[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Macedon 3-23-2000 by L.L. No. 3-2000. (This local law repealed former Ch. 80, Noise, adopted 1-9-1992 by L.L. No. 1-1992, as amended.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
Excessive sound and noise is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life. It is the declared policy of the Town Board of the Town of Macedon to promote and assure an environment free from noise that threatens or affects the well-being of the people; to protect, promote and preserve public health, safety and welfare by reducing and regulating noise levels; to promote the use and enjoyment of property; to protect the value of property; to protect the enjoyment of sleep and repose; and to protect and improve the quality of life.
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound and noise may be substantially abated. Persons in the Town of Macedon have a right to and should be assured of an environment free from excessive sound and noise.
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound or noise originating from stationary and certain mobile sources within the limits of the Town of Macedon.
All terminology defined herein which relates to the nature of sound and the mechanical detection and recordation of sound, where applicable, shall conform to the terminology of the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.
Unless otherwise stated, the meanings of terms used in this chapter shall be as stated below:
- AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
- Those activities lawfully conducted for the production of crops, livestock and livestock products as defined in § 301 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York. This includes all activities, mechanical or otherwise, performed in cultivating the soil; harvesting, handling, planting, drying, packing, grading and storing of crops. This term shall be broadly construed, but not to include activities conducted in connection with commercial processing of crops produced on land other than where such activities are conducted.
- AMBIENT NOISE
- The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, usually being a composite of sounds from many sources, near and far.
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The sound-pressure level (in decibels) as measured on a sound-level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated "dBA."
- Any activity necessary or incidental to the assembling, erection, demolition, altering, installing or equipping of buildings, public or private highways, roads, premises, parks, utility lines or other property, including but not limited to related activities such as land clearing, grading, earthmoving, excavating, blasting, filling and landscaping.
- CONSTRUCTION DEVICE
- Any powered device or equipment designed and intended for use in construction. Examples are air compressors, bulldozers, backhoes, trucks, shovels, derricks and cranes.
- CONSTRUCTION SITE
- Any location, including land and water, where construction takes place.
- CONTINUOUS SOUND
- Any sound that is not an impulse sound.
- The A-weighted sound level (in decibels) as measured by a general purpose sound meter complying with the provision of the American National Standards Institute specifications for sound-level meters, properly calibrated and operated on the A-weighting network.
- A unit for measuring the relative loudness of sounds, equal approximately to the smallest degree of difference of loudness ordinarily detectable by the human ear, whose range is about 130 decibels on a scale beginning with 1 for the faintest audible sound.
- Any machine, mechanism or equipment which is intended to or which actually produces sound or vibration.
- (1) The operation or parking of an authorized emergency vehicle, when such vehicle is engaged in transporting a sick or injured person, responding to, working or assisting at the scene of an accident, disaster, public call, alarm, fire or any other emergency.
- (2) The work or activity that is necessary to prevent or recover from an emergency, including but not limited to the repair of utility services.
- EXHAUST SYSTEM
- A system which removes and transports air or gas from a device.
- The number of sound waves (oscillations or cycles) per second produced by a sound source, expressed in multiples of hertz (Hz).
- HOMEOWNERS' LIGHT RESIDENTIAL OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT
- All engine- or motor-powered garden or maintenance tools intended for repetitive use in residential areas, capable of being used by a homeowner. Some examples are lawn mowers, garden tools, riding tractors, etc.
- IMPULSE SOUND
- A sound of short duration (typically less than a second) and of high intensity, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Examples include an explosion or discharge of a firearm.
- Widely interpreted as any natural person, firm, corporation, political subdivision, government agency, association, club partnership, society or any other form of organization whatsoever.
- PUBLIC HIGHWAY
- Any highway, road, street, avenue, public place, public driveway or other public way.
- RECREATIONAL MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, that is designed for or capable of cross-country travel, such as a snowmobile, motorcycle, trail bike or minibike. Lawn mowers, power garden vehicles and other similar utilitarian domestic vehicles are specifically excluded.
- The mechanical radiant energy that is transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves in air or other material medium and is the objective cause of hearing.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The level measured with a general purpose sound meter. For purposes of enforcing and interpreting the provisions of this chapter, the A-weighted slow response shall apply.
- SOUND METER or SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of sound levels (American National Standards Institute terminology).
- SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICE
- Any device that is designed to be used or is actually used for the production or reproduction of sound, including but not limited to any musical instrument, radio, television, tape recorder, phonograph or any other sound amplifying equipment.
- SOUND SOURCE
- Any activity or device that produces sound.
- UNREASONABLE NOISE
- Any excessive or unusually loud sound or any sound, whether made verbally or mechanically, which creates inconvenience, annoyance, alarm, disturbance or offense or recklessly creates a risk of the foregoing. The determination of whether a particular noise is "unreasonable" shall consider criteria including these:
- (1) The volume of the noise.
- (2) The intensity of the noise.
- (3) The duration of the noise.
- (4) Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual in the context of ordinary human experience.
- (5) Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural in the context of ordinary human experience.
- (6) The volume and intensity of the ambient noise, if any.
- (7) The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities.
- (8) The nature of the zoning district from within which the noise emanates.
- (9) The time of the day or night the noise occurs.
- (10) Whether the noise is temporary.
- (11) Whether the noise is made up of continuous or impulse sounds.
