Council Harmonizes Noise Regulations Outside Health Care Facilitates

Giacobbe Byrd, 509.625.6715

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 5:22 p.m.

City Council passed an ordinance last night that harmonizes noise disturbance prohibitions in the context of health care providers and facilities with the noise disturbance provisions applicable generally throughout the city.

Council Members Lori Kinnear and Betsy Wilkerson co-sponsored the ordinance.

“Our health care facility noise ordinance concerns noise, regardless of content, outside of health care facilities,” said Kinnear. “It doesn’t matter whether that health care facility is a hospital, dermatology clinic, in vitro fertilization treatment clinic, reproductive health clinic, hospice house, or any other facility providing health care services.”

The State of Washington asserts that seeking or obtaining health care is fundamental to public health and safety.

“When noise outside your health care facility disrupts, prevents, or interferes with your ability to receive health care, it’s completely unacceptable,” said Wilkerson

The ordinance makes sure the state-wide priority of health care access is present in our City code, so that law enforcement can more swiftly and effectively act to preserve that right.

To be conducive to more effective enforcement, the ordinance also provides for a private right of action, so that health care facilities and health care providers can seek appropriate remedies for violations without the need for City involvement.

This ordinance is content neutral. Any party disrupting, preventing, or interfering with health care access will be subject to these clearer regulations.