Noise Standards

The noise regulations for the City of Saratoga are based on environmental factors that influence noise with the intent to preserve Saratoga's quiet, residential environment. Standards have been created for differing types of uses, such as residential or commercial space, and time of day. A summary of the most commonly asked about sections of the City's noise regulations is below. The City's full noise standards are available in Article 7-30 of the Saratoga Municipal Code. The City's Noise Element (PDF) of the General Plan is also online.

You can also consult our Noise Standards Flyer (PDF) for information.

Garden Tools


All powered garden tools, with the exception of wood chippers, are limited to 78 decibels, measured 25 feet from the tool. Sound from wood chippers may not exceed 100 decibels, measured 25 feet from the wood chipper.

Powered garden tools may be used any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., not including gas-powered leaf blows, chainsaws, and wood chippers.

Special limitations apply to gas-powered leaf blowers, chainsaws, and wood chippers. These pieces of equipment may be used Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, they may be used between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Gas-powered leaf blowers, chainsaws, and wood chippers may not be used on Sundays.

In response to the increased use of leaf blowers, the Saratoga City Council recently passed an ordinance that will help decrease noise pollution in the City. The new ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2019.

Animals


Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., it is expected that owners will keep animals from making noise disturbances.

Continuous noise caused by an animal, such as barking, squawking, or meowing, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. is generally not allowed. Noise is considered continuous if it occurs uninterrupted for 5 minutes or intermittently for at least 30 minutes. These limitations do not apply if an animal is protecting its owner(s), resisting trespasser(s), or is provoked.

Construction


Monday through Friday, construction is allowed between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Saturdays, construction may take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Residential construction that does not require a City permit or which does not exceed does not exceed 50% of the existing main or accessory structure may take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays and weekdays holidays. Otherwise, construction is not allowed on Sundays or on weekday holidays.

Additional information about the exact limits noise generated by construction can be found in the City's Municipal Code.

Outdoor & Indoor Music


Outdoor music in the Village is allowed by special permit on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Music may not exceed 73 decibels measured 25 feet or more from the source.

Additionally, live music and recorded music is allowed inside any commercial establishments in the City. After 9 p.m., windows and doors must be closed while music is being played.

The City has also adopted limits on how loud music may be as heard from outside of the business. Before 9 p.m., music may not exceed 73 decibels outside of the business. Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., music is limited to 70 decibels. After 10 p.m., music may not be louder than 60 decibels.


Noise Exception Permits


Noise exception permits may be obtained for certain special activities and events. Permits are issued by the Community Development Department. For more information, call 408.868.1230
Complaints of violations may be reported to the Sheriffs Office or the Community Development Department. Complaints are investigated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Business Hours/Weekdays: 408.868.1214 (Code Enforcement Hotline)
  • After Hours/Weekends/Holidays: 408.299.2311 (Sheriff's Office Dispatch)