Understanding the City's Noise Ordinance
The Noise Control Program in Denver was designed and enacted to protect, preserve, and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace and quiet for the citizens of Denver through the reduction, control and prevention of noise. It is the intent of this program to establish enforceable standards that will reduce or eliminate unnecessary and excessive traffic and community noise that is physically harmful and otherwise detrimental to individuals and the community in the enjoyment of life, property, and the conduct of business.
When complaints of excessive noise are received by the Denver Department of Environmental Health, an investigator is assigned to investigate the complaint. If the complaint is founded, the source of the noise (individual/company/organization) receives a written warning of the violation requiring the noise be reduced to legal levels. If the source does not comply with the warning, an adminstrative citation or a court summons is issued.
What IS included as noise under Chapter 36 of the municipal code?
Below are just a few examples of complaints DEH investigates:
- Amplified noise – Concerts, DJ’s in parking lots, loud music in public areas, noise from bars/nightclubs/cabarets
- Mechanical noises – Loud Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, and power equipment.
- Construction noise – If outside of allowable hours which occur before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on weekends.
- Waste stream activity - Trash trucks, recycle trucks, parking lot sweepers and vacuum trucks operating or making pickups before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.
- Barking Dogs at commercial establishments - Doggie day cares, kennels, and veterinarian clinics.
What IS NOT included under Chapter 36 of the municipal code?
- Federally regulated transportation – This includes loud trains or airplanes.
- Noise reported within the same property line – Examples include any noise occurring within multi-unit dwellings, any noise occurring within the same property where the complaint originates. While not regulated under Chapter 36, some complaints can be resolved through the Denver Police Department.
- Unamplified human voices - Arguing, profanity, loud and/or unruly neighbors, crowds, patrons.
- Barking Dogs at residential properties – While not part of Chapter 36, complaints regarding barking dogs are reportable and investigated through Animal Care & Control.
Additionally, Noise Program staff are available to provideproactive analysis and technical assistance to businesses and residents in an effort to help them maintain compliance with Chapter 36. Examples of assistance provided includes guidance on the best placement of stages, speakers and musical equipment, modeling projected noise levels, issuing noise variances for large construction jobs allowing them to operate outside of normal compliance hours, and generally provide consultation for any mechanical and amplified noise.