Noise Complaints

Does the law say what kind of noise can be made at different times and in different places?
The Salinas Municipal Code  contains noise ordinances that regulate certain kinds of noise.

Generally, noise is divided into four "classes".

• Class A Noise is defined as noise created by equipment operated in the public interest or for emergency or safety purposes. Such equipment includes sirens, street sweepers, garbage trucks, chipper machines, etc. Class A noise is allowed at anytime.

• Class B Noise is defined as noise created or generated within or adjacent to residential property which is normally associated with residential living. Class B noise includes lawn mowers, trimmers, home appliances, vehicle repairs, home construction projects, etc.

Class B noise is not allowed between 9:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m.

• Class C Noise is defined as noise made by motorized or mechanical equipment or devices used in sporting, recreational and hobby activities. Class C noise includes go-carts, mini-bikes, model planes and cars, etc. Class C noise is not allowed between 9:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. Class C noise must be made at such a distance away from a residential area so that residents will not be unreasonably disturbed by the noise of the equipment or devices.

• Class D Noise is defined as noise that is unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises created by a human voice or animal outcry, or by any other means which is so annoying, or which is so harsh or prolonged, as to be injurious to the health, peace or comfort of any reasonable person residing in the area. Class D noise is not permitted at any time.
What can I do if someone is making a noise in my neighborhood that is disturbing my peace?
If you are unable to resolve the noise disturbance yourself, the Salinas Police Department can help in certain situations. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press criminal charges in order to get the noise to stop. Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem, without issuing a citation or making an arrest.

If you decide to call the police, use the non-emergency number, (831) 758-7321, and not 911. When you call the police you will be asked several things. In addition to getting your name, address and telephone number the person you talk to will also ask you if you are willing to press charges or if you are willing to speak with an officer directly. We recommend that you provide the dispatcher with your name, address and telephone number even if you do not want to press charges or be contacted. This will help us if other calls are received about the same noise disturbance.

Question of the Day

What should I do if I see a strange person or car loitering in my neighborhood?
Having residents report strange, suspicious or out of place activity their neighborhoods is essential to locating identifying and stopping criminal activity. There may be a reasonable and legal explanation for the person's presence and actions. However, if the person's actions are enough to raise your suspicion there is probably a good reason to take further action.

There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by...

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