Borough of Highland Park, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Highland Park by Ord. No. 859 (§ 3-2 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 114.
Disorderly conduct — See Ch. 165.

§ 266-1 Definitions and standards.

A. 
Terminology and standards. All terminology used in this chapter not defined below shall be in conformance with the applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
AMBIENT NOISE LEVEL
An average of the sound levels associated with a given environment during a specific time period. As referenced herein, the ambient noise level is defined to be the A-weighted sound level exceeded 90% of the time during a representative fifteen-minute period, if such level is determined. In the absence of such a determination, the ambient is defined to be 40 dBA.
A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
The sound level as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network.
PLAINLY AUDIBLE NOISE
Any noise having a sound greater than 10 dBA with respect to the ambient.[1]
CYCLICALLY VARYING NOISE
Fluctuating or impulsive noise which varies in sound level such that the sound level is repeatedly obtained at reasonably uniform periods of time.
DECIBEL
Logarithmic unit of measure used in describing the amplitude of sound. Decibel is denoted as dB.
DEVICE
Any mechanism which is intended to produce, or which actually produces noise when operated or handled.
EMERGENCY VEHICLE
A motor vehicle used in response to a public calamity or to protect persons or property from imminent danger.
EMERGENCY WORK
Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition; work to restore public utilities; or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger.
FLUCTUATING NOISE
Any noise having a sound level which varies more than six dBA during a one-minute interval and does not equal the previously existing ambient noise level more than once during a one-minute interval.
IMPULSIVE NOISE
A noise characterized by excursions of sound levels whose peak levels exceed the ambient by 10 dBA. The duration of a single impulse is less than one second.
MOTOR VEHICLE
As defined in the motor vehicle code of the state; or any vehicle which is propelled or drawn by mechanical equipment.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which annoys or disturbs reasonable persons with normal sensibilities; or any sound which injures or endangers the health, hearing or safety of others.
PERSON
Any individual, association, partnership or corporation and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, a state or any political subdivision of that state.
PROPERTY BOUNDARY
An imaginary line at the ground surface, and its vertical extension, which separates the property owned by one person from that owned by another person.
REPETITIVE IMPULSIVE NOISE
Any impulsive noise having a sound level which exceeds the ambient by more than 10 dBA more frequently than once per minute.
RMS SOUND PRESSURE
The square root of the time averaged square of the sound pressure, denoted "PRMS."
SOUND
A temporal and spatial oscillation in air pressure.
SOUND LEVEL
The weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency-weighting network, such as A, B, or C, as specified in American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters (ANSI-A1.4-1971, or the latest approved revision thereof). If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument, including weighting networks, for measuring sound levels which conform to applicable specifications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
SOUND PRESSURE
The instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a given point in space.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base of 10 of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure to the reference pressures which shall be 0.0002 microbars.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 266-2 Noise disturbances prohibited.

[Amended 2-7-1989 by Ord. No. 1178]
A. 
No person shall make, continue, or cause to be made or continued, any noise disturbance when such act creates a noise disturbance as defined herein.
B. 
The following acts, and the causing thereof, are declared to be in violation of this chapter:
(1) 
Horns and signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any motor vehicle except as a danger warning signal, except for wedding processions or as provided in the Vehicle Code of the State of New Jersey.
(2) 
Radios, television sets and similar devices. Operating or permitting the use or operation of any radio, musical instrument, television, phonograph, percussion instruments or other device for the production or reproduction of sound, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and the following 8:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible across property boundaries or through partitions common to two parties within a building or plainly audible at 50 feet from such device.
(3) 
Loudspeakers. Using or operating any loudspeaker exterior to any building or powered vehicle such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible at or beyond the property boundary of the source, or on a public way between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and the following 8:00 a.m.
(4) 
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird which frequently or for continued duration, howls, barks, meows, squawks, or makes other sounds which create a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and the following 8:00 a.m.
(5) 
Street sales. Offering for sale or selling anything by shouting outcry, or audible signaling devices within any residential or commercial area of the Borough between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and the following 8:00 a.m.
(6) 
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, garbage cans or similar objects between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone.
(7) 
Construction noise. Operating or causing to be operated any equipment, other than hand tools or lawn or garden equipment, for commercial construction, repair, alteration or demolition work on buildings, structures, streets, alleys or appurtenances thereto, in residential or commercial land uses, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and between 7:00 p.m. Saturday night and 8:00 a.m. Monday morning and on legal holidays except by permit.
(8) 
Refuse collection. The collecting, transporting or disposing of garbage, trash, cans, bottles, and other refuse by persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, in a residential or commercial land area, or in that portion of an industrial area within 100 feet of a residential zone, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and between 7:00 p.m. Saturday night and 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, and on legal holidays except by permit.
(9) 
Noise-sensitive zone. Creating any noise disturbance within the quiet zone of any school, place of worship, library, hospital, nursing home, or other designated areas where exceptional quiet is necessary while the same are in use, providing conspicuous signs are displayed in adjacent or contiguous streets, indicating that the same is a quiet zone. The quiet zone areas will be delineated by resolution of the Borough Council and appropriate signs erected indicating same. Exception to this provision will be made only by permit.
(10) 
Domestic power tools. Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered or electrically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool, or similar devices outdoors in residential areas between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
(11) 
Miscellaneous night noises. The warming up or idling of buses, trucks, or tractors, and the unnecessary and repeated idling, acceleration and deceleration, or starting and stopping of motorcycles, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. when such noise is plainly audible across property boundaries or at 50 feet from the motor vehicle when operated or parked on a public right-of-way or on a public space.
(12) 
Vehicle or motorboat repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, motorcycle, or motorboat in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone between 10:00 p.m. and the following 8:00 a.m.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall prevent the operation of domestic power tools including lawn mowers and snowblowers between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. any day of the week.

