMMENT 544815 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 10:51 AM

Living in a downtown condo community, noise is a part of every day life for me. That said, we have spoken with the police and they echo 810's comment. If you feel your peace is being disturbed you can call the police any time of day or night.


 COMMENT 544821 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 11:04 AM

I always think about how any noise I make or anything I do might affect my neighbors, and if I think anything will at all, then I just don't do it plain and simple. I wish everyone were like that. Instead we have neighbors with barking dogs and kids who scream at the top of their lungs (with adults watching), yet those adults don't lift a finger to discipline their kids or teach them respect for others. One neighbor had a young kid who used to wake up before school and throw a tennis ball against his garage door. Completely ridiculous, loud, banging crashing noises, and the parents did nothing to stop this from happening. Luckily, this neighbor moved away, so we no longer have to deal with this, but it just boggles the mind how little common sense and respect for others people have.


 COMMENT 544822 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 11:11 AM

793... "whenever I buy a new house"...

You and I exist in coincidental but very different worlds.


 COMMENT 544827 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 11:26 AM

It isn't easy to get a neighbor to be quiet. We spent several years listening to all night parties, any day of the week, thumping music that shakes the house, and obscene language.

It's now gone - they moved!

In the City of SB, talk to your local beat officer (find on city website). We were encouraged to talk to the neighbors, get support from all the other neighbors bothered, meet with the beat officer and neighbor, and if all this failed, make a citizen's arrest. (Something about the noise ordinance doesn't allow the police to enforce the law, other than knocking on the door and asking them to be quiet.)

We did all this, and after a couple years of trying, filed a citizen's arrest. After another year of following the case and talking with the DA, the neighbor agreed to sell the house and move.

It's not easy or quick, but you might be able to do something about it.


 COMMENT 544840 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 11:48 AM

Gotta say, on the issue of being neighborly, I have been the recipient of anonymous notes in my mailbox a couple of times about my dog barking. The dog is never outside from probably 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.. The notes that I got from a neighbor about the dog barking at the fenceline were pretty rude and there is something that really bothers me about anonymous complaints. If someone has a complaint, I am always willing to discuss and address, over the phone or in person, because I want to be a good neighbor.

On the other hand, when people drop anonymous and rude notes, well, my inclination isn't to be helpful, it's to go out there and join my dog and joyfully bark at the fenceline together.

So, if you want neighborly relationships, my advice is to start with a neighborly approach.


 COMMENT 544842 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 11:50 AM

I am so glad this topic has come up. I am an elderly woman who lives alone and have been having a terrible time with new upstairs neighbors. I've tried talking to them but the obscene language, thumping base, and relentless coming and going of rude people has me very on edge and feeling a tad threatened. The last time I asked them to please turn down the volume I was answered with a scowl and a slammed door in my face. I've told my landlord and he's done nothing. I can't afford to move. It's quite unnerving.


 COMMENT 544853 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 12:15 PM

Some new folks moved in next door and installed an alarm system so everytime they open/close their backdoor I hear "BING BOOM" and it's not one of those softer type chimes (like we have in our office). It's like living next to a 7 11. Can I complaint about that?


 COMMENT 544881P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 01:10 PM

It's easy enough to close your eyes and not look at annoying things. But it's almost impossible to close your ears to block out pounding bass. There's almost nothing more invasive or maddening than overly loud "music" being blasted by inconsiderate selfish jerks. Call the police. You have a right to habitability and peace in your home, too.


 COMMENT 544896P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 01:42 PM

I'm with you GRITZ, My neighbors dogs bark non-stop! So do people that have dogs that bark all day not hear them?!! Do they become oblivious to the constant noise??!!!


 COMMENT 544901 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 01:51 PM

Hate to say it's generational but it seems that all facets of public life are being negatively affected by these 'entitled' generations. I see professional people in their 50s acting like complete jerks, thumbing their nose at all rules/regulations. "It's a free world". "I can do whatever I want." They have all the toys (RVs, trailers, motorcycles, etc. etc) and don't have the $$$ to store them properly so our neighborhoods become their storage area. Front yards/driveways/side yards are filled with tarp covered 'toys'. There are regulations regarding all this junk on people's property but it's all 'complaint driven'. So you can own a million dollar plus home in SB County and have the neighbor turn the streets and his property into a campground. Maybe it's time to revisit these policies.


 COMMENT 544905P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 01:56 PM

We have neighbors that put their rat/dog out when they go to work. It's lonely and untrained, so it yaps while they're gone. When they come home, it relaxes. Are your neighbors around daytime? If they are and they're civilized, you might offer to buy a bark collar or chip in on some training.


