Home Rule Chapter 1200 - Noise Control

WHEREAS, Ohio Revised Code 504.04 authorizes the Plain Township Board of Trustees to exercise powers of local self government and to adopt and enforce within the Township local police, sanitary, and other similar regulations;

WHEREAS, Ohio Revised Code 504.05 authorizes the Plain Township Board of Trustees to impose a civil fine for a violation of a resolution adopted under Ohio Revised Code 504;

WHEREAS, it has been determined that unnecessary noise may have the potential to become hazardous within the Township;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED by the Plain Township Board of Trustees, Stark County, Ohio to adopt the following noise ordinance:

I. Definitions

  1. Canidae – The biological family of carnivorous and omnivorous mammals that includes domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals, dingos, coyotes, and many other lesser-known extant and extinct dog-like mammmals.
  2. Law Enforcement Officer – Any law enforcement officer, including a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, patrol officer or peace officer of the Township or joint township police district, marshal, deputy marshal, state police officer or municipal police officer.
  3. Permitted Hunting or Target Shooting – Hunting or target shooting by an individual, or individuals, including land owners, on designated public hunting lands, or having the written permission of private landowners, with that individual, or individuals, having also secured the proper licenses) from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, with such hunting occurring during the permitted season(s) as designated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, unless said individual, or individuals, is or are hunting on land that he, she, or they own; or is a qualified tenant or manager of land that he or she rents and whose annual income is primarily derived from agricultural production conducted on said land, or are grandchildren, under the age of eighteen (18), hunting on land owned by their grandparents(s).
  4. Plainly Audible – As used in these Regulations, plainly audible means any noise or sound produced by any source that can be clearly heard by a person using normal hearing faculties.

II. Noise Disturbance prohibited

No person in the unincorporated territory of Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio, shall make and no landowner or lawful occupant of land shall permit at any premises, the making of any noise or sound, which by reason of volume, pitch, frequency, intensity, duration, or nature harasses, annoys, or disturbs the comfort, peace, or health of a person of ordinary sensibilities and not a resident of the property from which the noise or sound emanates. The noise or sound must be plainly audible at a distance of one hundred fifty (150) feet or more from the property line from which the noise emanates. Law enforcement may require the complainant provide a written statement as part of the investigatory process.

III. Example of Noises

The following noises of sounds, which constitute a non-exclusive list, may be considered a violation of these Regulations if they violate Sections II of these Regulations:

  1. Horns and Signaling Devices. The sounding of any horn of signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicles on any public street or public place’ a creation by means of such signaling unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of an such device for any unnecessary and unreasonable length of time. This shall not apply to the use of any such signaling device as a warning of danger.
  2. Radios, Phonographs, Electronics, etc. The use or operation of any radio, phonograph, television, tape recorder, loudspeaker, cassette player, compact disc player, MP3 player, or any other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound or amplifying sound with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person of persons who are in the room, vehicle, or on the property from which such machine or device is operated, and who are voluntary listeners thereto.
  3. Yelling, Shouting, Verbalization. Exessive and harassing yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing during the hours of 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M.
  4. Musical Instruments. The use of drums, musical instruments or devices with or without electronic amplification.
  5. Power Equipment. The operation of power equipment, including the use of power mowers, timmers, chain saws, tillers or other similar devices during the hours of 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M., but excluding generators used during power outages or other related emergency situations
  6. Dogs and Kennels. Sounds (i.e. barking, howling, or yelping) emanating from any dog, member of the Canidae family, or any dog kennel kept on any premises to which these Regulations is applicable, unless such kennel is a permitted use pursuant to the Plain Township Zoning Resolution, or is otherwise permitted by the Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
  7. Firearms, explosives, and similar devices. Except as otherwise provided for in Section VII(10), noise emanating from any premises to which these Regulations is applicable resulting from the repetitive use of firearms, explosives, and similar devices, where such noise is occurring for an unreasonably long period of time under the circumstances then existing, except as specifically exempted herein.

IV. Standard of proof

It shall be a prima facie violation of Section II of these Regulations when the noise can be heard at a distance of one hundred fifty (150) feet or more from the property line where the noise or sounds emanates.

V. Noise from Motor Vehicles

No person while operating or occupying a motor vehicle with the unincorporated territory of Plain Township, shall operate or amplify the noise or sound produced by a radio, tape player, compact disc player, MP3 player, or other sound making device or instrument from within the motor vehicle so that the noise or sound is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred fifty (150) feet or more from the motor vehicle.

