Town of Greenburgh, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh 10-25-1995 by L.L. No. 14-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building, fire and plumbing — See Ch. 100.
Explosives and blasting — See Ch. 140.
Contractors — See Ch. 150.
Excavations and soil removal — See Ch. 210.
Zoning — See Ch. 285.
Alarm systems — See Ch. 300.
Alcohol control — See Ch. 305.
Animal control — See Ch. 310
Cabaret law — See Ch. 330.

§ 380-1 Legislative intent.

To preserve and protect public order, the Town hereby declares its intent to regulate noise and prevent unnecessarily loud noise. The Town seeks to prevent excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise that is unreasonably intrusive and which may jeopardize the well-being, public health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare of its residents as well as disrupt the public peace and quiet. The provisions and prohibitions contained herein shall not be utilized or construed so as to deny or limit any right or privilege granted and recognized by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

§ 380-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AMBIENT NOISE
The surrounding background noise generally associated with a particular environment; the cumulative combination of disparate sounds from more than one source.
COMMERCIAL PURPOSE
The use, operation, generation or maintenance of sound for the purpose of advertising or promoting business, goods or services or soliciting or attracting public attention to goods or services for sale, lease or rental.
DECIBEL (dB)
A unit of energy/pressure used to represent the amplitude or volume of sound waves. A decibel is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the measured sound-pressure level to the reference sound pressure of 20 micropascals per square meter.
DECIBEL, A-WEIGHTED
An electronic function of a sound-level meter that seeks to modify the sound-pressure response of the sound-level meter, over the range of perceptible frequencies, to approximate that of the human ear. A noise volume measured by a sound-level meter using the A-weighted filter is represented by the notation "dBA."
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work necessary to maintain public health, safety or welfare following an emergency or public calamity or any work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger. Emergency work includes, but is not limited to, snow removal, restoration of public utilities and maintenance of public rights-of-way.
FREQUENCY
The number of times that a noise wave oscillation takes to pass a single point. Units of noise frequency are represented by cycles per second, commonly referred to as "hertz" (Hz).
HOLIDAYS
New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
MOTOR VEHICLE
All vehicles subject to regulation by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The term "motor vehicle," as used in this chapter, includes mopeds, minibikes and go-carts.
NOISE
The unwanted, unwelcome and unnecessary sound produced, intentionally or unintentionally, by any act or in the course of any activity.
NONCOMMERCIAL PURPOSE
The use, operation, generation or maintenance of sound for any purpose, other than a commercial purpose. "Noncommercial purpose" includes, but is not to be limited to, philanthropic, political, patriotic and charitable purposes.
SOUND
Any pressure variation in air perceptible to the human ear.
SOUND-AMPLIFYING EQUIPMENT
Any machine or device used for the amplification of sound. "Sound-amplifying equipment," as used in this chapter, shall not include any warning device, siren, horn or whistle used by emergency vehicles or by any governmental agency to alert the public to an emergency or warn of a dangerous condition.
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument for the measurement of sound conforming to Type 1 or Type 2 ANSI standard under Specification S1.4-1971, or the latest approved revision thereof.
SOUND TRUCK
Any motor vehicle, regardless of method of power, whether in motion or stationary, which has sound-amplifying equipment.
TOWN
The Town of Greenburgh.
UNREASONABLY INTRUSIVE NOISE
Any sound which would annoy, disturb or irritate a reasonable person of normal sensitivities under the same circumstances.

§ 380-3 Exceptions.

The following sounds and noises are deemed beyond the scope and intent of the Town to regulate and are not subject to this chapter:
A. 
Any sound intended to warn the public or indicate the existence of an emergency condition, including any warning device, siren, horn or whistle used by emergency vehicles or by any governmental agency to alert the public to an emergency or warn of a dangerous condition. This exception shall exempt the noise generated by business and residential alarms permitted under Greenburgh Town Code Chapter 300 when such alarms are activated under circumstances indicating the existence of an emergency condition.
B. 
Any sound within limits set by and under the jurisdiction of the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act or any other state or federal act preempting local regulation.
C. 
Sound generated by or produced in association with a religious celebration or observance.

