Borough of Rutherford, NJ
Bergen County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough of Rutherford Council 8-7-1984 by Ord. No. 2376-84. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm equipment installation — See Ch. 6.
Noise from outdoor cafes — See Ch. 65, § 65-15E.
Conduct at playgrounds and recreation areas — See Ch. 73.

§ 63-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance of the Borough of Rutherford."

§ 63-2 Findings and purpose.

It is hereby found and declared that it is the public policy of the Borough of Rutherford to significantly reduce the ambient noise level in Rutherford, so as to foster and protect the public health, comfort, safety and welfare of its citizenry. As a matter of legislative determination and public policy, the provisions, regulations and prohibitions of this chapter are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the comfort, peace and quiet to which the residents of Rutherford are entitled.

§ 63-3 Definitions and standards.

As used in this chapter, all acoustical words and terms shall have the meanings set forth in the publication of the American National Standards Institute, New York, New York, entitled "Acoustical Terminology," USASI SI.I-1960; all equipment used in making acoustical measurements shall meet or exceed the requirements set forth in the publication of said Institute entitled "Specification for General Purpose Sound Level Meters," USASI SI.4-1961; and all such measurements so made shall be made in full accordance with the methods and procedures set forth in USASI SI.2-1962 entitled "Methods for the Physical Measurement of Sound."

§ 63-4 General prohibition.

No person or persons, association, firm or corporation shall make, continue or cause to permit to be made or continued any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise.

§ 63-5 General standards.

Any act in violation of the provisions of this section of this chapter is deemed to be in violation of § 63-4 of this chapter, without in any way limiting the generality of the provisions of said § 63-4.
A. 
No person shall cause to be made, directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever, except vehicles, whether mechanical or not, any sound that either:
(1) 
Exceeds the following measurements on the A-weighting scale of sound level meter, when measured at any point on the property of any other person:
(a) 
Sixty-five decibels [dB(A)'s] between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
(b) 
Fifty-five decibels [dB(A)'s] between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
(2) 
Exceeds the following measurements on the A-weighting scale of the sound level meter, when measured from the center of a room belonging to or leased to any person other than the person responsible for the making of the noise:
(a) 
Fifty decibels [dB(A)'s] between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
(b) 
Forty decibels [dB(A)'s] between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
B. 
A noise measured or registered from a vehicle within borough limits at a distance of at least 25 feet from the noise source shall not exceed 88 decibels [dB(A)'s] on the A-weighting scale. Interstate carriers shall be excepted from this subsection until such time that the federal government establishes controlling noise levels for these vehicles.

§ 63-6 Specific prohibitions.

A. 
Unless exempted under the provisions of this chapter, no person shall cause to be made, directly or indirectly, any loud noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the health, comfort, safety or welfare of others within the Borough of Rutherford.
B. 
The following specific acts are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
(1) 
The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, truck or other vehicle on any street, road or public place (except as a warning pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:3-69), or whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
(2) 
The use of radio or television receiving sets, musical instruments, phonographs or any other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or, at any time, with volume louder than is necessary for convenient hearing of the person or persons who are in the room or vehicle in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located or, in the case of such instruments operated in the open, at a distance of 50 feet from the instrument, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
(3) 
The use of any radio, receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purposes of commercial advertising.
(4) 
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of persons residing in the vicinity.
(5) 
The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any internal-combustion engine, except through an adequate muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom. (See N.J.S.A. 39:3-70 for state law regarding muffler requirements on motor vehicles.) This includes, by way of example and not by way of limitation, internal combustion engines powering motor vehicles.
(6) 
The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with loading and unloading any vehicle or the opening or destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
(7) 
The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for a period of three days or less while the emergency continues.
(8) 
The use of any blower, fan or pump engine or motor in connection therewith, including, by way of example and not by way of limitation, air-conditioning systems, compression devices and pool filter systems, if such use creates loud, penetrating or continuous noises that disturb the comfort or repose of persons residing in the vicinity.
(9) 
The creation of any excessive noise adjacent to any school, institution of learning, house of worship or judicial court, while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed on the adjacent streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, church or court street.
(10) 
The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors in and among the public streets.
(11) 
The use of any drum, bell, horn, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale, or display of merchandise by any creation of noise or sound.
(12) 
The use of mechanical loudspeakers or amplifiers on vehicles or aircraft.
(13) 
Lawn mowers and chain saws, powered by internal-combustion engines, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
(14) 
The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building by commercial contractors on Sunday, except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector.
[Added 2-5-1985 by Ord. No. 2397-85]
C. 
If any person who is not exempted under the provisions of this chapter shall cause to be made any of the noises prohibited under this section and if said noises shall be proved to be in violation of the sound levels prescribed under Subsection A above, said proof shall be sufficient to prove a violation under this section.

§ 63-7 Exceptions.

The prohibitions contained in this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Persons who are engaged in the performance of any public or governmental function such as the sounding of a church or school bell or a police, fire, ambulance, air raid or like disaster warning, alert or alarm, whether such alarm is for an actual emergency purpose or for practice or drilling purposes.
B. 
Military or civic parades, celebrations or other public gatherings for which a permit has been issued by the Mayor and Council.
C. 
Persons who are engaged in any activity specifically permitted or required by any ordinance, resolution, statute or governmental regulations.
D. 
Persons employed by public utility companies engaged in emergency repair services between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; provided, however, that such noise shall not exceed levels reasonably necessary to accomplish such work.

§ 63-8 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter shall be severable, and if any of the provisions hereof shall be held to be unconstitutional, the decision of the court respecting such provision or provisions shall not affect the validity of any other provisions which can be given effect without such invalid provision or provisions.

§ 63-9 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-1-1992 by Ord. No. 2665-92]
Any person or persons, association, firm or corporation violating any of the terms or provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be liable to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding 30 days, or both.

§ 63-10 When effective.

This chapter shall take effect immediately upon publication according to law.