On November 17, 2015, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted a new Noise Ordinance to better address the methodology used in noise measurements, consider the appropriateness of establishing daytime and nighttime noise levels to protect the community, and to add other objective criteria to regulate noise within Fairfax County. The 2015 Noise Ordinance has subsequently been amended. The current Noise Ordinance is contained in Chapter 108.1 of the County Code.
The overall goal of the Noise Ordinance is to:
- Recognize that there will always be certain levels of noise that occur in the normal course of daily living;
- Allow certain levels of daytime noise so that people can live, work, and play during the day; and
- Minimize nighttime noise so residents have an appropriate quiet environment in their homes at night.
The overall framework of the Noise Ordinance is to:
- Prohibit certain activities (prohibitions);
- Exclude certain activities from the Noise Ordinance (exceptions); and
- When not specifically prohibited or excepted, then activities or sources of sound would be subject to maximum decibel levels.
Noise Ordinance Applicability
The above framework is further qualified by time, location, and duration limitations. A summary chart of the applicability of the New Noise Ordinance has been prepared. Some of the most common sources of noise complaints are included under the following numbered lines on the chart:
2. Outdoor Construction
5. Trash Collection
7. Outdoor Truck Loading and Unloading
8. Lawn Equipment
10. Noise from vehicles (not on road right-of-way) and noise made by people
16. Motor Vehicles on the Road
19. Heat pumps, air conditioners, and swimming pool pumps
24. Activities on Recreational Grounds
25. Dog Parks