Model Ordinances > Atlanta, Georgia
CODE OF ORDINANCES City of ATLANTA, GEORGIA Codified through Ordinance
No. 1997-48, adopted August 25, 1997. (Supplement No. 5)
PART II CODE OF ORDINANCES--GENERAL ORDINANCES
Chapter 74 ENVIRONMENT*
ARTICLE IV. NOISE CONTROL
Sec. 74-131. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall
have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the
context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Alarm means any fire, burglary, motor vehicle or civil defense
alarm, whistle or similar stationary emergency signaling device.
Commercial area means an area defined in part 16, chapters
11--15 of this Code.
Construction means any site preparation, assembly, erection,
substantial repair, alteration, demolition or similar action, for public
or private rights-of-way, structures, utilities or similar property.
Emergency means any occurrence or set of circumstances involving
actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage demanding immediate
Emergency vehicle means a motor vehicle belonging to a fire
department or certified private volunteer firefighter or firefighting
association, partnership or corporation, an ambulance, a motor vehicle
belonging to a private security agency or a motor vehicle belonging to a
federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, provided such
vehicles are in use as emergency vehicles by one authorized to use such
vehicles for that purpose.
Emergency work means any work for the purpose of preventing or
alleviating the physical trauma damage threatened or caused by an
Industrial area means an area as defined in part 16, chapters 16
and 17 of this Code.
Multifamily dwelling means a building or other shelter that has
been divided into separate units to house more than one family.
Noise-sensitive area means an area where a school, hospital,
nursing home, church, court or public library is located.
Powered model vehicle means any self-propelled airborne,
waterborne or landborne plane, vessel or vehicle which is not designed to
carry persons, including but not limited to any model airplane, boat, car
Public right-of-way means any street, avenue, boulevard,
highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place normally accessible to the
public which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
Public space means any real property or structures thereon owned
by a governmental entity and normally accessible to the public, including
but not limited to parks and other public recreational areas.
Real property line means a line along the surfaces, and its
vertical place extension, which separates the real property owned, rented
or leased by one person from that owned, rented or leased by another
person, excluding intra-building real property division.
Residential area means any real property which contains a
structure or building in which one or more persons reside, provided that
such structure or building is properly zoned, or is legally nonconforming,
for residential use in accordance with the terms and maps of the city's
(Code 1977, § 17-3101)
Cross reference(s)--Definitions generally, § 1-2.
Sec. 74-132. Scope.
The provisions of this article shall apply to the control of all sound
originating within the geographical limits of the city and outside the
city limits, within all territory to which the jurisdiction of the city
(Code 1977, § 17-3100)
Sec. 74-133. Excessive noise.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be
made or continued any loud or excessive noise which unreasonably
interferes with the comfort, response, health and safety of others within
the jurisdiction of the city.
(Code 1977, § 17-3102)
Sec. 74-134. Specific prohibitions.
In addition to the general prohibition set out in section 74-133, the
following specific acts are declared to be in violation of this article:
(1) Horns, signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or
signaling device of a motor vehicle on any street or public place within
the jurisdiction of the city continuously or intermittently for a period
in excess of 60 seconds, except as a danger or emergency warning.
(2) Radios, televisions, musical instruments and similar devices.
a. The operation or playing of any radio, musical instrument or similar
device which produces sound on the public right-of-way in such a manner as
to be plainly audible to any person other than the player or operator of
b. The operating or playing of any radio, television, phonograph,
musical instrument or similar device which produces or reproduces sound in
a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) to
any person in a commercial, industrial, residential or noise-sensitive
area, multifamily dwelling, motor vehicle or public space.
(3) Loudspeakers and sound amplifiers. The use or operation of
any loudspeaker system, sound amplifier or other similar device between
the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 p.m. and
10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays, within or adjacent to residential or
noise-sensitive areas, public rights-of-way or public space such that the
sound therefrom is plainly audible across the real property line of the
source; provided that this shall not apply to any public performance,
gathering or parade for which a permit has been obtained from the city,
nor shall it apply to performances at the Chastain Park Amphitheater or at
any amphitheater constructed upon the Lakewood Fairgrounds whenever the
same is governed by another ordinance or by contract as to acceptable
levels of sound and as to hours.
(4) Street sales. The offering for sale by shouting or outcry
within any residential, commercial or noise-sensitive area, public
rights-of-way or public space except by permit issued by the city.