 COMMENT 544918 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 02:27 PM

840: Are you saying your dog *is* outside from 8am-8pm? That's a long time, and if your neighbors are leaving you notes about barking, then unless you're home with your dog the entire time he's outside to hear if he's barking, then why would you deny that it's happening or think it's rude that your neighbors are leaving you notes about the problem? Your neighbors shouldn't have had to contact you to begin with because you should have been thinking about how your actions impact them all along.


 COMMENT 544921 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 02:37 PM

OMG, Gritz, I live across from you I'm sure of it! Yeah Sola street near the Wash & Fun!!


 COMMENT 544924 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 02:46 PM

Agree with 918. Dogs often bark non-stop when they are left outside and owners aren't home. Neighbors shouldn't have to identify themselves specifically since they don't know if you're a nut job and will overact by targeting them with poop bombs or worse. If you've had one or more complaints, show a little respect for your neighbors and do something about it. Your defiant attitude is typical of some irresponsible dog owners who think their little darlings have some special right to disturb the peace.


 COMMENT 544928 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 02:55 PM

918, no, I am saying that our dog is never out from 8 pm to 8 am.

It is out at times during daylight hours.

It is never, ever, out when we aren't home.

So, it's not unreasonable that a dog might be outside, at times, during daylight hours and may at times bark, during daylight hours. IMO, if a dog is barking for more than sixty seconds at a stretch, then the owner needs to do something about it.

So, that's how I handle my dog.

But, for some people, the sound of a dog barking, or people talking, or music playing, or work happening, or a car starting, or someone laughing is annoying and intrusive.

For some people, it's difficult to live in a world with other people, and I find that those are the kinds of people who enjoy leaving anonymous, rude, notes or posts on message boards.


 COMMENT 544935 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 03:21 PM

I had a dog up in SF and for weeks I had an anonymous neighbor throwing rotten food on my door and leaving hand drawn pictures of guns on my doorstep telling me I was gonna pay for disturbing the area. He also said that he had proof that my dog had introduced fleas into his house, as he had captured the fleas and preserved them in alcohol. Funny enough, my dog was never outside, and my idiot/psychotic neighbor thought that our house was actually the one next door, which DID have a dog that was left outside. He then called the cops on my next door neighbor, and brought the cops over and taunted my neighbor from behind the cop, until my neighbor reached past the cop and punched the in the face, which was awesome. Turned out the cop and my neighbor road their Harleys together on the weekends and were good buddies, the pscyho stopped throwing food on my door after that. So, yeah, all kinds of crazy people out there. Some hate dogs and some love them.


 FANGIRL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 03:53 PM

935 ... that sounds like one crazy person! I think I would have probably moved!


 COMMENT 545030 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 07:32 PM

@840 --- I'm sure the notes were rude, because by the time they write the note, they are FREAKING mad and upset and have listened to that barking dog for months on-end.

Train your dog NOT to bark so much. It can be done. Or, get online (YouTube) and watch all the free instructions on the subject.


 COMMENT 545032 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 07:35 PM

@935 -- Thanks for that story, made me chuckle!!!


 COMMENT 545036P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-15 07:41 PM

For the barking dogs issue, just make a nice recording, get it amplified and repeated, on a CD , and play it back to them for hours when you aren't home.

My, common-wall, neighbors would let their dog bark for over 4 hrs, sometimes till 1am, and I would leave nice notes, give them training instructions and suggestions, which they ignored, so I called Animal Control every time. They started taking their dog with them. But, the next time I see that dog out loose, it might take a trip to the shelter!! nice doggie


 COMMENT 545060P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 12:43 AM

OP: To get back to your question: You can call SBPD any time of the day or night, to report loud music. It doesn't have to be after 10pm or any certain hour of the morning.

You have the right to quiet enjoyment of your property and home. The officers will come out and talk with you and your noisy, inconsiderate neighbor.

A lot depends on which officers respond, unfortunately. If you're lucky, the officers will show you respect and compassion and come down on this bad neighbor. Just be sure you don't talk too much, don't lose your temper, and state your case calmly and succinctly. Good and dignified demeanor will go a long way in your favor.

Best of luck to you.

@ GRITZ: Be aware that with City Animal Control two neighbors constitute "a neighborhood." If you can get another neighbor to call in on the same day you do, about the barking dog and squawking bird, you will get results. I know this from experience, with both dog and bird noise.

My heart goes out to you. Obnoxious neighbors are a real misery and unless one has had the misfortune to be subjected to living near such bad neighbors, it's hard to relate. Call Animal Control: 963-1513. Good luck.


 COMMENT 545131 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 11:07 AM

Since you cannot wear earplugs all day and if moving it out of the question, get some 'white noise' to drown out these sounds.


