Noise Code

See also: Noise EnforcementNoise Variances

What Is It?

Seattle's Noise Ordinance contains rules to minimize Seattle resident's exposure to excessive noise. Under our ordinance we screen commercial projects during plan or permit review for potential permanent and recurring noise issues associated with operating your facility. We require mitigation measures for both temporary and permanent major noise generators.

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 within the Seattle city limits, you may file a complaint with SDCI or discuss it with one of our noise control specialists.

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 legal 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 legal holidays*

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

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

*Legal holidays are New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

What It Isn't

We do not enforce the Seattle Municipal Code sections that cover loud noises from 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.

For barking dogs and other animal noise, call the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387.

Read the Code

Proposed Changes


Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.