Catalina Island News

Vehicle Noise Ordinance to be Enforced

City of Avalon

With a footprint of 2.7 square miles, the City of Avalon is nestled in a harbor valley on Santa Catalina Island.  With a year-round population of around 3,700 and almost 1,000,000 visitors enjoying Avalon every year this small community has a lot of traffic.  Be it pedestrian, bicycle, segway, razor scooter, skateboard, moped, motorcycle, autoette, full size, trolley, taxi, or otherwise, transportation choices are varied but all meet the same purpose: to get from A to B in Avalon.

Jordan Monroe, Management Aide for the City of Avalon, gave a presentation to City Council during the December 17th council meeting discussing the design of Avalon’s transportation system.  “This is not the first look at this broad reaching topic,” Monroe reflected after the meeting, “and it certainly will not be the last.”

The presentation was a overview of Avalon’s transportation system design, needs, and opportunities, but much of the discussion centered on Avalon Municipal Code 4-4.1713 Vehicle Noise.  The full Municipal Code can be found through  The ordinance regulates “prohibited installations” such as “sound amplification device(s) mounted...(which) directs or points the sound away form the occupants,” and also establishes “noise limits” for how loud a vehicle can be.

The presentation referenced previous committees and studies with the community that have been discussing how to address vehicle noise since the 1990s, but with concerns over the financial impact to individual vehicle owners the decision was made to let the course run on these vehicles allowing them phase themselves out over time due to age and the cost of maintenance.  However during the discussion assessing how well this has worked it became apparent that time has passed, but many of these vehicles are still here.

First Steps Forward
In a 5-0 vote City Council decided to implement enforcement of the noise ordinance with a timeline to allow residents the opportunity comply.  Council expressed the desire to tie vehicle noise testing to vehicle registration giving a window of six months after March 31, 2014, the last day to register vehicles, to make the necessary repairs to any vehicle that is excessively loud.

Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the time prior to vehicle registration to assess the status of their vehicle.  Council noted that it would be prudent to extend the window till after the summer season when it may be more economically feasible to take care of any repairs.  After September 30th 2014 vehicle noise infractions will be issued.

“Most everyone I talk to recognizes the transportation concerns for Avalon, but get overwhelmed with the myriad of solutions that seem unobtainable.  And the hard part is there is not single solution, no one answer.  But if we keep our goal in mind and take it one step at a time I think we have a lot of opportunities to do some pretty amazing things in this community” Monroe observed. 

Questions or comments regarding the vehicle noise ordinance or transportation opportunities in Avalon can be directed to Jordan Monroe, Management Aide, City of Avalon 310-510-0220 ex 231 or