§ 380-4 Unreasonably intrusive noise; criteria.

No person shall make, continue, cause or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically, any unreasonably intrusive noise. Standards to be considered in determining whether an unreasonably intrusive noise exists include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
The volume of the noise.
B. 
The frequency of the noise.
C. 
The periodicity of the noise.
D. 
Whether the noise is unusual and incongruous with the surrounding environment.
E. 
The volume and frequency of the ambient noise, if any.
F. 
The proximity of the noise source to any residential, educational, medical, religious or judicial facility.
G. 
The use, nature and character of the zoning district of the immediate area where the noise source exists.
H. 
The time of day or night the noise occurs.
I. 
The duration of the noise.

§ 380-5 Permissible acts, sounds and noises.

The following list of acts and associated sounds are permissible as of right and not subject to regulation under this chapter. This enumeration is illustrative only and is not intended to be exhaustive. Permissible acts and associated sounds include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
Music performed in conjunction with any military or civic parade, funeral procession or religious service or the use of any bell, chimes or other instrument, apparatus or device by any church or synagogue or school licensed, chartered or recognized by the State of New York, provided that such performance or activity does not occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day.
B. 
Sounds created by any governmental agency, railroad or emergency service organization intended to alert the public to an emergency or warn of a dangerous condition.
C. 
Sounds created by public utilities in furtherance of fulfilling their franchise.
D. 
Sounds generated by, or associated with, organized sporting events of any public or private school or generated by, or associated with, any sport or recreational activity sponsored or permitted by the Town.
E. 
Sounds generated by, or associated with, the activities of the Town Department of Public Works.
F. 
Sounds generated on private property, amplified or unamplified, for private, noncommercial use and enjoyment, provided that such sound does not exceed 65 dBA as measured from the closest point of the adjacent property owned, rented or leased by any person complaining that such sound is unreasonably intrusive.
G. 
Amplified noncommercial speech offered to express ideas or communicate thought is permitted, provided that such sound does not exceed 65 dBA as measured from the closest point of the property owned, rented or leased by any person complaining that such sound is unreasonably intrusive.
H. 
Routine construction work, unless prohibited by § 380-7G, and all associated sounds and noises between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. All construction work includes, but is not limited to, building, repairing, blasting, when authorized by Town permit, grading, leveling, excavating and other similar acts and activities usually and customarily associated with building and construction.
[Amended 5-27-1998 by L.L. No. 4-1998]
I. 
Power tools, blowers and gasoline-powered engines operating at 65 dBA or less, except as regulated by § 380-7H.

§ 380-6 Acts, sounds, and noise authorized; permit.

The following acts and associated sounds are allowable only by permit issued by the Town Clerk. Acts and associated sounds subject to regulation and authorized by permit include:
A. 
Emergency work. An application to perform emergency work otherwise prohibited by § 380-7G must be made, in writing, and state the reason emergency work is necessary, the scope and type of work proposed, the date the emergency repairs or construction activity shall be complete and such other further and additional information as the Town Clerk may require. Nothing herein shall relieve an applicant of the duty to obtain a building permit from the Town Building Inspector.
B. 
Amplified sound generated, broadcast or intended for outside, open-air use and enjoyment, including but not limited to concerts, block parties, commercial advertising and sound transmitted by speaker. An application for a permit for amplified sound pursuant to this section must be made, in writing, and state the purpose, location, duration and anticipated volume level, in decibels, measured at the boundary or property line of the proposed location of the sound, noise, music or speech sought to be broadcast. Where an applicant seeks permission to broadcast sound for outside, open-air use in or bordering on a residential zone, the applicant shall provide the name, address and telephone number of an individual responsible for controlling the sound, noise, music or speech. In addition to the permit requirements set forth in this section, the Town Clerk may, in his/her sole discretion, require whatever other additional information deemed necessary to evaluate the impact of issuing a permit under this section.
C. 
Whenever a sound permit is issued under this section, the Town Clerk may impose whatever conditions, in his/her sole discretion, deemed reasonably necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare and limit any unreasonably intrusive noise to the greatest degree practicable under the circumstances consistent with § 380-4.
D. 
Appeal. Any person seeking a permit under this section may appeal a decision by the Town Clerk to deny the application or impose conditions to the Town Board. In addition, the Town Board may entertain an appeal of a decision by the Town Clerk to grant a permit under this section upon petition of not fewer than 25 Town residents who allege that the act and associated sounds authorized will result in unreasonably intrusive noise.

