‘Reasonable time' defines when you can mow lawn in Oklahoma City

There's no specific time when mowing a lawn is lawful or unlawful in Oklahoma City, but a man arrested last week for mowing at 4:30 a.m. is charged with a violation of city code that prohibits noisemaking that “annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.”
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Modified: September 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm •  Published: September 2, 2011

If you're going to mow your lawn at an odd hour in Oklahoma City, you might make sure all of your neighbors think it's a reasonable time first.

City officials said a man arrested last week after a neighbor complained about him mowing his lawn at 4:30 a.m. is charged with violating the city's noise ordinance.

A section of the ordinance prohibits noise that “annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.”

It will be up to the city's municipal court system to decide if such a person would be annoyed by Phil Ray Gage, 40, mowing his lawn in the early hours of Aug. 26.

His first appearance in court is scheduled for Sept. 26, a court spokesman said.

Restrictions don't apply to lawn mowers

The noise ordinance does prohibit sustained noises of 50 decibels or more from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and 55 decibels or more from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., but a lawn mower wouldn't count as sustained noise under normal circumstances, city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.

She said a generator running for hours is an example of a noise source that would count.

City code enforcement personnel, not police, enforce that part of the ordinance, Yager said.

A city worker would measure the decibel level on the part of a property line closest to the noise source.

Lawn mower noise produces about 105 decibels, according to information provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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