King City recently enacted a new ordinance that modified the existing noise ordinance, and City Councilor Malka Sekey explains that the reason behind the ordinance is an issue of public safety, including protecting peoples hearing.
In the previous ordinance, lawn-care equipment operated in the city was completely exempt from any controls on noise. The new ordinance established a maximum noise level of 85 dB for a period not to exceed five minutes - 85dB is the noise level at which OSHA requires operators to wear hearing protection because it has been found to cause permanent hearing loss.
The ordinance will be enforced on a complaint basis with the sound levels measured from the property of the person filing the complaint. Operation of residents' landscape maintenance equipment or their landscaper's equipment does not trigger any enforcement action unless someone files a complaint.
The easiest way to control the noise from this equipment is to not operate it at full power when near another home. The typical times for noise complaints are in the fall with leaf clean-up and in the spring when trees and bushes are being pruned and trimmed, but everyone should be considerate about the use of their equipment year-round.