Borough of Westville, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westville 3-12-1985 (Ch. 74 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Barking of dogs — See Ch. 91, Art. I.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 250.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 400.
237a Table I 237b Table II 237c Table III

§ 237-1 Title.

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

§ 237-2 Findings; applicability.

A. 
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Westville find that excessive sound is a serious hazard to the health, safety, general welfare and the quality of the life of the citizens of Westville. Since a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated, and the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound, it is the policy of the Borough of Westville to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
B. 
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from stationary and mobile sources within the limits of the Borough of Westville.

§ 237-3 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
COMMERCIAL AREA
A group of commercial properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Any facility or property used for activities involving the furnishing or handling of goods or services, including but not limited to:
A. 
Commercial dining.
B. 
Off-road vehicle operations, such as repair, maintenance and terminaling.
C. 
Retail services.
D. 
Wholesale services.
E. 
Banking and office activities.
F. 
Recreation and entertainment.
G. 
Other commercial activities.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
dBA
The abbreviation designating both the unit of measured sound level (the decibel) and the mode of measurement that uses the A-weighting of a sound-level meter.
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). It is abbreviated "dB."
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 and public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way or abating life-threatening situations.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
The value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of a single motor vehicle. In cases where trailers and tractors are separable, the gross combination weight rating (GCWR), which is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of the combination vehicle, shall be used.
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
Any facility or property used for activities involving the production, fabrication, packaging, storage, warehousing, shipping or distributing of goods.
MOTOR CARRIER VEHICLE ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE
Any vehicle for which regulations apply pursuant to Section 18 of the Federal Noise Control Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-574), as amended, pertaining to motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce.
MOTORCYCLE
An unenclosed motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and two or three wheels in contact with the ground, including but not limited to motor scooters, mopeds and minibikes.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER
A sound-dissipative device or system for abating sound of escaping gases of an internal-combustion engine.
MULTIDWELLING UNIT
Any building wherein there are two or more 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.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An officially designated member or members of the Borough of Westville Police Department (Police Department), trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue summonses for violations of this chapter.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound that endangers the safety or health of any person or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or endangers personal or real property.
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 or similar place that is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Either the imaginary line, including its planar extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multidwelling-unit building.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
A group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property used for human habitation.
SOUND LEVEL
The sound-pressure level measured in decibels with a sound-level meter set for A-weighting; sound level is expressed in dBA.
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument for the measurement of sound levels as specified in N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.1 et seq., which provisions are incorporated herein by reference.
[1]
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, which is not a legal holiday.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 237-4 Administration; powers and duties of noise control officers.

A. 
The noise control program established by this chapter shall be administered by the Police Department.
B. 
The Police Department shall be empowered to stop any motor vehicle or motorcycle operated on a public right-of-way, public space or private property suspected of violating any provision of this chapter.
C. 
The noise control officer must be qualified according to N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.11.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Noise measurements made by noise control officers must be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.1 et seq., which provisions are incorporated herein by reference.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
Noise control officers shall not use this chapter in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.

§ 237-5 Maximum permissible sound level.

