Noise Ordinances

Amendments to the City's noise ordinance are designed to provide flexibility to address specific situations and develop tailored solutions for unreasonably loud noise. Specifically, the ordinance covers the use of outdoor amplification and music at commercial establishments.

A violation occurs if the sound exceeds the specified limits and it is determined that the sound is -- using a reasonable person standard and taking into consideration the day of week and time of day -- unreasonably loud and disturbing to the quiet enjoyment and use of residentially occupied property.

Enforcement of the noise ordinance is shared by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and Code Enforcement. Police will monitor noise decibel levels and make a determination if there is a violation. A $100 fine can be assessed during this phase.

If a property owner continually violates the ordinance, police may label them a chronic noise producer. In unique circumstances (e.g., a business directly abuts residential property), a business may be labeled a chronic noise producer even if it is not exceeding specified decibel limits.

Chronic noise producers will be referred to Code Enforcement and will be required to develop and adhere to a noise mitigation plan. The mitigation plan may include, among other things:

  • Restrictions on days of week or hours of noise-producing activity
  • Placement, orientation and operation of noise-producing activity or equipment
  • Structural changes including, but not limited to, sound attenuation and baffling
  • Self-monitoring and reporting requirements
  • A schedule for implementation, review, and possible revision or termination of the plan

Chronic noise producers who refuse to cooperate or fail to follow the prescribed mitigation plan are subject to $1,000 in civil penalties, court action and suspension of outdoor amplified or acoustic music for up to 18 months.

To review the noise ordinances, please visit the CMPD noise ordinance page.

To apply for a large outdoor music facility permit, follow the instructions on the large outdoor music facility permit application.