Town of Tonawanda, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda 4-2-1984 by L.L. No. 6-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Habitual howling, barking or whining by dogs — See Ch. 71.

§ 133-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Noise Local Law of the Town of Tonawanda, New York."

§ 133-2 Purpose.

The Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda has found that excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare and the quality of life. Subject to the provisions of this section, the creation of any unreasonable, loud, disturbing or excessive or unusually loud noise in the Town of Tonawanda, New York, exclusive of the corporate limits of the Village of Kenmore, is hereby prohibited. Noise of such character and intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of the general public is prohibited. Noise which unreasonably interferes with the sleep, comfort and repose of the general public is prohibited.

§ 133-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated. All other terms shall have the meanings normally ascribed to them in regular usage.
AMBIENT NOISE LEVEL
The sound-pressure level of the all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources and/or the A-weighted sound-pressure level exceeded 90% of the time L90 based on a minimum period of 10 minutes.
A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network by a trained operator. The level so read is designated dB(a) or dBA.
DECIBEL (DB)
The practical unit of measurement for sound-pressure level; the number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound [20 micropascals]; abbreviated dB.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which annoys, disturbs or perturbs the general public or any sound which injures or endangers its comfort, repose, health, hearing, peace or safety.
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument for the measurement of sound levels conforming to American National Standards Institute Type I or II Standards.
STATIONARY NOISE SOURCE
Any device, fixed or movable, which is located or used on geographically defined real property other than a public right-of-way.

§ 133-4 General prohibitions.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any excessive or unusually loud noise or to create a noise disturbance within the corporate limits of the Town of Tonawanda, New York.

§ 133-5 Specific prohibitions.

The following acts are declared to be loud, disturbing or excessive noise in violation of this chapter:
A. 
Keeping in any building or upon any premises any animal or bird which, by frequent or long continued noise [continuous for 10 minutes or intermittent for 30 minutes], shall disturb the comfort and repose of the general public.
B. 
The use of any automobile, motorcycle or motor vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in any manner so as to create excessive or unusual grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
C. 
The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle or motor vehicle on any street or public place in the Town of Tonawanda, New York, except as a danger warning as provided in § 375, Subdivision 1, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York; the creation by means of any signaling device of excessive or unusual sound and the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of any horn, whistle, or other device operated by engine exhaust, which results in any excessive or unusual sound.
D. 
The making of any noise for advertising purposes in any street or public place, or by means of aircraft. The advertisement or calling attention to any advertisement, article, business, calling or profession upon any street, sidewalk or entrance to a place of business by means of any horn, megaphone, siren, bell, radio or any other sound-producing or sound-amplifying mechanism, instrument or device.
E. 
The operation in or upon any automobile, truck or other conveyance upon any public street of any horn, megaphone, siren, bell, radio or any other sound-producing or sound-amplifying mechanism, instrument or device. This subsection shall not apply to the use of a horn, bell or signaling device when the same is necessary or required for the protection of persons or property or to any fire or police vehicle or apparatus or licensed ambulance when responding to any call, or to radio sets installed in motor vehicles, nor shall this subsection apply to a duly authorized public parade (parade of public interest, as contrasted with private parades conducted for commercial purposes).
F. 
The operation of any store, stand, office building, cemetery or other place of any horn, megaphone, siren, bell, radio or other sound-producing or sound-amplifying mechanism, instrument or device when the sound thereof is sufficiently audible upon any public street or sidewalk to attract and congregate a crowd thereon or of such character and intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the life or health or unreasonably interfere with the sleep, comfort and repose of the general public in a residential or business district. (This subsection does not apply to industrial manufacturing plants in the regular conduct of their business on their own properties.)
G. 
The operation, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph or similar device which reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a sound level across a real property line, or through partitions common to two or more persons within a building, which exceeds the limits set forth in Table I.[1] (This subsection does not apply to industrial manufacturing plants in the regular conduct of their business on their own properties.)
[1]
Editor's Note: Table I is included in § 133-6.
H. 
The discharge into the open air of the exhaust from any stationary steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine or motorboat engine, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
I. 
Places of public entertainment. Operating or permitting to be operated any loudspeaker or other source of sound in any place of public entertainment which produces maximum levels of 90 dB(A)'s or greater at any point that is normally occupied by a human being, as read with the slow response on a sound-level meter, without a conspicuous and legible sign with lettering no less than one inch high located outside such place, near the entrance, stating: WARNING: SOUND ENVIRONMENT WITHIN MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY HEARING IMPAIRMENT WHICH MAY BECOME PERMANENT WITH CONTINUED EXPOSURE. The sound level across a real property line shall not exceed the limits set forth in Table I.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Table I is included in § 133-6.
J. 
Alarms. The sounding or permitting of the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle, unless such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes of its being activated.
K. 
Stationary emergency signaling devices. Testing of only the electromechanical functioning of a stationary emergency signaling device shall occur at the same time each day when a test is performed, but not before 9:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. Any such testing shall not exceed one minute.
L. 
The use and operation of any sound-reproduction device in a vehicle which would constitute a threat to the safety of pedestrians or vehicle operators or where conditions of overcrowding or street repair or other physical conditions are such that the use of a sound-reproduction device would deprive the public of the right to the safe, comfortable, convenient and peaceful enjoyment of a public street, park or place for public purpose and would constitute a threat to the safety and welfare of the public. Said noise disturbance is deemed to be in violation of this section if it can be heard from a distance of greater than 50 feet.
[Added 3-10-2003 by L.L. No. 1-2003]