(5) Animals. The owning, possessing or harboring of any animal
which frequently or continuously howls, barks, meows, squawks or makes
other sounds which create excessive noise across a residential or
commercial real property line or within a noise-sensitive area. For the
purpose of this article, barking dogs shall include a dog that barks,
bays, cries, howls or makes any other noise continuously for a period of
ten minutes, or barks intermittently for one-half hour or more to the
disturbance at any time of day or night regardless of whether the dog is
physically situated in or upon private property.
(6) Construction and demolition. The operating of any equipment
used in construction work within 1,500 feet of any residential or
noise-sensitive area between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on
weekdays and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays, except
for emergency work; and to prohibit pile driving, jackhammering, and
blasting on weekends and holidays, and for all other days between 6:00
p.m. and 6:00 a.m. For purposes of this subsection, distances are to be
measured from the property line of the nearest residence in a
noise-sensitive area in any direction to the prohibited construction
(7) Powered model vehicles. The operation of, or permitting the
operation of, powered model vehicles between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and
7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends or
holidays within or adjacent to residential or noise-sensitive areas,
public rights-of-way or public space such that the sound therefrom is
plainly audible across the real property line of the source.
(8) Emergency signaling devices.
a. Except in case of an emergency, the intentional sounding of any alarm
between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
b. The testing of any alarm for a period in excess of 60 seconds at any
c. The testing of a complete emergency signaling system, including the
signaling device and the personnel response to the signaling device, more
than once in each calendar month, and the sounding of the emergency
signaling system for a period in excess of 15 minutes.
(9) Motor vehicles.
a. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle or
motorcycle not equipped with a muffler or other device in good working
order so as to effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
(10) Blowers, engines, machinery, etc. The operation by any
person of any noise-creating power blower, power fan, power tool, air
compressor, internal-combustion engine (except trains, motor vehicles or
motorcycles), or other similar equipment or machinery which causes noise
due to its operation, within 1,500 feet of any residential or
noise-sensitive area, unless the blower, fan, tool, compressor, engine or
other machine is equipped with a functional muffler device or is contained
or housed within a structure sufficient to deaden the noise to the point
that it is not plainly audible to a person of normal hearing ability in
the residential or noise-sensitive area nearest the source of such noise,
between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m.
and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
(11) Commercial garbage collection. The servicing of a private,
commercial garbage dumpster by any person using garbage collection
vehicles and equipment within 1,500 feet of any multifamily dwelling,
residential area or noise-sensitive area between the hours of 11:00 p.m.
and 6:00 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00
A.m. on weekends and holidays, or within 500 feet of any multi-family
dwelling, residential area or noise-sensitive area, between the hours of
10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and between the hours of 11:00 p.m.
and 8:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays; however, this shall not apply to
the collection of garbage from any establishment which has a plastic lid
on its dumpster and where it has been determined by the commissioner of
public works or designee that the collection of garbage during the
establishment's hours of operation would be a safety hazard.
(Code 1977, § 17-3103; Ord. No. 1995-17, § 1, 5-21-95)
Sec. 74-135. Special permits.
Any person desiring relief from the provisions of section 74-134(6) of
this article shall apply for a special permit to cause or create noise
which would otherwise be in violation of this article at least 21 days
prior to the date for which the relief is requested. Applications for a
special permit shall be made in writing to the commissioner of public
works, or the designee of such commissioner, on forms provided for that
purpose. Payment of a fee of $100.00 shall accompany the application. The
commissioner shall grant a special permit upon a showing by the applicant
of the following:
(1) Additional time is necessary for the applicant to alter or modify
the activity in order to comply with the provisions of this article; or
(2) The activity, operation or noise source will be of a temporary
duration and cannot be done in a manner that would comply with the
provisions of this article; and
(3) No reasonable alternative is available to the applicant.
Any permit granted pursuant to this section shall contain thereon all
conditions upon which the permit has been granted, including but not
limited to the effective date, time of day, location and equipment
limitation. No special permit shall be issued for a period in excess of 15
consecutive days. Any special permit granted pursuant to this section may
be renewed upon application to the commissioner of public works upon a
showing that the reasons for which the permit was granted still exist.
(Code 1977, § 17-3104)
Sec. 74-136. Penalties.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be punished
in accordance with the provisions of section 1-8; however, in the case of
a violation involving a motor vehicle, the person charged with a violation
may be granted a period of 15 days in which to correct the cause of the
(Code 1977, § 17-3105)
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