Arlington County updated the Noise Control Ordinance to have clear, objective and equitably enforceable standards for determining violations. In May 2014, the Arlington County Board approved substantial updates to the County’s Noise Control Ordinance to bring the ordinance into compliance with a 2009 Virginia Supreme Court ruling, and to address community concerns and a growing Arlington. Read the FAQ.
Some of the adopted changes include:
- New methods to determine a noise violation that is above grade, including motor vehicle noise and sound reading collections at high-rise locations and multi-unit buildings. Clarity on allowed noise exemptions during emergencies, including the use of generators, repairs and public utility work.
- Enhanced prohibited acts to address issues such as loud music, nighttime gatherings in residential districts, idling commercial vehicles, the use of lawn and garden maintenance equipment and animal noises.
- Stronger construction requirements to have developers and owners determine and provide industry standard sound mitigation solutions at work sites.
- Civil penalties on violators after a warning is issued or posted on the premises.
- Criminal penalties for violations would increase from $25 to not less than $100 or more than $2,500 upon conviction.
- Civil appeal processes: Introduces process for appeal and establishes, as a protection to the community during the period of appeal, a civil citation remains in full force and effect pending the final outcome of the appeal.
Compliance with the ordinance standards is required and may require civil or criminal enforcement. Civil fines for violations max out at $250 for the first violation, and up to $500 for all subsequent fines. Our goal is to always work with you first on a solution.
Reporting a Violation
Call us when you witness the violation and provide us with specific details. Learn more about who to call, when, and for what.
Watch this video about the Arlington County Noise Ordinance:
The following maps were included as supplemental materials to the County Board hearing on May 12, 2014 which depict the areas covered by provision of 15-5.G, 15-6. N and 15-6.0 of the ordinance. The maps are illustrative only.
* Yellow conveys Residential (R) or Residential Apartment (RA) Zoning districts.
* Blue conveys selected geographic areas, but excludes R or RA districts. The selected geographic areas are as follows:
Major Planning Areas
- Virginia Square
- Pentagon City
- Crystal City (Central) (North) (South)