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Noise Code

What Is It?

Seattle’s Noise Ordinance contains rules to minimize Seattle resident's exposure to excessive noise. Under the ordinance, we screen commercial projects during plan or permit review for potential permanent mechanical and recurrent noise issues associated with using and maintaining your facility. We require mitigation measures for major noise generators for such projects.

Our ordinance:

  • Sets limits for exterior sound levels in residential, commercial, and industrial districts
  • Specifies required quiet hours and hours during which construction and maintenance are allowed (see below)
  • Establishes guidelines for granting variances from our ordinance

Some construction projects may also have land use permit or State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) noise restrictions. If you have a concern about construction noise, noise from mechanical equipment, or a commercial facility in the Seattle city limits, you may file a complaint with us or discuss it with one of our noise abatement coordinators.

Construction and Maintenance Hours

In general, you can do construction work:

  • 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., weekdays
  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., weekends and holidays

If your construction and maintenance activities are within multifamily and neighborhood commercial zones (Lowrise, Midrise, Highrise, Residential Commercial and Neighborhood Commercial) you can work:

  • 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., weekdays
  • 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., weekends and holidays

Your impact construction work (pile driving, jackhammers, vactor trucks etc.) is limited to:

  • 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., weekdays
  • 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., weekends and holidays

What It Isn't

We do not enforce the Seattle Municipal Code sections that cover loud noises from barking dogs, horns or sirens, motor vehicles, musical instruments, human voices, car stereos, watercraft, or official special events. Contact the Seattle Police Department, (206) 625-5011, for these types of noise problems.

Read the Code

Proposed Changes


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