Noise Codes

See also: Noise Code

What Is It?

A black man with a thought bubble full of noisy equipment.Our Noise Code limits outdoor noise including that generated by machines and work activity. These noise limits are enforced by our noise abatement coordinators.

What It Isn’t

Our noise program does not cover:

  • Public nuisance noise, such as horns or sirens, music, amplified sound, motor vehicles, or watercraft. Contact the Seattle Police Department's non-emergency number at (206) 625-5011.
  • Animal noise should be reported to Animal Control at (206) 386-7387.
  • Noise from aircraft, which is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA regulates low-flying aircraft like the Blue Angels or noise from hovering traffic and news helicopters. To file a complaint or for more information, please contact:
    • Sea-Tac International Airport: (206) 433-5393
    • King County International Airport (Boeing Field): (206) 205-5242
    • Low Flying Aircraft: (800) 354-1940

Rules to Follow

Our ordinance requires that you:

  • Limit construction noise, in general, to the following times:
    • 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., weekdays
    • 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., weekends and holidays
  • Have commercial projects screened during plan or permit review for potential noise issues. Mitigation measures for major noise generators are required for such projects. 
  • Obtain a noise variance if needed for your project. A noise variance allows noise to occur during a construction project at a time or place where it normally would be prohibited.

If testing or maintenance at Boeing Field takes place outside the approved hours, you may file a complaint with us by emailing a noise abatement specialist.

Read the Code

Learn more about the ordinance on our Noise Code page or by reading the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC).


Our citation penalties range from $150 to $1,000 for a first violation. Our fines double for second and subsequent violations.