§ 266-3 Maximum permissible sound levels by receiving land use.

No person shall operate or cause to be operated on private property any source of sound in such a manner as to create a sound level which exceeds the limits set forth for the receiving land use category in Table 1 when measured at or within the property of the receiving land use.
Table 1. Sound Levels for Receiving Land Use
Receiving Land Use Category
Time
Sound Level Limit
(dBA)
Residential
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
65
10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.
50
Commercial
At all times
65
Industrial
At all times
75

§ 266-4 Correction for character of noise.

A. 
The limits set forth above refer to steady noise; however, in the event the noise is cyclically varying or is repetitive and impulsive in character, the above limits shall be reduced by five dBA.
B. 
Notwithstanding compliance with Subsection A of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate, or permit to be operated, any stationary source of noise which emits a cyclically varying or repetitive and impulsive noise which creates a noise disturbance.

§ 266-5 Motor vehicle maximum sound levels.

[Amended by Ord. No. 1618]
For the purpose of this section, "motor vehicles" shall include recreational motorized vehicles whether or not duly licensed and registered including but not limited to commercial or noncommercial racing vehicles, motorcycles, go-carts, automobiles, mopeds, campers and dune buggies.
A. 
Motor vehicles and motorcycles on public rights-of-way. No person shall operate or cause to be operated a public or private motor vehicle on a public right-of-way at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle exceeds the level set forth in Table 2.
Table 2. Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Sound Limits
(measured at 50 feet or 15 meters)
Sound Level in dBA
Vehicle Class
Speed Limit 35 mph or Less
Time
Speed Limit 35 mph or More
Interstate motor carrier
86
At all times
90
All other motor vehicles with a manufacturers gross vehicle rating of 10,000 pounds or more, and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle
86
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays
87
75
At all other times
76
Motorcycles and any other motor vehicle and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle
75
At all other times
75
B. 
Measurement distance. For the purpose of this section, the standard measurement of height shall be four feet or 1.2 meters and the standard horizontal measurement distance from the center line of the traffic lane being monitored shall be 50 feet or 15 meters. Whenever it is not feasible to use 50 feet, the distance may be shortened to 25 feet or 7.5 meters, in which case the values in Table 2 shall be increased by six dBA.
C. 
Maximum permissible noise levels for motor vehicles and motorcycles operating off public rights-of-way. No person shall operate a motor vehicle off a public-right-of-way in such a manner that the sound level emitted therefrom exceeds 75 dBA when measured at the standard horizontal measurement distance of 50 or 15 meters from the motor vehicle and the standard measurement height of four feet or 1.2 meters.
D. 
Idling of vehicles; restrictions; exceptions.
(1) 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the motor of a diesel-powered or gasoline-powered vehicle to be in operation for more than three consecutive minutes if the vehicle is not in motion, except where the ambient temperature is 32° F. or less, then the permitted period for idling shall be five consecutive minutes.
(2) 
The provisions of Subsection D(1) shall not apply to:
(a) 
Buses discharging or picking up passengers.
(b) 
Vehicles stopped in a line of traffic.
(c) 
Electric motor vehicles.
(d) 
Noncommercial vehicles.
(e) 
Emergency or construction vehicles in performance of their prescribed function.
(f) 
Vehicles whose primary and/or secondary power source is utilized in whole or in part for necessary and definitively prescribed mechanical operation other than propulsion.
(g) 
Vehicles being repaired.

§ 266-6 Exceptions and permits.

A. 
Noise caused in the performance of emergency work required to be done under urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety shall be excepted from the provisions of this chapter as shall be the removal of snow or ice or the use of emergency signaling or testing devices by authorized governmental and quasi-governmental agencies.
B. 
Further exceptions to this chapter may be granted by the governmental authority authorized to grant permits for such activities as band concerts, parades, block parties, fairs, flea markets, charitable solicitation, use of public parks and playgrounds as set forth in the permit, resolution, or ordinance governing such activities.
C. 
Within the Central Business District Zone (CBD) as shown on the Borough of Highland Park Zoning Map as adopted by § 230-124 of the Code, outdoor music amplification, musical instruments and sound amplifying machines and devices creating a sound plainly audible at or beyond the property boundaries of businesses within the CBD or onto a public way shall be permitted Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and the night before a federal holiday up to and until 1:00 a.m.
[Added 10-18-2011 by Ord. No. 11-1824]

§ 266-7 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 2-7-1989 by Ord. No. 1178]
A. 
Any person other than a governmental agency who shall be found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter shall, for the first or second offense, be fined in the sum of not more than $200. Every day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Exception. Any person who shall be found guilty of more than two violations of any provision of this chapter within a month period, shall, for each such offense over two, be subject to a maximum penalty as established by Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, General Penalty.

§ 266-8 Additional remedy; injunction.

The operation or maintenance of any noise source in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

§ 266-9 Enforcement.

The Police Department, the Construction Official, a Health Officer shall have the power to enforce or bring complaints under this chapter.