Bozeman city commissioners have taken steps to address resident complaints about construction noise by approving a new ordinance that limits the hours during which loud construction activities can occur. Under the proposed change, construction noise will only be permitted between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., aiming to strike a balance between addressing noise concerns and allowing construction to proceed. The previous standards, dating back to 2001, allowed construction noises between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. for part of the year, and until 10 p.m. for the rest of the year. The new ordinance also establishes a decibel standard, prohibiting construction noises louder than 60 decibels outside of the specified hours.
City officials, including Jay Porteen, the city's code compliance manager, and City Manager Jeff Mihelich, highlighted the need to balance the concerns of residents with the necessity of ongoing construction due to the housing shortage. The proposed ordinance includes a process for exemption permits, which would be reserved for exceptional cases such as lengthy concrete or asphalt pours. The city's community development department and police department will be responsible for enforcing noise complaints.
The commissioners unanimously provisionally approved the ordinance and plan to vote on it again at a future meeting. If passed, the ordinance will take effect 30 days afterward. Recognizing the ongoing growth and construction in Bozeman, city officials view this as a long-term measure to ensure a harmonious living environment in a community that continues to develop. By addressing construction noise concerns, the city aims to create a better quality of life for existing residents while accommodating the needs of construction projects essential for the city's growth.