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King City will get cleaner and quieter

City Council approves two new laws March 20


There will be new restrictions on noise levels and improper burning going into effect in King City, following the City Council's unanimous (5-0) vote March 20 approving two new ordinances.

Following complaints about people using loud leaf blowers and other landscape maintenance equipment, the city came up with an ordinance that places a limit on sustained noise levels.

The new ordinance states that no noise created by these activities can exceed 85 decibels for more than five minutes on any calendar day.

For an idea of how loud 85 decibels are, on average, libraries and bird calls generate 50 dB; passenger cars going 65 mph on freeways and vacuum cleaners generate around 70 dB; and garbage disposals and food blenders generate on average 86 dB.

On the higher end, power mowers and motorcycles 75 feet away generate 90 dB; jets taking off from 300 yards away generate 100 dB, and at 75 yards away, the level is 150 dB, which is enough to rupture eardrums.

As for the nuisance ordinance, the council moved to improve the city's air quality by amending the Municipal Code to include the following as improper burning under the ordinance:

n In residences equipped with fireplaces, woodstoves or pellet stoves, burning that results in excessive smoke and/or odors;

n Burning during an areawide stagnation event (unless the device is the only source of heat for the home);

n Burning of any materials other than clean, dry wood products; and

n Operation of the device in a manner that negatively affects the health and safety of other residents.