VI. Enforcement: Determination of Source

Any law enforcement officer as defined herein, who hears a sound that is plainly audiable as defined herein, shall be entitled to measure the sound according to the following standards:

  1. The primary means of detection shall be by means of the officer’s ordinary auditory senses, so long as the officer’s hearing is not enhanced by any mechanical devices, such as a hearing aid.
  2. Regarding violations of Section V of these Regulations, the officer must have a direct line of sight and hearing to the motor vehicle producing the noise or sound so that the officer can readily identify the offending motor vehicle and the distance involved.
  3. The officer need not determine any particular words or phrases being produced, or the name of any song or artist producing any sound. The detections of a noise, sound or rhythmic bass reverberating type sound is sufficient to constitute a plainly audible sound.
  4. Any motor vehicle from which the sound is produced must be located (stopped, standing, or moving) within the unincorporated area of the Township. Parking lots and driveways within areas are included.

VII. Exemptions

The provisions of these Regulations shall not apply to:

  1. Any law enforcement motor vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary to the performance of law enforcement duties or to any emergency vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary to the performance of any emergency procedures;
  2. Any noise or sound made by a horn or other warning device required or permitted by state law, when used in accordance with state law;
  3. Any person engaging in activities described in Section 1.61 of the Ohio Revised Code (Titled: “Agriculture defined”) if the noise is attributable to such activities.
  4. Any Person engaging in coal mining and reclamation operations, as defined in division (B) of section 1513.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, or surface mining as defined in division (A) of Section 1514.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, if the noise attributable to such activities.
  5. Noise resulting from the drilling, completion, operation, maintenance or construction of any crude oil natural gas wells or pipelines or any appurtenances to those wells or pipelines, or from distribution, transportation, gathering or storage of crude oil natural gas.
  6. Incidental noise resulting from repairs or maintenance of houses or yards between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday, between 9:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. on Sundays unless such repairs and/or maintenance is related to an emergency.
  7. Noise resulting from organized school-related events such as sporting events, parades, or other school-sanctioned programs.
  8. Noise resulting from organized park-related events such as sporting events, music performances, or other sanctioned programs.
  9. Noise resulting from civic and neighborhood events that are authorized by the Board or its designee, such as block parties and church-sponsored events. This exemption shall only apply during the Board approval hours of the event.
  10. Permitted hunting or legal target shooting.
  11. Noise resulting from infrequent gatherings at a residential property, including, but not limited to, gatherings for purposes of graduation, wedding, or family party, assuming the noise level is reasonable and such gatherings are not habitual in nature.
  12. Dog kennels established as a permitted use pursuant to the Plain Township Zoning Resolution or that are otherwise permitted or authorized by the Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
  13. Incidental noise resulting from construction operations between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and dusk Monday through Saturday, and between 9:00 A.M. abd dusk on Sundays.


  1. Any violation of Sections II or V of these Regulations shall constitute an unclassified civil fine punishable according to the civil fine schedule as follows:
    • 1st Violation – $100.00
    • 2nd Violation – $300.00
    • 3rd and Subsequent Violations – $500.00
  2. If a citation is warranted, the peace officer serving the Township pursuant to Section 504.16 of the Ohio Revised Code shall issue such citation to any person violating these Regulations. The officer shall complete the citation by identifying the violation charged and by indicating the date, time and place of the violation charged. The officer shall sign the citation and without necessary delay file the original citation with the court having jurisdiction over the violation. A copy of a citation issued pursuant to this section shall be served pursuant to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure upon the person who violated these Regulations. The issuance of a citation shall not prohibit the issuance of additional citations, in the event such violation is continued or repeated. The citation shall be the limited home rule citation previously adopted by the Township and shall be in accordance with all of the following:
    1. Advise the person upon whom it is served that the person much answer in relation to the violation charged in the citation within fourteen days after the citation is severed upon the person;
    2. Indicate the allowable answers that may be made and that person will be afforded a court hearing if the person denies in the answer that the person committed the violation;
    3. Specify that the answer must be made in person or by mail with Township Fiscal Officer;
    4. Indicate the amount of the fine that may be imposed for the violation.
  3. An answer to a citation shall be made within fourteen (14) days after the citation is served upon the person and shall be in one of the following forms;
    1. An admission that the person committed the violation, by payment of any fine arising from the violation. Payment of a fine shall be payable to the Fiscal Officer of the Township and deposited by the Fiscal Officer into the Township general fund.
    2. A denial that the person committed the violation.

Whenever a person pays a fine pursuant this section or wherever a person answers by denying the violation or does not submit payment of the fine within the time required under this section, the Township Fiscal Officer shall notify the court having jurisdiction over the violation. The court having jurisdiction over the matter shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of Section 504.07 (B) of the Ohio Revised Code. All fines collected under these Regulations shall be deposited into the Township general fund.


Nothing herein shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of actions, or legal remedies available under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 504 therefrom, of any person or the Township, for any injury or damage arising from other law.