There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.

  —Rosalynn Carter


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.


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. 

How to help avoid a noise violation

  1. Get to know your neighbors
  2. Register your party or event with SLO City by using the Party Registration Program
  3. Be a responsible party host
  4. Avoid party crashers
  5. Keep the party in-doors and close windows

Be a responsible party host

  1. Have designated sober attendants to monitor noise and check identification cards if alcohol is served
  2. Make sure if a neighbor calls about noise, someone will hear the phone
  3. If it is a smaller gathering, be sure to have someone at the door ensuring only people that were invited will be let in
  4. Noise will travel further if it is coming from outdoors; try to ensure your party is not bothering anyone else

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. Often the landlord will pass down the citation to the student who caused the violation, thus doubling the fine ($350 from the city + $350 from the landlord = $700 total fine).

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 students who receive noise violations in the City of San Luis Obispo.

If a household receives a warning, also known as a DAC, or a first citation, the student who has been named on the report will receive a warning email from Cal Poly.

If that household receives a second citation, the student who has been named on that ticket will be required to meet with the Off-Campus Coordinator. We will also 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 Director of the Office of Students Rights & Responsibilities.

It is also important to know that if a citation has been dismissed by the city, 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.

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