Noise Ordinance

One of the most common complaints the Mesquite Police Department receives centers on loud noises. Noise can interfere with normal residential and business activities. Persistent exposure can result in psychological stress and, at high enough levels, it can damage hearing. There has been a steady increase in noise complaint calls over the past several years. Residents are reminded the City of Mesquite adopted a new Noise Ordinance on March 15, 2021 to prohibit loud noises. Click here to learn more.

What noise is a violation?

Under the ordinance, sounds must first meet the threshold of Noise and this is defined as any specific sound which: 
  1. is done with such a loud volume, intensity or with continued duration, so as to exceed what is usual, necessary, or normal; or
  2. is louder than permitted in the ordinance.
Noise will become a "Noise Disturbance" in violation of the Code if a person makes, causes to be made or allows any noise  
(1) such that it is a nuisance that annoys, distresses or disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of any reasonable person with
ordinary sensibilities 
(2) such that it is plainly audible by any peace officer or other enforcement agent 
a. located on the receiving property (at the curb line or boundary line of the receiving property), or  
b. located on the boundary line closest to the source of the sound, or  
c. located at fifty (50) feet, or more, from where the source of the sound is generated, if in a space accessible to the public or  a public right-of-way; or 
(3) which exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels identified in the ordinance

The noise disturbance standards will adjust according to a number of factors, the primary of which will be residential vs. commercial districts, day of week and time of day. Example: Some music and loud talking from a backyard party next door on a Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. may be reasonable or normal, but the same level of noise/music would likely not be reasonable at 1 a.m. on a Sunday.

How do I resolve Noise Disturbances?

If a resident feels that a noise disturbance has been met, the first step, if possible, should always be to communicate the disturbance to the property owner and ask them to address the noise concern. If there is no progress or you do not feel comfortable discussing with the property owner the next step would be to determine who is the proper city contact.

For general noise disturbances:
  • Report to Police non-emergency at Ph: 972-285-6336
For animal noise disturbances: 
  • Report to Animal Services at Ph: 972-216-6283
City of Mesquite TX - Noise Violations Ordinance - English
City of Mesquite TX - Noise Violations Ordinance - Spanish
  1. Enforcement
  2. Maximum Sound Levels
  3. Exemptions
Just as noise issues were handled in the past, the ordinance is primarily complaint-based, however if officers are able to proactively witness an excessive noise disturbance they will take action. The use of the three noise disturbance standards allows our police officers some latitude in gaining voluntary compliance in a variety of different situations. For example, low bass would not typically register high enough on a sound meter to trigger a citation. Other background noises, such as nearby traffic, and environmental factors such as wind can also influence what a sound meter picks up. The City Council expressed a preference for a more flexible ordinance that gave more tools in the toolbox and the inclusion of the plainly audible standard allows for officers to enforce violations without the use of equipment. As mentioned, usually voluntary compliance and warnings will always be used  before a citation is issued, unless there is a record or pattern identified from previous violations.

Here is an example of what a noise disturbance enforcement process might look like:
  1. A concern is shared with the city 
  2. Officers will investigate the complaint
  3. Officer will make determination if it is a noise disturbance i.e.
    • it meets the definition of noise, and
      • is a nuisance determined from a willing witness, or
      • plainly audible by an enforcement official, or 
      • exceeds maximum sound levels.
  4. Officers may present the person responsible for the noise with a warning or issue a citation.
  5. If officers are called to the same home or business after a warning being issued for the same complaint, a citation will be issued. Citations will carry a fine with potential charges reaching as high as state law allows ($2,000), per incident, as determined by the municipal judge.