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Noise Compatible Planning

State Examples

  1. California

    The 2025 City of Truckee General Plan (PDF - 6.3Mb) document is regarding all sources of noise in general, with elements for roadways. The document explains California's NCP law and was written to assist local communities to provide guidance for the development of municipal noise elements. It offers several options, such as site design, insulation, and addressing noise in the planning and permitting process.

    The San Diego General Plan Update of February 2006 (PDF - 57KB) has a noise element on page 9 and 10 with a goal of limiting future residential and other noise sensitive land uses in areas exposed to high levels of noise.

    The City of Tiburon Government Code Section 65302(f) (PDF 101KB )requires that current and projected noise levels be analyzed and quantified for highways, freeways, primary arterials, and major local streets. The law requires that noise contours, shown in terms of community noise equivalent level (CNEL) or day-night average level (Ldn), be prepared on the basis of noise monitoring or following generally accepted noise modeling techniques. The existing and projected noise level contours, based on existing and projected traffic, are shown in Diagrams 7.1-1 and 7.1-2.

    The City of Big Bear Lake General Plan (PDF - 27Mb) has several NCP programs, for many noise sources. Program N 1.1.1 requirement is on the land use and zoning maps, designate noise-sensitive uses in areas away from noise generators, and locate noise-compatible uses near existing and future air and highway transportation noise sources, to the extent feasible. They have specifically defined that the planning agency is responsible for this action. They have many other noise programs worth examining. The noise element of the General Plan can be found at (PDF - 27Mb) and going to Page 216 of 414 in the Adobe page counter.

  2. Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has a document titled Sound Land Use Planning For Your Community: Model Ordinance Language for Addressing Traffic Noise (PDF - 1.8MB) to assist communities in developing noise zoning strategies, including Planned Residential Development (PRD), overlay districts, setbacks, and conditional use/special use. Also, definitions of terms that may be used in developing municipal land use ordinances are presented.

  3. Texas

    While not available online, the City of San Antonio's subdivision plats state, "For residential development directly adjacent to State right of way, the Developer shall be responsible for adequate set-back and/or sound abatement measures for future noise mitigation."

  4. Virginia

    The Fairfax County Policy Plan (PDF - 172Kb) has a noise element on pages 9 and 10 that establishes noise level limits for new and existing development along existing highways. These noise level limits are based on the Ldn metric and come from "Guidelines for Considering Noise in Land Use Planning and Control". New development in the 65-75 dBA Ldn range requires mitigation and no development shall be in zones with a 75 dBA Ldn or higher.

  5. TRB Write-up/Link

    TR News: Transportation Noise: Measures and Countermeasures September-October 2005 issue has many interesting articles about transportation noise, but has several articles regarding NCP near highways.

    • The main article for highway traffic NCP is titled "Highway Traffic Noise and Land Use Development: Coordinating Federal, State, and Local Authorities" by Kenneth Polcak. The article (pages 27-38) discusses Maryland's approach to NCP.
    • Several sidebar articles are contained within the article.
      • Page 28 has the sidebar "Getting a Good Read on Traffic Noise Control and Land Use" which cites several important documents.
      • Page 29 has the sidebar "Highway-Compatible Residential Development: A Feasible Ideal" by Michael A. Staiano.
      • Page 31 has the sidebar authored by Mark Ferroni, FHWA Noise Team Leader, which discusses the FHWA project performed by Texas Southern University.
      • Page 33 has a sidebar "Montana Study Guides Noise Abatement Strategies" summarizing a study performed by Montana Department of Transportation.
      • Page 34 has a sidebar "Improving Coordination with Local Planners: Ohio Program Looks at Results" by Elvin Pinckney discussing Ohio's experience with NCP.
Updated: 07/31/2013
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