Published: Sept. 2, 2022

Noise Ordinance Change

On September 1, the Boulder City Council voted to amend ordinance BRC 5-9-6, which prohibits unreasonable noise between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Unreasonable noise is measured as any amplified sound that can be heard at a distance of 100 feet or more from the property line where the sound originates. 

What has changed?

The current noise restrictions from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. remain the same. What has changed is added noise restrictions for the rest of the day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. During the daytime hours, unreasonable noise is now defined as any amplified sounds that can be heard at a distance of 200 feet or more from the property line where the sound originates. The definition of a nuisance party will also be updated to include any gathering that violates the unreasonable noise ordinance.

What does this mean for students?

This means that if you have music or other sounds playing from speakers, instruments played with amplifiers or use a megaphone or microphone, you can receive a ticket if police can hear it from 200 feet away from your property line during the day. That could be just three or four houses away from your apartment. Previously, daytime noise-related tickets would be initiated by a neighbor complaint. This new addition to the ordinance means that any excessive noise during the day can receive a ticket. Any parties or gatherings taking place during the day could be cited as nuisance parties for unreasonable noise during the day. Remember that each person that is listed on a lease can receive a citation, regardless of whether or not you are present when the violation takes place. 

How do I avoid getting a citation?

The best way to avoid getting a citation is to make sure you are limiting noise. Make sure any music or other noise is happening inside the house and not in your yard where it may disturb your neighbors. You can also download a decibel measuring app (check out Decibel X) to see how loud your gathering is. Noise should not exceed 50 decibels. Make sure you’re also aware of other Boulder ordinances around trash, fireworks and nuisance parties to avoid getting a ticket. Register your party - happening day or night - with Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations to get a warning before the police issue a citation. 

How can you be a good neighbor?

Remember that you are a Buff where ever you are! Introduce yourself to your neighbors and share your contact information so they can contact you instead of making a complaint to the police. Let your neighbors know ahead of time if you plan to host a party. Keep in mind that your neighborhood is filled with students, grad students, families, young professionals and retirees that may need to be up early in the morning or work at home. Pick up any trash on or near your property. Trash can impact everyone in the neighborhood, especially pets and children. Loose trash is also detrimental to local wildlife in the area. Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations is here for any questions you have about living in our off-campus communities. We want students to enjoy their years at CU, and we want our neighbors to enjoy living in Boulder too.