Help Update the City of Auburn Sound Ordinance to modern standards

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Currently, the City of Auburn, Ca has an outdated (1973) and vague sound ordinance.  This ordinance  states that if a neighbor is "annoyed" or "disturbed" by your family's music practice that the police can cite you for creating a nuisance.  This citation starts at $100 and goes up to $500 each time a neighbor calls to cite you. See Below for current City of Auburn Noise ordinance excerpts relevant to music:

The following acts, among others, are hereby declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of the provisions of this chapter, but the enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive.

  (B) Radios, phonographs and the like. The using, operating, or permitting to be played, used, or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which the machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners there to; and the operation of any set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which the sound is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this section. 

(D) Yelling, shouting and the like. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time or place or as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence or of any person in the vicinity.

This ordinance has no standard for measurement of sound, no decibel level standard to meet and no objective or scientific standard for a practicing musician or music venue to adhere to.

I am asking the City of Auburn Planning Department and Planning Commission to review and update the existing ordinance to a modern standard as the communities around us have and as Placer County has. These communities and local city governments have clear sound ordinance standards which allow a musician to meet standards. 

A clear updated standard would allow law enforcement to objectively measure and respond fairly and equally rather than allowing for selective and subjective enforcement. The way police currently respond to complaints is inconsistent. For example, two different officers may respond to the same noise level with either a reprimand or lack of concern, depending on their subjective opinion.

A clear, measurable standard would allow music to be played and enjoyed in our community at a reasonable level by providing objective tools and protocols for police to assess whether the sound is within established limits, which would prevent subjective discrimination.


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