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Henderson County Noise Ordinance

Noise Ordinance Pamphlet

Chapter 125 of the Henderson County Code is hereby amended by striking the same.

A new Chapter 125A of the Henderson County Code is ordained, as follows:


Chapter 125A: NOISE

Sec. 125A-1. Authority, title.

This Chapter is hereby adopted under the power and authority granted to counties by N.C.G.S.
153A-121 and N.C.G.S. 153A-133, and shall be known and may be cited as the “Henderson
County Noise Ordinance.”

Sec. 125A-2 Jurisdiction.

This chapter shall apply to all unincorporated areas of Henderson County and to those
incorporated areas of any city or town specifically requesting its enforcement by Henderson
County upon the consent of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. (In making such a
request, the city or town must comply with the requirements of N.C.G.S. 153A-122.)

Sec. 125A-3 Loud and disturbing noise.

(A) Subject to the provisions of this section, it is prohibited in Henderson County to create,
cause or allow the continuance of any unreasonably loud, disturbing noise. Noise of such
character, intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of any
reasonable person of ordinary firmness and sensibilities in the vicinity is prohibited. For the
purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Unreasonably Loud. Noise which is substantially incompatible with the time and
location where created to the extent that it creates an actual or imminent interference with peace
and good order.

(2) Disturbing. Noise which is perceived by a person of ordinary firmness and
sensibilities as interrupting the normal peace and calm of the area.

In determining whether a noise is unreasonably loud and disturbing, the following factors
incident to such noise are to be considered: Time of day; proximity to residential structures;
whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant; the volume and intensity; whether the
noise has been enhanced in volume or range by any type of mechanical means; the nature and
zoning of the area; whether the noise is related to the normal operation of a business or other
labor activity or is the result of some use for individual purposes; and whether the noise is
subject to being controlled without unreasonable effort or expense to the creator thereof.

(B) The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud and disturbing in violation of
this section if they annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of any reasonable person of
ordinary firmness and sensibilities in the vicinity where created, caused, or continued, but this
enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive.

(1) The use of any loud, boisterous or raucous language, yelling, or shouting, whether
or not amplified.

(2) The congregation of persons at and participation in any party or gathering of people
from which noise emanates of a sufficient volume or of such nature as to disturb the peace, quiet
and comfort of any reasonable person of ordinary firmness and sensibilities in the vicinity.

(3) The keeping, owning, possessing, harboring or controlling of any animal or bird
which barks, bays, yelps, howls, cries, squawks or makes any other unreasonably loud
disturbing noise continuously or incessantly for a period of 10 minutes or intermittently for a
period of 30 minutes or more thereby causing a noise disturbance.

(4) The playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, or
sound production, reproduction or amplification equipment in such manner or with such volume,
particularly during the hours between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., so as to annoy or disturb the
peace, quiet, comfort or repose of any person of ordinary firmness and sensibilities in the

(5) The playing of any radio, cassette player, compact disc, or other similar device for
production or reproduction of sound located in or on any motor vehicle on a public street,
highway, within a public vehicular area, within the motor vehicular area of any public or private
parking lot or park or on the premises of a private residence in any unreasonably loud or
disturbing manner as defined above.

(6) The intentional sounding of any horn or signal device on any automobile,
motorcycle, bus or other vehicle except as a danger signal or as required by law, so as to create
any unreasonably loud or disturbing noise as defined above, or the sounding of such a device for
an unnecessary and, or the sounding of such a device for an unreasonable period of time.

(7) The operation of any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle, or remote control
model vehicle in such a manner as to create loud grating, grinding, rattling, screeching of tires, or
other unreasonably loud or disturbing noise.

(8) The repair, rebuilding or testing of any motor vehicle, particularly during the hours
between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. which creates unreasonably loud and disturbing noises.

(9) Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle not
equipped with a muffler or other device in good working order so as to effectively prevent loud
or explosive noises there from, or which has its muffler-exhaust or other noise control equipment
removed, altered or maintained in such disrepair as to create unreasonably loud and disturbing

(10) Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle that
engages in jackrabbit starts, spinning tires, racing engines, or other operations which create
unreasonably loud and disturbing noises.