§ 380-7 Prohibited acts and associated sounds.

The following acts and associated sounds are prohibited under this chapter. Prohibited acts and associated sounds include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
The sounding of any horn or signal device on any motor vehicle, except as a warning signal pursuant to the provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
B. 
The use or operation of any radio, television, phonograph, musical instrument or instruments, loudspeaker, sound-amplification equipment or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound so as to create an unreasonably intrusive noise.
C. 
Any unreasonably intrusive noise exceeding 65 dBA at any time within a residential district or exceeding 70 dBA within any other district between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Sunday through Saturday or exceeding 65 dBA between the hours of 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. Sunday or exceeding 65 dBA between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on any holiday.
D. 
The keeping or harboring of any animal, fowl or bird which disturbs the peace, comfort or repose of any person residing in the vicinity by causing frequent unreasonably intrusive noise.
E. 
The blowing of any whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin work, stop work or as a danger warning.
F. 
The discharge of exhaust into the open air generated by any steam engine, internal-combustion engine, stationary or mobile, air compressor or other device which creates an unreasonably intrusive noise, except where such discharge is through a muffler or other device which effectively prevents loud, unusual or explosive noise.
G. 
Construction work, including but not limited to the operation of mechanical machinery or equipment, blasting, grading, leveling and excavating, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, before 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Saturday or between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on any Sunday or recognized holiday.
[Amended 5-27-1998 by L.L. No. 4-1998]
H. 
The operation of gasoline-powered power lawn mowers, leaf blowers or other gasoline-powered lawn or garden equipment or construction tools between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. any weekday, before 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Saturday or any holiday or before 11:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Operation of a gasoline-powered power lawn mower, leaf blower or other gasoline-powered lawn or garden equipment or construction tool in a residential zone may not exceed 75 dBA at any time. Operation of gasoline-powered leaf and garden blowers in excess of 55 dBA is prohibited from May 1 through October 1 of each year.
I. 
The use or operation of any radio, phonograph, musical instrument, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound intended as commercial advertising or solicitation unless permitted by the Town Clerk.
J. 
The use of any drum, bell, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any solicitation, performance, show, sale or display of merchandise unless permitted by the Town Clerk.

§ 380-8 Enforcement; sound measurement.

A. 
The measurement of any sound or noise shall be made with a sound-level meter, as defined herein, using the slow-response setting and the A-weighted decibel scale.
B. 
The sound-level meter will be calibrated annually according to the manufacturer's instructions and before and after each use. A record of maintenance and calibration shall be maintained.
C. 
The sound-level measurement shall be made at or within 10 feet of the property line of the property on which any noise is generated.
D. 
Where a summons is written for violation of this section, the enforcing officer shall record the time, approximate location before and after calibration checks and the sound-level reading(s) that were recorded. When investigating a sound/noise complaint, the enforcing officer may take as many sound-level readings as deemed necessary, and nothing shall prevent an enforcement officer from taking multiple sound-level readings and citing only the highest recorded sound-level reading as a violation.
E. 
Where a noise complaint alleges interference with the peaceful enjoyment of private property, sound-level readings may be taken from the nearest point of any adjacent landowner who consents to entry and grants access for the limited purpose of measuring compliance with this chapter.
F. 
The Town Police shall be charged with enforcement of this chapter unless the Chief of Police designates an enforcement officer outside the Police Department and, with the consent of the Town Board, delegates authority for prosecution to such enforcement officer.

§ 380-9 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person convicted of violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction for a first offense, be guilty of a criminal violation and subject to a penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $500.
B. 
Any person convicted of a second offense of this chapter within three years of a prior conviction under this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be subject to a penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $1,500.
C. 
Upon application of the Town Attorney and court order, any person violating any provision of this chapter may be enjoined from continuing such violation.