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Can someone please explain the noise ordinance code in the Wilmington city limits and the county and how they are enforced?

Jessica Toomer
StarNews

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All residents of New Hanover County, whether tenants or land owners, who reside in neighborhoods zoned for residential purposes, are prohibited from engaging in any activity producing noise in excess of 65 decibels in daytime and 50 decibels from 10 p.m. through 7 a.m. Citations for violations might be issued upon findings of loud and offensive noises even when the precise noise level is not measured.

“Yelling, shouting, whistling … playing of any sound magnifying device …with such volume between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of a reasonably prudent person” shall be unlawful.

Click here to read the county ordinance.

The City of Wilmington has a similar ordinance whereby all persons in residential areas are prohibited from engaging in any activity producing noise in excess of 65 decibels in the daytime (between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., or midnight on Friday and Saturday) and 55 decibels in the nighttime between 11 p.m. (midnight on Friday and Saturday) and 7 a.m. Repeated violations of the city’s noise ordinance may subject offenders to a penalty of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

Renters can be responsible for any violations by their guests if the renter is present at the time of the violation. (Wilmington City Code, Sections 6-26 to 6-32.)

The noise control ordinance for both New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington list specific noise-making activities and their restrictions, and the ordinances also place special emphasis on protecting places that may be “sensitive to sound” including places of worship, schools, hospitals, and courthouses.

The Wilmington Police Department is responsible for carrying out the enforcement of the noise ordinance code in the city. Code enforcement officers as well as local enforcement is responsible for enforcing the code of the county. Typically, police will give a warning to first-time offenders and fine residents for any subsequent violations.

A complete list of restricted noise-making activities and the ordinance code of Wilmington can be found at: www.wilmingtonnc.gov.

The noise ordinance section is featured in Chapter 6 Article 2 of the code. Also, residents of Wilmington can contact Williane Carr, the chief enforcement code officer for the city, with any questions. Call the Wilmington Police Department at 343-3600 for any complaints or questions on policies and procedures.

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I heard that all it takes to get a noise violation ticket is for someone to file/call in a complaint. Is this true?

Is there a noise ordinance that applies to military aircraft flying very low?

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sam

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4 Responses to “ Can someone please explain the noise ordinance code in the Wilmington city limits and the county and how they are enforced?”

  1. On April 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm Billy wrote:

    These levels are ridiculous. According to this decibel comparison chart, a normal conversation is illegal after 10pm. Unbelievable.
    http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

  2. On April 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm WILRESIDENT wrote:

    Why does the city not enforce the noise ordinance against businesses and groups that operates a Public Address system during the daytime (7am-11pm) in a residential neighborhood? The P.A. system can be heard for blocks and having talked to several officers of the WPD they always dismiss doing anything about it.

  3. On April 12, 2012 at 9:33 am nov wrote:

    Its easy…if its as loud in your home (or downtown condo) as outside with the windows and doors closed… it is a violation, the police will come. The first time they will give a warning…a second violation will bring a fine more than two the fine goes up.



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