Mowing the lawn is a chore that some of us like to do at the start of the day, or at the end — when it’s cool.
But when the days get long, and the sun is fading on the horizon at 9:30 p.m., that can mean some late-night mowing.
So how late is too late to mow?
Some municipalities set very specific guidelines. For example, Fairfax County, Virginia, residents are prohibited from operating power lawn equipment between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. if they’re within 100 yards of a neighbor dwelling.
In New York City, lawn care equipment may be used on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. (or sunset, whichever is later). On weekends, the mowing window is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or sunset, whichever is later).
Oklahoma City’s noise ordinance prohibits sound that “annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.” In 2011, a man who mowed his lawn at 4:30 a.m. was arrested for violating the ordinance, The Oklahoman reported.
Boise’s municipal code doesn’t address mowing noise so there isn’t any time of day when it’s prohibited. The city’s noise ordinance is based on amplified sound only, said Mike Journee, a spokeman for the city.
However, if your neighbors complain to police about mowing noise, you could be cited for disturbing the peace.
“We would suggest getting to know your neighbors and getting a sense of when it is too late for them,” Boise Police spokeswoman Haley Williams said.
A Boise man who did not have that conversation ended up getting a visit from police a few weeks ago, according to a KIVI-Channel 6 report.
So how often do people report their neighbors for mowing? Rarely.
Since the start of April, there’s been just one complaint for lawn mowing — that was at 9:09 p.m., Williams said. No noise citations have been issued during that time.