City of San Mateo Law Library
City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


(a) The operation or maintenance of any device, instrument, vehicle or machinery in violation of any provision of this chapter, which operation or maintenance causes discomfort or annoyance to persons of normal sensitiveness or which endangers the comfort, repose, health or peace of residents in the area shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement by restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any noise level exceeding the limits specified in this chapter shall be deemed to be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The following acts are hereby expressly declared to be nuisances and any person maintaining or permitting such nuisances, or any of them, to be maintained or to exist in or on his or her premises, whether as owner, lessee, or otherwise, shall be punishable per Chapter 1.04 for each day during which such nuisance shall be permitted to be continued:

(1) Other Unlawful Noises. In addition to conduct which is unlawful pursuant to other subsections of this section, the willful making or continuation of, or causing the making or continuation of, any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise (other than constitutionally protected expressive activity) which disturbs the peace or quiet, or which causes discomfort or annoyance to a reasonable person of normal sensitiveness in an adjacent residence or business affected by the noise.

(2) Radios, Electronic and Amplification Devices. The playing, using, or operating, or permitting to be played, used, or operated between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. or other hours as may be specified by separate regulation in areas designated for parks use, of any radio, musical instrument, television set, or similar instrument, electronic, or amplification device for the production or reproduction of sound in volume sufficiently loud to disturb the peace, quiet, or repose of a person of ordinary and normal sensitiveness who is in the immediate vicinity of such machine or device.

(3) Engines, Motors, and Mechanical Devices in and Near Residential Districts. The operation between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. of any motor or engine or the use or operation of any automobile, motorcycle, machine, or mechanical device, or other contrivance or facility, unless such motor, engine, automobile, motorcycle, machine, or mechanical devise is enclosed within a sound-insulated structure so as to prevent noise and sounds from being plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from such structure or within 10 feet of any residence; provided, however, any such vehicle which is operated upon any public highway, street, or right-of-way shall be excluded from the provisions of this subsection.

(4) Motor Vehicles. The racing of any motor vehicles or needlessly bringing to a sudden start or stop any motor vehicle, which act produces unreasonably loud engine noise or tire noise.

(5) Noises by Animals. The keeping or harboring of any animal which emits between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. any unreasonable sound or cry which disturbs or may disturb the peace and comfort or repose of a reasonable person of normal sensitiveness who resides in the neighborhood or area in which the such animal is located or kept.

(6) Pile Drivers, Hammers, and the Like. The operation between the hours of seven p.m. and seven a.m. of any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, hoist, or other appliance, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.

(7) Yelling, Shouting, and the Like. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on the public streets or in a public place emits between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. or any time or place so as to annoy or disturb unreasonably the quiet, comfort, or repose of reasonable persons of normal sensitiveness who reside in any house or in any residence in the vicinity.

(8) Continuation of conduct prohibited by this section after notification by a peace officer that the activity is unlawful shall be prima facie evidence of malicious and willful intent.