Noise Regulations

The City of Wheat Ridge’s noise regulations address the manner in which unreasonable noise is prohibited and enforced. (Noise Ordinance 1713) The answers to these frequently asked questions will help you understand how noise is regulated in Wheat Ridge, what to do if you are repeatedly hearing unreasonable noise and how to hold outdoor events with amplified sound. 

Any individual/business/organization may apply for up to eight Outdoor Amplified Sound Event Permit (OASEP) for any one location in a calendar year. Permits will not be issued for the same location more than eight times in a calendar year. Apply Here.

What is unreasonable noise?

Unreasonable noise means any noise, which because of its loudness and frequency, while taking into consideration its location and the nature of the typical urban environment, unreasonably disturbs the comfort, peace or health of others and continues for 15 minutes in a two-hour period.

What is a noise violation?

The noise will be considered a violation if it is unreasonable and audible for 15 minutes or more within a two-hour period and can be heard

  • 100 feet or more from a mobile sound source
  • Within a private residence that the originator of the sound has no right to occupy
  • Within the property line of a receiving property

Are outdoor amplified events allowed?

Yes. Outdoor amplified events are allowed with an Outdoor Amplified Sound Event Permit (OASEP). Any individual/business/organization may apply for up to eight OASEPs for any one location in a calendar year. Permits will not be issued for the same location more than eight times in a calendar year. Apply here

An applicant wishing to hold more than eight outdoor amplified sound events per year for the same location may apply for an Outdoor Amplified Sound Event Special Use Permit (OASESUP) to consider the allowance of a greater number of outdoor amplified sound events. Apply Here

  • OASEPs will only be issued for events between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sun-Thurs and between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 
  • The OASEP limits the measured dBA level to 75 dBA when measured from the nearest property from which the sound is audible.
  • There is no fee to obtain an OASEP.
  • The Wheat Ridge Police Department reviews applications and may recommend any conditions that the permit holder must fulfill.  
  • During the permitted event, any Wheat Ridge Police Officer may request to see the permit.  
  • Wheat Ridge Police may, using a decibel reader, measure the level of sound emitted and require the event operator to reduce the sound level if in violation of this policy.

What happens if an individual or business violates these noise regulations?

A Wheat Ridge Police Officer will determine whether the noise level is unreasonable and therefore violates the ordinance. If so, the individual, property owner or business owner may be required to stop whatever activity is creating the noise. In addition, violators may be issued a citation and may be required to appear in Municipal Court. 

Examples of violations

  • A neighbor playing music from inside their home so loud that others can hear it inside their homes and a police officer determines the noise is unreasonable.
  • A bar, club or restaurant has a band playing on an outdoor patio for several hours in the evening under the provision of an OASEP. However, the sound is louder than 75dBA at the nearest property line.

Do these regulations apply to block parties?

Yes. If the block party includes outdoor amplified sound, the block party organizer will need to apply for an OASEP in addition to a City Special Event Permit.

Do these regulations apply to trash pickup?

Trash pickup in residential area cannot occur before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Do regulations apply to industrial properties?

The regulations include decibel (dBA) limits on the sound/noise level emanating from industrial zoned properties based on the time of day. The decibel limits are set based on the zoning classification of the property receiving the noise as described in the table below.   

 

RECEPTOR PREMISES 7AM-10PM/10PM-7AM

SOURCE PREMISES

RESIDENTIAL

COMMERCIAL

INDUSTRIAL

Industrial

55/50

65/60

80/75

 

How do I submit a complaint about unreasonable noise?

Call the nonemergency number for Jeffcom dispatch at 303-237-2220, option 1.