After a recent question about noise ordinances (quiet time) and complaints, research showed there is no simple answer. It depends, the response no one likes to hear. Counties in general have regulations in place that also cover unincorporated areas. But who is going to try and call the county offices at midnight and expect someone to pick up the phone?

So, you call the local police department. Please call the non-emergency line, someone’s life may be in danger which is a bigger problem than no sleep.

While the county is the blanket, regulations vary by city and the type of noise. Is it major construction, road work, remodeling, a constantly barking dog, lawn care, a party, or event? The best advice is to contact the city you live in to ascertain their guidelines. You can usually find this online. This applies to businesses and residents.

If you are the resident and planning a party or event at your home, check the hours you should adhere to and then do so as a consideration for those affected. Contact your neighbors ahead of time and even consider inviting them. If you do not know them, now would be a good time to meet them. If this is a rare occasion, such as a wedding, graduation party, big birthday celebration, or 4th of July gathering, they are generally understanding and appreciate the notice. This will not protect you from fireworks regulations though. Those also vary by location.

iStockBarking dogs are a common complaint. First, try to talk to the offending dog’s owner. Often there is an explanation. They may work nightshift and be unaware their lonesome pet is keeping people awake. Police are shorthanded and barking dogs at midnight are not their top priority. As a last resort, contact animal services. Usually, the offending animal who doesn’t understand noise ordinances or their offense will bear the brunt of action.

With nicer weather coming and COVID restrictions being relaxed, people are going to be entertaining again, road work and construction will resume, and more noise will become common again. After hiding inside for two years, consider it a welcome sign of life.

If it involves airplane noise, you will need to file a complaint with the airport or port authority, they operate under the FAA. All I can say is good luck with that.

Marcee Maylin has a degree in Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington and 30+ years media experience. She is currently the Editor of the Everett Post dedicated to providing current, relevant, and entertaining content for the local community.