HAYWARD -- The City Council will discuss noise ordinance amendments Tuesday that would make it a finable offense to play loud music or otherwise make a racket that disturbs residents at home or on public streets.

According to the proposed ordinance, single-family homes will be out of compliance if sound levels exceed 70 decibels from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 60 decibels overnight. Apartment buildings and multifamily units would be restricted to 60 decibels at all times.

A noisy restaurant and a vacuum cleaner register at about 70 decibels, while conversational speech and clothes dryers generate about 60 decibels worth of noise.

The ordinance also would regulate noise coming from cars, with violations possible if the noise can be heard 50 feet away, or 25 feet if the vehicle is parked on private property.

The ordinance also introduces subjective criteria, such as whether the noise is unnatural, unusual, unnecessary or disturbing in nature.

For a citation, complaints would need to be supported by evidence from a sound meter, or two or more witnesses from different households would need to provide signed statements about the noise. Drivers could be cited if a police officer hears the violation.

Administrative citations would be $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and subsequent violations.


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More information can be found on the City Council agenda at the city's website, www.hayward-ca.gov.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. Read his blog at IBAbuzz.com/hayword.