A. 
Stationary sources.
(1) 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property or any public space or right-of-way in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound-level limits as contained in Title 7, Chapter 29, of the New Jersey Administrative Code, which provisions are incorporated herein by reference, and when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property, except as provided in Subsection A(3) herein.
(2) 
When measuring noise within a dwelling unit of a multidwelling-unit building, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed, and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
(3) 
Exemptions. The following are exempt from the sound-level limits of Title 7, Chapter 29, of the New Jersey Administrative Code:
(a) 
Noise from domestic power tools, lawn mowers and agricultural equipment, when operated with a functioning muffler, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided that they produce less than 85 dBA at or within any real property line of a residential property.
(b) 
Sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service.
(c) 
Noise from construction activity, provided that all motorized equipment used in such activity is equipped with functioning mufflers, except as provided in § 237-6B(6) herein.
(d) 
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows, when operated with a muffler, for the purpose of snow removal.
(e) 
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that conform to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29-13, which provisions are incorporated herein by reference.
(f) 
Noise from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after it has been activated.
(g) 
Assigned activity of municipal employees performing employment tasks of approved municipal public events.
B. 
Mobile sources.
(1) 
Motor vehicles and motorcycles on public rights-of-way. No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of a public or private motor vehicle or motorcycle 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 I.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Table I is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Adequate mufflers.
(a) 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with the original muffler or equivalent replacement in good working order and in constant operation.
(b) 
No person shall remove or render inoperative or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.
(3) 
Motor vehicle horns and signaling devices. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter:
(a) 
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device that produces a sound level in excess of 100 dBA at 25 feet (7.5 meters).
(4) 
Standing motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle for a period longer than three minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary.

§ 237-6 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 operation of this section.
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the following acts:
(1) 
Sound reproduction systems: operation, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance for any person other than the operator of the device.
(2) 
Loudspeakers/public-address systems: using or operating of any loudspeaker, public-address system or similar device other than as permitted by the ordinances of the Borough of Westville.
(3) 
Animals and birds: owning, possessing or harboring any pet animal 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" shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes, unless provoked.
(4) 
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 compacting of refuse:
(a) 
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to exceed any applicable limit set forth in Title 7, Chapter 29, of the New Jersey Administrative Code across a residential property line.
(b) 
By persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day, except by permit.
(5) 
Motor vehicle repairs and testing: repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle or motorboat in such a manner as to exceed any applicable limit in Title 7, Chapter 29, of the New Jersey Administrative Code across a residential real property line.
(6) 
Construction and demolition: operation or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating or demolition work between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays or at any time on weekends or legal holidays, except for emergency work or by special variance issued pursuant to § 237-7 of this chapter, provided that such equipment is equipped with a proper muffler.
(7) 
Air conditioning, air-handling devices and wind-energy conversion systems: the operation of air conditioning, air-handling devices, including heat pumps, or wind-energy conversion systems that produce a sound level greater than 55 dBA at a real property line of a residential property, except when said operation produces less than an increase of five dBA in the sound level that exists in the absence of such sound.

§ 237-7 Variance procedures.

A. 
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the noise control officer of the Borough of Westville through the Borough Clerk/Administrator for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter. Applications for a permit of variance shall supply information, including but not limited to:
(1) 
The nature and location of the noise source for which such application is made.
(2) 
The reason for which the permit of variance is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant, his/her client or the public if the permit of variance is not granted.
(3) 
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance.
(4) 
The section or sections of this chapter for which the permit of variance shall apply.
(5) 
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom.
(6) 
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance with this chapter within a reasonable time.
B. 
A copy of the permit of variance must be kept on file by the Borough Clerk/Administrator for public inspection.
C. 
Failure to supply to the noise control officer the information required hereby shall be cause for rejection of the application.
D. 
The Borough Clerk/Administrator shall charge the applicant a fee of $10 to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit of variance application.
E. 
The noise control officer may impose such terms and conditions as he/she deems necessary and grant such variances for the protection of the health, welfare and environment of the public. No permit shall be issued for longer than one year.
F. 
Appeal from a denial of a variance by the noise control officer may be filed with the Borough Council within 10 days of such denial.

§ 237-8 Enforcement; violations and penalties; other remedies.

A. 
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the noise control officer or, in the case of prohibited acts specified in § 237-6, by any member of the Borough of Westville Police Department.
B. 
Abatement orders.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2) hereof, the 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 according to guidelines which the noise control officer may prescribe.
(2) 
An abatement order shall not be issued for any violation covered by § 237-8C(2) of the within chapter or when the noise control officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
C. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in Chapter 1, Article I, § 1-15, General penalty, for each offense, except as provided in Subsection C(2) herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.
D. 
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.