Noise ordinance

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Within Menlo Park city limits, it can get loud with our diverse and active population, proximity of homes to businesses, traffic and construction. Sound is inevitable, yet levels or types of sound occurring in some parts of Menlo Park may be bothersome to residents and workers, and in some cases, could be high enough to harm health and quality of life. Any unwanted sound can be characterized as noise; everyone reacts differently to noise, and not everyone agrees about what sounds are noisy.

It is the declared policy of the city to protect the peace, health and safety of its residents from unreasonable noises from all sources as specified in Municipal Code Chapter 8.06 Noise.

In the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County, noise is regulated by the San Mateo County Code of Ordinances Chapter 4.88 Noise Control.

Construction hours

Contractors/subcontractors can work on any day, and at any hour of the day, as long as they are within the noise level limit.

Noise level limit

  • Noise levels cannot exceed 85 dBA (measured at 50 feet from the source) during the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Noise levels cannot exceed 60 dBA during the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 50 dBA during the hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., on weekends and holidays.

Note: Homeowners and residents only, can use powered equipment to maintain their properties and/or residences on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  No piece of equipment shall generate noise in excess of 85 dBA (measured at 50 feet from the source).

Leaf blower days and hours

Gas-powered leaf blowers

  • Allowed for all users (homeowners, residents and contractors) Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Allowed for homeowners and residents only, on Saturdays, during the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Not allowed on Sundays, holidays or Spare the Air days

Electric-powered leaf blowers

  • Allowed for all users (homeowners, residents and contractors) Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8 a.m. to  6 p.m.
  • Allowed for homeowners and residents only, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City holidays

Holidays recognized by the City of Menlo Park, as it relates to the noise ordinance, include:

  • New Year's Day (Jan. 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
  • Presidents Day (third Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (Dec. 25)