What are the City of San Antonio Noise Ordinance Times?
The San Antonio Noise Ordinance daytime/evening times are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday the time 6 a.m until 11 p.m. Conversely the “nighttime” is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
|Nighttime (-7 dB)
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How is Sound Measured?
Sound is measured by a weighted sound pressure level using a sound level meter and A, B, or C frequency weighting network.
For more information the American Standards Institute specifications are used.
A-weighting is used if not specified otherwise. A-weighting measures response of what the human ear hears cutting out lower and higher frequencies. It is general purpose measurements.
B-weighting is not commonly used and won’t need to be discussed.
C-weighting measures more to a humans response to a peak noise levels and some entertainment level noise measurements.
What is a Sound Level Meter?
A sound level meter is an instrument including:
- RMS detector
- integrator or time averages
- output meter
- weighting network to measure sound pressure levels
You may want to purchase your own Decibel Meter to measure the sound. This can either prove or disprove a case. Click this Decibel Meter to look for Amazon meters.
How Loud is Too Loud in San Antonio?
The upper limit decibel level depends on how the property is zoned where the noise is coming from. The decibel measurement is taken from an adjacent property under separate ownership.
On residential zoned property the limit is 63 decibels. Subtract 7 decibels at nighttime, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sun though Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
For business zoned property the upper limit is 70 decibels except at nighttime subtract 7 decibels.
Industrial zoned property cannot make noise above 72 decibels unless at nighttime then subtract 7 decibels.
Entertainment zoned property is allowed 85 decibels subtracting 7 decibels at nighttime.
What is a San Antonio Noise Nuisance?
The San Antonio noise nuisance exceeds the limits stated above, or it is a loud, irritating, vexing, or disturbing sound originating from nearby property under separate ownership. The nuisance causes injury, discomfort, or distress to a person of reasonable nervous sensibilities.
What are the Riverwalk Noise Standards?
The nighttime 7 decibel subtraction does not apply to the River Walk area. Establishments cannot place speakers on or near the patio location outside the enclosed building.
The maximum decibels allowed are 72 dB A-frequency weighting and 80 dB C-frequency weighting.
What Time is Noise Curfew in Bexar County?
There is no ordinance or specifically outlined law about a noise curfew in Bexar County outside of a city limits. This does not preclude a noise violation covered under Disorderly Conduct Chapter 42 of the Texas Penal Code.
Outside the city limits in Bexar County is similar to any county where a Texas Noise Nuisance would be covered by the state disorderly conduct statute. City ordinances apply within their own particular city limits only.
The Disorderly Conduct offense of noise covers unreasonable noise, not including a sport shooting range (defined in Local Govt Code 250.001), in or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy.
Important Note: Noise is presumed to be unreasonable if it exceeds 85 decibels after the person making the noise receives notice from a magistrate or peace officer that the noise is public nuisance.
Noise is defined in Texas caselaw to be loud, confused, or senseless outcry, or a sound noticeably loud, harsh, or discordant. That definition can include music.
Who Gets The Ticket?
At a private residence, during a violation, any adult, adult guest or adult trespasser who could control the level of noise can be cited if a resident is not present.
At a business any owner, manager, operator, employee or person operating the noise making device may be cited for the noise violation.
For unattended noise makers the person who leaves the noise making device, child or animal unattended is responsible.
San Antonio Noise Violation Fine
A violation of the San Antonio noise ordinance results in a fine. For a person with no intent to violate the noise ordinance the penalty is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of $100-$500.
For a person who purposefully or even recklessly violates the San Antonio noise ordinance the fine is from $100 to $2,000. For a previous conviction the minimum fine becomes $200. After 2 previous convictions the minimum fine is $300 thereafter.
Each day’s violation is a separate fine.
A person or establishment will want to know the particular noise ordinance that applies to them. This can be a costly ticket or series of citations if given over multiple occasions.
The best protection is to purchase a decibel meter and periodically measure the sound at the edge of a particular property that could possibly lodge a complaint. Being proactive will always look better to a compliance officer. Take note of the recordings in case they are needed in the future.
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