City of Watertown, NY
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Watertown as Ch. 70 of the 1949 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Amusements — See Ch. 78.
Dance halls — See Ch. 128.
Zoning — See Ch. 310.

§ 205-1 General prohibition and definitions.

[Amended 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
A. 
General prohibition. The creation of any unreasonably loud, disturbing noise in the City is prohibited. Noise of such character, intensity or duration as to endanger public comfort, peace or repose or to be detrimental to the life or health of any individual is declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited. Noise of such character, intensity or duration is hereby declared to be a nuisance within the meaning of this section, but such designation shall not be deemed to be exclusive.
B. 
Definitions.
AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE
Every ambulance, police vehicle, fire vehicle and civil defense vehicle when on emergency calls.
DEVICE
Any mechanism which is intended to or which actually produces sound when operated or handled.
EMERGENCY
A public calamity or an exposure of any person or property to imminent danger.
EMERGENCY WARNING DEVICE
Any sound signal device that is designed to be used and is actually used to warn of an emergency.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, firm, organization, government agency, administration or department, or any other group of individuals, or any person or employee thereof.
REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
An imaginary line exterior to any structure, along the ground surface, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, and the vertical extension of such line.
SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICE
A device intended primarily for the production or reproduction of sound including, but not limited to, any musical instrument, radio receiver, tape recorder, cd player, phonograph or sound amplification system.
SOUND SOURCE SITE
Any land under the ownership or control of a person in or upon which one or more sound sources are located. The sound source site includes all individual sound sources that are located on such site, whether stationary, movable or mobile.
UNREASONABLE NOISE
Any excessive or unusually loud sound or any sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensibilities, or which causes injury to animal life or damage to property or business. Standards to be considered in determining whether unnecessary noise exists in a given situation include but are not limited to the following:
(1) 
The intensity of the noise.
(2) 
Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual.
(3) 
Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural.
(4) 
The intensity of the background noise.
(5) 
The proximity of the noise to sleeping facilities.
(6) 
The nature and the zoning district of the area within which the noise emanates.
(7) 
The time of day or night the noise occurs.
(8) 
The duration of the noise.
(9) 
Whether the sound source is temporary.
(10) 
Whether the noise is continuous or intermittent.
(11) 
Whether alternative methods are available to achieve the objectives of the sound-producing activity.

§ 205-2 Bells.

No person shall sound or cause to be sounded any bell, except a church bell, in such manner or with such volume as to disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in the vicinity thereof.

§ 205-3 Whistles.

No person shall blow or cause to be blown any steam whistle, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of danger.

§ 205-4 Amplifiers and loudspeakers.

A. 
No person shall use, operate or maintain, or, being the owner or lessee of any premises, permit the use, maintenance or operation thereon of any radio, phonograph, loudspeaker, amplifier or any like reproducing device in such a manner or with such volume at any time as to annoy the quiet, comfort or repose of travelers upon any street or of persons in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence. No person shall use, operate or maintain any loudspeaker or amplifier on any truck or vehicle, except police and emergency trucks or vehicles.
B. 
The City Manager may grant permission in writing to any person to reasonably broadcast or amplify in or upon the streets of the city, and if and when such permission is granted and broadcasting or amplifying is done pursuant to such permission, the provisions of the foregoing Subsection A shall not apply.

§ 205-5 Truck motors.

[Amended 11-19-1951]
No person shall permit the motor of a tractor or truck to continue operating while such tractor or truck is not in motion and is standing or parked on any public street or in any public place in any residential zone during the hours between 10:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

§ 205-6 Penalties for offenses.

[Added 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986; amended 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250. Each day of continued violation is a separate and distinct offense.

§ 205-7 Noise limits in Thompson Park.

[Added 8-16-1993]
A. 
The creation of any unreasonable, loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise in the area of Thompson Park in the City of Watertown is prohibited.
B. 
This unreasonable, loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise shall be any sound that can be heard from twenty (20) feet away from the source of the noise that is eighty (80) decibels or more and shall be prohibited.
C. 
The source of the sound to be prohibited can either be human, animal, mechanical or electronic in origin.
D. 
The City Council may issue permits for certain events which may generate sounds in excess of the stated level.

§ 205-8 Emergency warning devices.

[Added 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any emergency warning device, except:
A. 
To give notice as a warning of any emergency;
B. 
On an authorized emergency vehicle when such vehicle is engaged in emergency operations provided that such device is not operated to create unnecessary noise or for a period of time longer than is necessary to respond to such emergency;
C. 
When such device is under test.

§ 205-9 Exhausts.

[Added 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall cause or permit the discharge into the open air the exhaust of any device, including but not limited to any steam engine, diesel engine, internal combustion engine or turbine engine, so as to create unreasonable noise.

§ 205-10 Sound reproduction.

[Added 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
No person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:
A. 
In such a manner as to create unreasonable noise plainly audible across a real property boundary, except for activities open to the public and for which a permit has been issued by the Chief of Police or his designee pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated or by license issued by the City Manager.
B. 
In such a manner as to create unreasonable noise that is plainly audible at 50 feet from such device, when operated in or on a motor vehicle on a public highway.
C. 
In such a manner as to create unreasonable noise to any person other than the operator of the device, when operated by any passenger on a common carrier.
D. 
In such a manner as to create unreasonable noise that enters an apartment or dwelling unit that is separate and distinct from the apartment or dwelling unit from which the unreasonable noise originated.

§ 205-11 Squealing tires.

[Added 4-4-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
No person shall operate a motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause unnecessary noise by spinning or squealing the tires of such motor vehicle.