 COMMENT 545171 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 02:18 PM

we had new neighbors move in with a beagle ! (now I know why they're called bugles! ) They got a lot of anonymous notes except mine, and I was pleasant and tried to be neighborly. Gave my name and phone number, and when we talked they were so glad to get at least one reasonable request instead of a whole lot of screaming nasty ones ! Turns out the dog hates to be alone, and he almost never is now. We can forgive the few times he is.


 COMMENT 545178 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 03:00 PM

Question: If a neighbor stores his 3rd vehicle, which is a trashed up Astrostar van, a half a block away from his 2-car garage with long driveway, is this cause for a ticketing? He also could store this junk heap in front of his house, on the street, but chooses to have it out of his sight. He has been politely asked to park it in his own space, but no luck. Apparently, one can only keep a car in the same place for 72 hours. He gets around this by moving it a few inches, back or forward every week. Clearly, he is "storing" the vehicle on the street. Any ideas to get rid of this eyesore?


 COMMENT 545180 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 03:15 PM

-822, it's all relative...I hope you understand that for some in this world, your posting messages on an Internet site using expensive computer systems, Internet access, and almost assuredly a cellphone, automobile and rented property in Santa Barbara, CA with a refrigerator full of fresh food puts you "existing in coincidental but very different worlds". Try not to keep that chip on for very long....;)

Yes, there are laws about noise and you can usually call the cops on anyone "disturbing the peace" if it's going on past 10pm and before 9am.

Hey look at that...another 10,000 people killed in Iraq....

oh yeah, forgot, dog barking is very annoying and you can call the cops about it but good luck with dog lovers and...


 COMMENT 545211 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 04:58 PM

More tale wagging. One of the neighbors politely let a dog owner know that their little dog was a noise problem. No real correction took place. Another neighbor, who got fed up with being awakened and kept awake at 5:30 a.m. and earlier every day as well as all day yapping, went the animal control complaint route. Now the dog is kept quieter with a bark collar, but the dog owners started to repeatedly use the horn beep option on their car key lock countless times in the early morning and will walk around their cars and slam their car doors for no reason! They even have their children participating in the revenge routine! Bully training, sadly.


 COMMENT 545214P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-16 05:01 PM

842: I feel for you. I hope they move soon. I wish I could donate $$ to assist you in finding a new place for peace of mind. Keep contacting the landlord. People can really be insensitive.


 COMMENT 545500 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-17 05:11 PM

Man oh man, this is my kind of thread...topic of neighbors....why are so many people so inconsiderate? My husband thinks it is ignorance. Those who are ignorant, don't think about keeping the peace. The home should be a sanctuary, not a place that we have to endure, before we go back to a job.


 COMMENT 545565 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 07:34 AM

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to move right after that. What is the price of serenity?

I'm on board with that guy that checks out the neighborhood before he moves in. I used to rent a house next to the neighbor from hell, and now I'm next to the neighbors from heaven. All the difference in the world. Should have moved years ago.


 COMMENT 546124 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-20 09:05 AM

We have a house in a quiet neighborhood. We have put a lot into making a party back yard. A few times a year we have parties and yes they do get loud. You put music and 30 people in a yard close to other houses your gonna be loud. We usually invite our next door neighbors or at least tell them. We have a new family in the neighborhood who had a fit because their kids were trying to sleep. we turn everything off by 10 PM. Yet these are the people who let their kids scream every AM outside when most of us sleep. We party a few times a year they scream everyday. We understand kids scream and play so therefor we do not complain.


 COMMENT 546620 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-21 03:51 PM

A loud party isn't justified because you have other inconsiderate neighbors with screaming kids. Both of you should be thinking about what you're doing. It's analogous to breaking the law just because someone else does. Loud parties should be held at public facilities where permits are required and noise is controlled. Kids should go to public parks if they need to scream while playing.


 COMMENT 663289 agree helpful negative off topic

2015-11-10 09:04 AM

I live next door to an outpatient clinic. They roll in around 5:30 - 6 AM and I am sorry but I am not up yet. I am a light sleeper, but music played loudly in the cars of the nurses, loud chatting underneath the parking lot that echoes, it not acceptable. Sometime I tell them "quiet please" and I have people laughing at me, one day this guy that was delivering them drugs, said "time to get up" and stormed out with his car. I have had all sort of responses but never ever a "oops sorry". They started they loud engines that do I don't know what. It is a nightmare of a nuisance when they are around. The previous owners were so considerate; it was a pleasure to have them next door. Since they sold it and a bunch of doctors purchased it, there is no longer consideration for the neighbors. What should I do, besides talking to the head nurse, repeatedly? Advise me please.


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