LCSO Tip of the Week – Noise Ordinance

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Sheriff Lincoln County Logo LCSO Tip of the Week Featured Image


Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson

225 W. Olive Street

Newport, Oregon 97365

Tel (541) 265-4277

Fax  (541) 265-4926


Date: February 29, 2016


The basic rule of the county noise ordinance is one of reasonableness.  The ordinance allows Sheriff’s Deputies to investigate complaints of excessive noise throughout the county, with the exceptions of Toledo, Lincoln City, and Newport.  The ordinance states that Sheriff’s Deputies will determine the reasonableness of the noise in determining whether or not to issue a citation for a violation of the noise ordinance.  Deputies have received training and guidance on this issue.

The ordinance states that no person shall cause any noise which unreasonably disturbs or annoys another person of normal sensitivity, while the person is inside of a building.  Here are some examples of what could be considered unreasonable noise:

  • Loud stereos
  • Excessively loud vehicle exhaust, motor, or other mechanical sound.  (Louder than required to operate the vehicle or device)
  • Musical instruments

The circumstances surrounding the noise shall be examined, taking into consideration several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Time of day or night.
  • Nature and zoning of the area where the noise is coming from.
  • Duration of the noise.
  • Volume and intensity of the noise.
  • Whether the noise is plainly audible within the affected building.

You can still use your lawn equipment, complete repairs on your home or vehicle, and warm your car as long as you are acting reasonably.  Please think of how the noise you are making may affect those who live and work around you.  If a citation is issued for a violation of the noise ordinance, the penalty imposed by the court may be up to $500 for the first violation, and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

If you have to make a noisy repair to your home or vehicle, or otherwise know you’ll be making some noise with a gathering that may disturb your neighbors, some advanced warning from a friendly conversation with the neighbors will likely help everyone get along.  

Certain noise is exempt from the noise ordinance.  Required emergency sirens, emergency vehicles, and approved public gatherings such as sporting events are included in the list of exemptions.  

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