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Night Noise

 

Per Article 29 Section 2908 of the Police Code, no one is allowed to perform construction activities in the Public Right of Way that exceed the ambient noise level by 5 dBA unless a Night Noise permit is previously approved by Public Works. (See Police Code for reference) 

All approved Night Noise Permits allow the Permittee to work between the hours of 8 PM to 7 AM with inspection monitoring in place; however, as a part of this approval, the noise level is not allowed to exceed 5 dBA above ambient levels after 10:00 p.m. For work occurring after 10:00 PM:

  • No high-impact and/or pneumatic tools and equipment shall be used.
  • All excavation work shall be done with the use of hand tools.
  • Work shall not produce a noise level more than ten (10) dBA above the local ambient at a measured distance of twenty-five feet from the edges of the construction site.

 

How to apply for a Night Noise Permit.

To apply for a Night Noise Permit, submit to Public Works the following:

  • Application-Night Noise Permit Application. Allow a minimum of 15 business days for review.
  • Public Notification Material
    • Copy of radius maps (150’ taken from the limits of the construction areas)
    • Copy of the list of properties, property and business owners, and tenants and their respective mailing addresses which fall within that radius
    • Signed affidavit for the Night Noise
    • Letter to be mailed a minimum of 10 days prior to construction, via US Mail to all property and business owners and residents who fall within a 150’ radius taken from the limits of the construction area. Letter shall include:

  • Payment of Fees-See the San Francisco Public Works Fee Schedule.
  • Reason for working at night-Include the SFMTA Special Traffic Permit or any written requirements from SFMTA which states that work must be performed at night. See SFMTA Blue Book for requirements.

 

The reasons for approving a Night Noise Permit include the following:

  • Construction activity and noise in the vicinity of the proposed work site would be less objectionable at night than during daytime because of different population levels or different neighboring activities
  • Obstruction and interference with traffic, particularly on streets of major importance, would be less objectionable at night than during daytime (SFMTA Blue Book restriction)
  • Type/scope of work to be performed emits noises at such low levels so as to not cause significant disturbances in the vicinity of the work site; e.g. if the neighborhood of the proposed work site is primarily residential in character wherein sleep could be disturbed
  • Economic hardship would occur if the work were spread over a longer time
  • Work will abate or prevent safety hazards to life or property, if the proposed night work is in the best interest of the general public/residents

 

Additionally, other factors may be taken into account when approving any Night Noise Permit such as the impact to SFMTA bus routes or main thoroughfares wherein a Special traffic permit is required from SFMTA. In this type of situation, SF Public Works and SFMTA work collaboratively to determine whether a Night Noise Permit would be appropriate. 

If work is to be performed on a building between the hours of 8:00 pm and 7:00 am, you should contact the Department of Building Inspection. Work under Port Jurisdiction shall fall under the Port for necessary review. 

To register a complaint about noise while the work is in progress, please contact your local District Police Station (non-emergency line). 
 

For More Information

For more information or clarification on any of the permit requirements, please contact us at:

San Francisco Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping 
1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 • Map
Telephone : (415) 554-5810   Fax: (415) 554-6161
Office Hours : 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday, except official holidays

Note: all cash and check transactions must be submitted before 4:00 p.m.