Updated Noise Ordinance Rules Begin Feb. 17

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Starting Wednesday, Feb. 17, our new noise ordinance goes into effect.

While we previously had noise rules in place, they were rewritten and approved by the Board of Supervisors last year because of a state supreme court ruling on a similar law in Virginia Beach.

In other words, the county has always regulated noise, but here’s what you need to know about the new rules.


The New Rules

The law prohibits noises during specific hours, including:

Noise Heard in Other Homes
Power Lawn Equipment
Fixing Cars
Collecting Trash
Loading/Unloading Trucks
Dog Parks
Animal Barking, Howling, Etc.
Athletic Fields

The new noise law also sets maximum decibel levels for residential, mixed use, commercial and industrial areas.

Some noises are excluded from regulation, including generators used in emergencies, snow removal, cars on the road, Metro trains and police or fire sirens.


Filing Complaints

For complaints, here’s who to contact:

  • During daytime hours (Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday 9:15 a.m. – 4 p.m.), you should contact the Department of Code Compliance at 703-324-1300, TTY 711.
  • At night, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number, 703-691-2131, TTY 711.

To enforce the law, the county may seek civil and criminal penalties against violators, as well as court orders to prohibit current and future noise. Civil penalties start at $250, rising to $500 for subsequent offenses. Criminal convictions would be a misdemeanor.

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