Borough of Paulsboro, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Paulsboro 2-6-1968 by Ord. No. 485; amended in its entirety 10-3-2000 by Ord. No. 0.8.00. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals and shelters — See Ch. 9.
Motorcycles and minibikes — See Ch. 42A.
Peddlers, hawkers and solicitors — See Ch. 47.

§ 43-1 Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the "Noise Control Regulations of the Borough of Paulsboro."

§ 43-2 Findings and policy.

Whereas excessive sound and vibration are a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety and the quality of life; and technology exists by which excessive sound and vibration may be substantially abated; and whereas the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound and vibration that may jeopardize their health or welfare or safety or degrade the quality of life; it is the policy of the Borough to prevent excessive sound and vibration which may jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of its citizens or degrade the quality of life.

§ 43-3 Scope.

This chapter shall apply to the control of all sound and vibration originating within the limits of the Borough.

§ 43-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENT
A duly authorized individual or corporate officer designated by the owner.
COMMERCIAL AREA
A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Any premises, property or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
A. 
Banking and other financial institutions.
B. 
Dining establishments.
C. 
Establishments for providing retail services.
D. 
Establishments for providing wholesale services.
E. 
Establishments for recreation and entertainment.
F. 
Office buildings.
G. 
Transportation.
H. 
Warehouses.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of buildings or structures.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including, but not limited to, repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone, sewer facilities, or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way or abating life-threatening conditions.
INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture or production of durable or nondurable goods.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER
A sound-dissipating device system for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING
Any building wherein there are more than two dwelling units.
NOISE
Any sounds of such level and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, or which would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property throughout the Borough or in any portions thereof, but excludes all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
NOISE CONTROL ADMINISTRATOR
The Borough of Paulsboro Chief of Police, who is designated as the official liaison with all municipal departments, empowered to grant permits for variances.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICERS
Police officers of the Borough and licensed Code Enforcement Officers who are employees of the Borough.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound that:
A. 
Endangers the safety or health of any person; or
B. 
Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
C. 
Endangers personal or real property.
NOISE-FREE ZONE
An area in the Borough of Paulsboro where, because of the history of repeated or continuous noise violations occurring in the area, the Borough Council, by ordinance, adopts a special enforcement area with clearly marked boundaries established by signs, in which the penalties for violations of noise regulations shall be doubled.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint-stock company, the state or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk or alley that is leased, owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Either:
A. 
The imaginary line, including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of real property from another; or
B. 
The vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
A group of residential properties and the abutting public right-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
A. 
Private property used for human habitation.
B. 
Commercial living accommodations and commercial property used for human habitation.
C. 
Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation.
D. 
Community service property used for human habitation.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.

§ 43-5 Enforcement.

A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by any aggrieved citizen, agent or employee of the Borough by the noise control officers.
B. 
The Noise Control Administrator shall have the power to:
(1) 
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable.
(2) 
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of those actions on noise control.
(3) 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this chapter.
(4) 
Grant permits for variances according to the provisions of § 43-10,[1] provided that the variances are consistent with regulations concerning noise control promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:29.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 43-10 was repealed 10-17-2000 by Ord. No. 0.10.00.

§ 43-6 Duties and responsibilities of other departments.

A. 
All departments and agencies of the Borough shall carry out their programs according to law and shall cooperate with the Noise Control Administrator in the implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
All departments charged with new projects or changes to existing projects that may result in the production of noise shall consult with the Noise Control Administrator prior to the approval of such projects to ensure that such activities comply with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 43-7 Prohibited acts.

A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically any noise disturbance. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the enforcement of this section.
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the following acts:
(1) 
Sound reproduction or amplification systems. Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, compact disc player, reel-to-reel tape player, cassette player, loudspeakers, public address system and/or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance at any time for any person other than the operator of the device or that creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line at any time.
(2) 
Animals and birds. Owning, possession or harboring any pet animals or pet bird that frequently or for continued duration makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line. (For the purpose of this section, a noise disturbance from a barking dog occurs continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked.
(3) 
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans, refuse or similar objects, or the pneumatic or pumped loading or unloading of bulk materials in liquid, gaseous, powder or pellet form, or the compacting of refuse by persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
(4) 
Standing motor vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle whose manufacturer's gross weight is in excess of ten thousand pounds, or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period of longer than five minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet (46 meters) of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5 a.m. of the following day.
(5) 
Construction and demolition. Operating or permitting the operating of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating or demolition work between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a legal holiday or a weekend day except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
C. 
No persons shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically, any noise disturbance in a noise-free zone. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the enforcement of this section.

§ 43-8 Noise-free zones.

The Borough Council may from time to time designate well-defined areas within the Borough as noise-free zones. Such designations shall be for limited or indefinite periods of time but shall be based upon findings of chronic noise violations in the area. Such areas shall be clearly marked by appropriate signage.

§ 43-9 Exceptions.

A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency, except as provided in § 43-7B(5) and (6).
(2) 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work.
(3) 
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
B. 
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations, events or emergency work shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

§ 43-10 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 43-10, Conditions for variances; application; fee, was repealed 10-17-2000 by Ord. No. 0.10.00.

§ 43-11 Enforcement.

A. 
Abatement orders. In lieu of issuing a summons as provided, a noise control officer may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period and unless he/she has reason to believe there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
B. 
Violation of any provision of this chapter upon complaint of any individual listed in § 43-5A shall be cause for a summons to be issued.

§ 43-12 Penalties; other remedies.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable, upon conviction, to a fine not to exceed $500 for the first offense and of no less than $250 and no greater than $1000 for each subsequent offense. Each day any such violation continues shall be construed as a separate offense.
B. 
Any person who exercises dominion and/or control over the premises or establishment where sound in violation of this chapter occurs shall be presumed to be a violator of this chapter. Such presumption shall be subject to rebuttal in a court of law.
C. 
Other remedies. No provision of this chapter shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of action, or legal remedy therefrom, of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this chapter or from other law.
D. 
Noise-free zones.
(1) 
Any person who commits any offense defined in this chapter while in an area of the Borough of Paulsboro designated by ordinance of the Borough Council as a noise-free zone, as that term is defined by § 43-4, shall:
(a) 
Be liable upon conviction, to double the penalty stated in § 43-12A; and
(b) 
In addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 25 hours of community service.
(2) 
Each day any such violation continues shall be construed as a separate offense.

§ 43-13 Severability.

Should any section or part of this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the other parts or sections shall be separable and remain in full force and effect.