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April 1, 2008 at 2:04pm


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Tomorrow’s the day. Tacoma’s first comprehensive noise ordinance will finally make its debut.

After a vote in February by the Tacoma City Council approved the comprehensive noise ordinance, a date of April 2 was set for its implementation. Since then, the City of Tacoma and TPD have been doing their best to warn those that the noise ordinance will most affect (primarily live music venues) of what they can expect come April 2. Tomorrow the warnings stop and the real fun begins.

Here’s the gist of Tacoma’s new noise ordinance, according to a press release distributed by the city today:

New noise ordinance goes into effect April 2

Beginning April 2, 2008, a new, comprehensive noise ordinance will go into in effect for Tacoma. The noise ordinance was created to help regulate the noise levels that exceed the recommended day and night time levels that are considered disruptive to the health and welfare of the community.

The noise ordinance will prohibit the following:

• General prohibitions
The general prohibitions limit night time noise from any source to be no more than five decibels above the background noise levels and day time noise is limited to no more than ten decibels above background noise levels.

• Commercial music
Sound levels associated with commercial music cannot be more than six decibels above background noise levels as measured within a dwelling. In addition, commercial music cannot be plainly audible from a distance of 100 feet or more.

• Construction
The ordinance limits construction hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays.

• Public disturbance noise
Music from instruments, stereos, or car stereos that is plainly audible 50 feet from the source, or within any dwelling unit that is not the source of the sound, is prohibited.

Frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds such as horn honking (except for emergency purposes) or revving engines is also prohibited.

Check out the Weekly Volcano on April 10 for a comprehensive look at what the noise ordinance will really mean for Tacoma. Until then, be very, very quite â€" starting tomorrow.

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