Barking Dogs, Construction, Amplified Music? How to Deal With Excessive Noise

Activist Lisa Sarkin answers your local community questions.

Do you have a question about Studio City? Community activist Lisa Sarkin is answering questions about history and issues in our area in this column. She often knows who to call, and where to go in order to get things done. Send your questions to Studio City Patch editor   or leave it in the Comments section below. Thanks!

Excessive Noise

Many of you have asked about It is a very complex issue and this column will start explaining how the City of Los Angeles is supposed to respond to noise.

The General Plan, required by state law, has several elements which become ordinances (city law) added to the Los Angeles Municipal Code and enforces by different City Departments. Noise is enforced by the Los Angeles Police Department.  

I will break up the information over the next few weeks so it will be easier to digest. This is the general information:

Los Angeles City Noise Ordinance Information

Noise Enforcement


Barking dogs, construction equipment, amplified musical instruments, trash trucks, and loud parties are all examples of noise found in major urban areas. Understandably, certain noise levels must be tolerated by all citizens in order for normal functions of urban life to continue. However, excessive, unnecessary, and/or annoying noise is subject to regulation. On March 29, 1982, the City Council adopted a new Noise Ordinance that established limits on noise pollution, set enforcement responsibilities, and provided penalties for violations.

Noise Ordinance

On January 24, 1973, Ordinance No. 144.331 became effective, adding Chapter XI, entitled "Noise Regulation" to the Los Angeles Municipal Code. This chapter empowered the City to prohibit unnecessary, excessive, and annoying noise from all sources subject to its police powers. Enforcement responsibilities were divided between the Police Department and the Department of Building and Safety.

During the intervening years, enforcement efforts revealed a need to further define the enforcement responsibilities, to incorporate new sound level measurement procedures, and to establish complaint enforcement expertise within the department. The City Council amended the Noise Ordinance on March 29, 1982, to include new sound level measurement procedures, reconcile conflicting noise level limits, and more clearly define enforcement responsibilities of concerned City departments.

Enforcement Responsibility

The responsibility for enforcement of the Noise Ordinance is now delegated to the Police Department, Department of Building and Safety, and the Department of Animal Regulation.
The Police Department is responsible for the enforcement of Noise Ordinance violations involving people--generated or controlled noises--which are considered disturbances of the peace.

If you are interested in the entire City of Los Angeles General Plan, please go to http://cityplanning.lacity.org/ and click on General Plan.

LA Momma September 01, 2011 at 03:13 PM
I cannot find anything about gas-powered blowers in the General Plan.
Matthew Damian August 24, 2012 at 03:05 PM
First, thank you for this great resource you've made available to us. I live in Sherman Oaks but I am certain this poblem affects Studio City as well. It relates specifically to the trash removal times in the area. Twice per week trash removal takes place in the alleyways of the Ventura Blvd businesses and the residential street on which I live. The average removal time has been around 600am, but often starts as early as 530am on Fridays, and once at 505am, an occasion that sparked a confrontation between the driver and a nearby resident. Am I wrong to believe that the driver is starting the route much earlier in the day than is allowed by ordinance, in order to finish the route earlier than they would normally? I have had two confrontations with him myself in the past year regarding the jolting, dumpster-slamming noises at 530am, a sound that carries shocking distances and rattles our nerves. Please tell me there is something we can do. Thank you for your help and consideration. Matt in Sherman Oaks Clearofear@hotmail.com
Lisa Sarkin August 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Matt - I too live very close to Ventura Blvd. and hear the trash trucks as early as you do. I am unclear what is allowed in a commercial area. Noise issues are reported to the Police, but I suggest you first contact the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association or the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council for assistance in your area.
Matthew Damian August 24, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Hello, Lisa - Thank you for your reply and suggestion. I will follow up with that. Perhaps we will notice a later trash removal time in our area soon! Let's hope so. Be well, and thanks again.
Anthony love February 20, 2013 at 09:17 AM
I have a neighbor that plays her TV loud all hours of the night and music. I first wrote a letter. Then politly asked her now at midnight or later I banged on ceiling. She finally banged back. I walked up knocjed on her door and told her she woke me and my 5 week old daughter up. She she said shes not finished with her movie. And to stop banging on her floor. I said Id stop if she'd stop being loud. What is my next recorsive action? I called landloard. And nothing.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »