§ 36-429 of the Hillsborough County municipal codes is the official noise control ordinance.
According to this ordinance, anyone can be cited for a noise violation if they:
- Make a noise disturbance that injures or endangers others;
- Make a noise disturbance that is unreasonably loud, disturbing or an overall nuisance;
- Make a noise disturbance that disrupts the peace and quiet of a neighborhood or the area in their general vicinity.
There are no specifications as to exact decibels at which a noise is a "disturbance" or "disruption of the peace" but residents and visitors can make complaints to local law enforcement if they feel as if a noise is a violation of the municipal code.
Exemptions to the Code
This section of the Hillsborough County municipal codes lists 13 exemptions, that is, 13 people, organizations or scenarios that cannot be cited for a noise violation under this code.
According to § 36-435, those exemptions are:
- Bridge, street, highway, infrastructure or railroad construction/maintenance
- Sirens and other noises used lawfully by emergency motor vehicles
- Activities associated with both public and private athletic facilities within the county
- Firearm discharge (lawful use)
- Sounds associated with religious activities
- Sounds from domestic animals such as barking (unless the noise has become consistent and unreasonably loud)
- Authorized motor vehicle events (ex: car races)
- Noises associated with any Florida state fair
- Sounds from cars, trucks, etc.
- Any sounds that are already regulated by county environmental codes
- County-permitted construction
- Sounds originating from agricultural land
According to this code, anyone who violates a noise control ordinance can be prosecuted in the same way that a misdemeanor offender would be prosecuted. If convicted of the noise violation, the offender can be sentenced to pay a fine up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment in Hillsborough County jail for up to 60 days.