The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter:
Sound reproduction devices.
No person shall operate, use or cause or permit to be operated a sound reproduction device that produces unreasonable noise.
Advertising and commerce. No person shall operate, or cause or permit to be operated, any sound reproduction device for advertising or commercial purposes, or for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show, sale or display of merchandise in connection with any commercial operation. This prohibition applies to any location on the ground or water or in the air where the resulting sound may be heard upon any public street, park or place.
No person shall operate, use or cause or permit to be operated or used any sound reproduction device in any public place in such a manner that the emanating sound creates unreasonable noise across a real property boundary, subject to the following exceptions:
Bell, chimes or carillons. Nothing herein contained shall preclude or prohibit the use of loudspeakers or other sound amplifying devices to broadcast the sound of bells, chimes or carillons (or replicas thereof) by a church or other house of worship.
Religious and seasonal music. Nothing herein contained shall preclude or prohibit, in nonresidential zoned districts of the Town of Macedon the use of loudspeakers solely to broadcast religious or seasonal music between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. prevailing time.
Sound signal devices. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any sound signal device, including but not limited to any klaxon, horn, whistle, bell, gong, drum or siren, so as to create unreasonable noise except when and where authorized by New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Motorboats. No person shall operate or cause or permit to be operated any engine powered motorboat in any channel, harbor, canal or other waterway within the jurisdictional limits of the Town of Macedon at any time, at any speed or under any condition of load, acceleration or deceleration or in any manner whatsoever so as to exceed a sound level of 80 dBA for a period of more than one minute when measured at any shoreline within the town. Exception: This provision shall not apply to the use of a horn or whistle or other signal when the same is used for the purpose of signaling another vessel or for the purpose of warning another vessel of the presence of the vessel emitting the signal or warning.
Shouting. No person shall shout, yell, call, hoot, whistle or sing on public streets or in public places in such a manner as to create unreasonable noise.
Containers and construction material. No person shall load, unload, handle, transport, open, close or destroy any containers or construction material in such a manner as to create unreasonable noise.
Squealing tires. No person shall operate a vehicle in such a manner as to cause unreasonable noise by spinning or squealing the tires of such vehicle.
Exhausts. No person shall cause or permit the discharge into the open air of 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.
Homeowner's light residential outdoor equipment. No person shall operate or cause or permit to be operated any powered tool or equipment, including but not limited to saws, sanders, drills, grinders, lawn or garden tools, mowers, tractors, leaf blowers or gatherers or similar devices, when used outdoors in a residentially zoned district between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., prevailing time, of the following day. Between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., prevailing time, no person shall operate, cause or permit to be operated any of the aforementioned tools or equipment in such a way as to create unreasonable noise across a real property line of a residential property. For purposes of enforcement of this subsection, "unreasonable noise" means a sound level in excess of 85 dBA measured at said real property line.
Vehicle repairs and testing. No person shall cause or permit the repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorboat in such a manner as to cause unreasonable noise across a residential real property boundary. For purposes of the enforcement of this subsection, "unreasonable noise" means a sound level in excess of 65 dBA when measured at the real property line.
The measurement of any sound shall be made with a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The measurement shall be conducted at the property line on which such noise is generated or perceived or at the boundary line of the receiving property.
For purposes of enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, and pursuant to New York State law, an enforcement official shall have the right, without being liable for trespass, to go onto the real property of the person alleged to be in violation for the limited purpose of obtaining accurate sound level readings.
No person shall operate or cause or permit to be operated a place of public assembly, including but not limited to a restaurant, bar or cafe, in which the sound level exceeds:
Except as may otherwise be authorized or limited by the provisions of this chapter:
During the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., prevailing time, no person shall generate any sound in excess of 65 dBA across a residential real property boundary or within any residential zoned district.
During the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. of the following day, no person shall generate any sound in excess of 55 dBA across a residential real property boundary or within any residential zoned district.
Residential and noise-sensitive areas. Continuous sound in air which enters property zoned for any residential use, or property within a noise sensitive zone, shall not exceed the levels put forth in § 80-6.
Nonresidential and public areas. Continuous sound in air which enters property zoned for nonresidential use, or property where the public in general congregates, shall not exceed a sound level of 65 dBA.
No person shall conduct, cause or permit to be conducted construction activities in a manner so as to produce a sound level exceeding the limitations of this section.
During the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., prevailing time, noise levels from a construction site shall not exceed 80 dBA when measured at a distance of 400 feet from the construction site.
During the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the following day, noise levels shall not exceed 70 dBA when measured at a distance of 400 feet from the construction site.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the use or occupancy of any lot or structure thereon and to noise produced thereby, with the following exceptions:
Routine municipal highway, water and sewer operations.
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency and the passage of vehicles for that purpose.
The emission of sound in the performance of an emergency operation.
Public celebrations of municipal corporations.
The activities of public schools and parochial schools operated by nonprofit corporations under the education laws of the State of New York as they apply to schools.
Snow removal equipment (snow blowers, snow plows, etc.) when used in their usual and customary manner.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced in the same manner as provided for in the Code of the Town of Macedon, Chapter 135, §§ 135-200 and 135-201. Any act in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed in violation of the aforementioned chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit the prosecution and conviction of a person on two or more charges that may constitute violations of different sections of this chapter arising out of a single act, occasion or set of circumstances.