You can get expensive fines from the city for breaking the city noise ordinance. You should know about the San Luis Obispo City Noise Ordinance and how it works.
SLO City Noise Ordinance
Noise Ordinance is a 24/7 law. It is a violation to make or allow noise between 7 am and 10 pm that can be heard 50 feet from your property line; between 10 pm and 7 am, it is a violation to make or allow noise that can he heard across your property line. Noise is not limited to music; it can be the television, voices, power tools, etc. You are not entitled to a warning and more than one citation may be issued at the same gathering.
Here are the cost of fines:
- $350 for the first citation
- $700 for the second citation
- $1,000 for the third and each subsequent citation
SLO Police Department and Student Neighborhood Assistance Program (SNAP) are first responders to noise complaints. SNAP employees are Cuesta and Cal Poly students employed by SLOPD to respond to noise complaints. Both SLOPD and SNAP employees can issue a Disturbance Advisement Card (DAC), which is a formal warning.
Getting a Disturbance Advising Card (DAC or warning)
Residents that receive a DAC are put on the "No Warning" list for 9 months. During that period, if a noise complaint is received and verified, a citation will be issued.
Getting a citation
You will receive a citation and your landlord will also receive a citation. Many landlords have included language in their lease that passes fines back to the tenants. This means that you will likely receive two fines from one violation. The first being from the city and the second fine will be from your landlord. For example your first citation will cost you $350 from the city and another $350 from your landlord for a total of $700. Multiple violations of the San Luis Obispo City noise ordinance may be grounds for eviction if indicated in your lease.
Appealing a citation
You can appeal a citation if you feel it was issued in error. You will find instructions on how to do so located at the bottom of the citation or visit this link for more information.
Appeal Procedures and Forms
What does Cal Poly do if I get a noise violation?
At Cal Poly, we want to work with our students that receive noise violations. If a household receives a warning or DAC, the student who has been named on the warning will receive a warning email from Cal Poly. If that household receives a citation, the student who has been named on that ticket will be required to meet with the Off-Campus Coordinator and we will encourage them to bring their roommates. If that household receives a third citation, the student who has been named on that ticket will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean of Students. It is also important to know that if a citation has been dismissed via appeal, Cal Poly will no longer count it as a valid violation. It is the student's responsibility to provide evidence that the violation has been dismissed.
How to help avoid a noise violation
- Get to know your neighbors
- Let your neighbors know in advance that you are having people over or holding an event at your rental; encourage neighbors to contact you should there be too much noise
- Be a responsible party host
- Avoid party crashers
- Keep the party in-doors and close windows
Be a responsible party host
- Have designated sober attendants to monitor noise and check identification cards if alcohol is served
- Make sure if a neighbor calls about noise, someone will hear the phone
- If it is a smaller gathering, be sure to have someone at the door ensuring only people that were invited will be let in
- Noise will travel further if it is coming from outdoors; try to ensure your party is not bothering anyone else
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