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Amended Noise Ordinance Goes Into Effect

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Please be reminded that the noise ordinance recently amended by City Council goes into effect today, April 1, 2022. Most significantly, the permissible start time for noises associated with construction, landscaping and property maintenance activities (with few exceptions) is now 7:00 am Monday thru Saturday (previously 6:00 am) and 9:00 am on Sunday. Contractors may begin staging materials before this time, but noise-generating work should not commence until the stated times.  Work must conclude by 10:00 pm as before in all zone districts throughout the City, except for the Downtown Business and Industrial Zone districts, where daytime hours now extend until 11:00 pm. Contractors may request a noise variance to operate outside of permissible daytime hours online at Online Noise Variance Request Form. Application for a noise variance does not guarantee approval. Applications should be submitted a minimum of 20 days before the date needed.

Citizens and business owners are reminded that those wishing to hold an event or assembly on public or private property with live music and/or amplified sound must also apply for a noise variance. Noise variances may extend until 11:00 pm in the Downtown Business and Industrial zone districts (see attached map), and 10:00 pm in all other areas of the city.

Finally, the revised ordinance includes the following in its list of specific prohibitions:

  • Permitting your pet to cause a frequent or continued noise that lasts ten minutes or more, such as barking, howling, or screeching.
  • Permitting burglar alarm systems to produce an audible warning for 20 minutes or more with no means of silencing by persons disturbed.
  • “Revving of engines” and driving motorized vehicles without mufflers or with ineffective mufflers.
  • Radios or other music listening devices (stationary or in moving vehicles) played at a level and/or duration which disturbs others.

Please contact Assistant City Manager Mary Catherine Lawton at 803-642-7640 or online for questions about the ordinance or to request a copy of the revised code with the complete list of prohibitions and exemptions.

If you suspect a noise ordinance violation, please contact Public Safety to report your concern: 803-642-7620.

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Aiken, SC 29802

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Aiken, SC 29801

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