§ 133-6 Noise levels by land use.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or permit to be operated any stationary noise source in such a manner as to create a sound pressure level in dB(A)'s which exceeds the limits set forth for the receiving land use category in Table I when measured at the property boundary.
TABLE I: MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE SOUND LEVELS BY RECEIVING LAND USE CATEGORY
Sound Source Land Use Category
Receiving Land Use Category
Time Period
Residential
Commercial
Industrial
Residential
(First, Second and M-F)
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
55
65
75
11:00 p.m.to 7:00 a.m.
50
65
75
Commercial and Industrial
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
65
65
75
11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
50
65
75
B. 
The restrictions set forth in this section shall not apply to alarms as defined in § 133-5J of this chapter.

§ 133-7 Motor vehicles on public rights-of-way.

No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way at any time in such manner that the sound-pressure level emitted by said vehicle exceeds the levels set forth in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

§ 133-8 Enforcement.

A. 
A sound-level meter conforming to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Type II Standards shall be used and shall be calibrated prior to use. The calibrator shall be calibrated at least annually. Qualified personnel (Noise Control Officers) approved by the Town Board shall operate, witness and read the sound-level meter(s) and related equipment. The wind velocity gauge shall conform to accepted standards and shall be checked periodically for accuracy.
B. 
Court appearance tickets shall be issued by a Noise Control Officer who shall be trained in community noise measurement by a certified instructor and confirmed by the Town Board.

§ 133-9 Penalties for offenses.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days for each such violation, or both. Unless otherwise provided, each day a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate violation for purposes of this chapter.

§ 133-10 Repealer.

A. 
Chapter 133, Noise, of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda, New York, effective April 29, 1940, as amended,[1] is hereby repealed and replaced by this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said legislation, which was adopted 4-15-1940 and amended 4-18-1966, was codified 7-15-1974 as Chapter 26 of the 1974 Code of the Town of Tonawanda and also constituted former Chapter 133 of this Code.
B. 
This repeal shall not affect or impair any act done or offense committed or liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred prior to the time such repeal takes effect, but the same may be enforced or prosecuted as fully and to the same extent as if such repeal had not been effected. All actions and proceedings commenced under or by virtue of the ordinance, chapter, repealed hereby and pending immediately prior to the date on which such repeal takes place may be prosecuted and defended to final effect in the same manner as they might if such provisions were not so repealed.