(11) The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution
of learning, library or sanitarium, or court while the same is in session, or adjacent to any
hospital or any church during services, which unreasonably interferes with the working of such

(12) The firing, shooting or discharging of any firearm for the sole purpose of making
noise or disturbance.

Sec. 125A-4 Exceptions.

(A) The following uses and activities, among others, are not governed by and shall be exempt
from the noise ordinance set forth in this chapter. It is expressly provided, however, that the
following enumeration shall not be deemed or considered exclusive, and any activity that is not
expressly prohibited as set forth in Section 125A-3 shall be exempt from this chapter.

(1) Noise made by dogs while they are being lawfully used for hunting or taking
wildlife, and noise made by dogs during the course of lawful training by hunters, pursuant to
N.C.G.S. Chapter 113.

(2) Noise associated with or resulting from the normal operations of any facility that is
properly licensed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Division, as a
boarding kennel, pet shop or dealer, in accordance with the North Carolina Animal Welfare Act
(N.C.G.S.Chapter 19A-20 et seq.), as may be amended, or from any animal shelter that is
operated by Henderson County.

(3) Noise associated with any legal operations of any firearms club, or association
legally established.

(4) Noise caused by the discharge of firearms by law enforcement officers in the
performance of their official duties or during the course of official firearms training.

(5) Noise resulting from farming operations, including but not limited to noises
generated by machinery, equipment and farm animals.

(6) Noise associated with any event held in recognition of a community celebration of
national, state or county events or public festivals.

(7) Noise associated with any public or private school activity or camp activity (defined
as any function or activity approved by or generally associated with any recognized public or
private camp for children accredited by the American Camp Association, but not including
activities associated with campgrounds available to the public for overnight camping), except
that it shall be unlawful for any person to use any unreasonably loud, disturbing, boisterous,
raucous language or shouting in violent or offensive manner while attending such activities.

(8) Noise associated with the chimes or bells of businesses, schools, camps or religious
institutions in the daytime hours, provided that they operate for no more than 10 minutes in any

(9) Non-amplified crowd noise resulting from activities by student, government, camp
or community groups.

(10) Noise associated with or resulting from operations of any construction, commercial,
industrial or agricultural activities or operations, except for electronically amplified sound and
acts prohibited by Section 125A-3.

(B) If any exceptions stated in this Chapter would limit obligation, limit liability or eliminate
either an obligation or a liability, the person who would benefit from the application of the
exception shall have the burden of proving that the exception applies and that the terms of the
exception have been met.

Sec. 125A-5 Noise Complaint Procedure

In the event any person has reasonable grounds for believing that any provision of this Chapter is
being violated, he may make a report thereof to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department,
which shall investigate the alleged violation. If any such investigation reveals a violation, the
investigating deputy has the authority to cause a written complaint to be made, and may obtain
criminal process for violation thereof, may issue a citation for a civil penalty, and may obtain
other enforcement measure as allowed in this Chapter. Criminal process for violation of this
Chapter may only be obtained by personnel from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Sec. 125A-6 Violations and penalties, enforcement.

This chapter shall be enforced in accordance with any and all of the provisions of N.C. Gen. Stat.
§153A-123, and of Article II of Chapter I of the Henderson County Code.

In the case of second or subsequent violations of Sec. 125A-3(b)(3), any animal which upon
investigation by deputy Sheriff is found to be creating the noise which causes the violation of
Sec. 125A-3(b)(3) may in the discretion of such deputy be impounded by the Sheriff’s
Department and confined in the county animal shelter in a humane manner until the next
business day for the shelter. The owner of such animal may redeem the animal upon payment of
applicable fees. If the animal is not redeemed within five days of impoundment, then such
animal may be offered for adoption or destroyed in a humane manner pursuant to Section 66A-
14 of the Henderson County Code. Impoundment of such an animal shall not relieve the owner
thereof from any penalty, civil or criminal, which may be imposed for violation of this chapter.

Any Deputy Sheriff of Henderson County, having first investigated this matter pursuant to Sec.
125A-5, may obtain criminal process for violation of this Chapter. A violation of any noise
ordinance provision shall constitute a class 3 misdemeanor, and may be punished by fine in the
discretion of the Court, up to a maximum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per offense.


Henderson County Sheriff's Office
100 North Grove Street | Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792

Phone: 828-697-4596
Administration Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm