Town of Rotterdam, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam 8-25-1993 by L.L. No. 15-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarms — See Ch. 71.
Mass gatherings — See Ch. 180.
Public entertainment — See Ch. 217.

§ 188-1 Legislative intent; construal of provisions.

A. 
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Rotterdam to prevent excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises. It is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Town of Rotterdam and its inhabitants.
B. 
This section shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes described in this section. Nothing herein shall be construed to abridge the emergency powers of any Town department or the right of such department to engage in any necessary or proper activities. Nothing herein shall abridge the powers and responsibilities of any Police Department or law enforcement agency to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

§ 188-2 Nonapplicability.

[Amended 4-27-2016 by L.L. No. 3-2016]
This chapter shall not apply to the operation or use of any organ, radio, bell, chimes or other instrument, apparatus or device by any church, synagogue or school. This chapter shall not apply to noise created as a result of snow removal by a snow blower or related snow removal machinery.

§ 188-3 Unnecessary or unreasonable noise.

A. 
The creation of any unreasonably loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise is prohibited.
B. 
Said noise shall be prohibited when it is of such character, intensity and duration or of a type or volume that a reasonable person would not tolerate under the circumstances and that is detrimental to the life, health, comfort or welfare of any individual or would cause or create a risk of public inconvenience.

§ 188-4 Unnecessary noises enumerated.

The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be loud, disturbing or unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but the enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
Horns, signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or other signal device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or other vehicle while stationary, except as a danger signal when an approaching vehicle is apparently out of control or, if in motion, only as a danger signal after or as brakes are being applied and deceleration of the vehicle is intended; the creation by means of any such signal device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound or the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary period of time.
B. 
Noisy vehicles. No person shall:
(1) 
Use an automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such a manner as to create loud, unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise;
(2) 
Operate any vehicle in such a manner as to cause unnecessary noise by spinning or squealing the tires or revving the motor of such vehicle; or
(3) 
Modify or cause to be modified the muffler, exhaust system or other noise-control device of any vehicle in a manner that will increase the noise emitted by such vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle when newly manufactured, regardless of the date of manufacture. The noise-control devices of any vehicle operated in the Town of Rotterdam shall be maintained and in good working order. No person shall operate or permit to be operated a vehicle where the muffler, exhaust system or other noise-control device has been so modified or has not been maintained.
C. 
Discharge of exhaust. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine, motor vehicle or boat engine or motor, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
D. 
Construction, demolition, excavation. The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in case of an urgent necessity in the interest of public safety and then only with a permit from the Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, which permit may be renewed for a period of three days or less while the emergency continues.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
E. 
Noise near schools, other institutions. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court, while the same is in session, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, church or court street.
F. 
Drums, loudspeakers, similar devices. The use of a drum, loudspeaker or any other sound-producing instrument or device for the purpose of attracting public attention by the creation of noise, except where authorized by special permit to be issued by the Chief of Police, who shall make reasonable rules and regulations therefor.
G. 
Sound reproduction.
(1) 
No person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound so as to produce unreasonable or unnecessary noise at any time, except for activities open to the public or for the public benefit and for which permission has been granted by the Town of Rotterdam.
(2) 
Said sound reproduction shall be per se unreasonable and unnecessary if produced:
(a) 
Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to create noise that can be heard inside any residence, regardless of whether the windows of said residence are open.
(b) 
When operated in or on a motor vehicle on a public highway or in a boat on public waters or by a person on public or private property that can be heard 50 feet from such device.
(c) 
In such a manner as to create noise when operated by any passenger on a common carrier.
H. 
Shouting. No person shall shout, yell, call, hoot, whistle or sing on public streets or in public places in such a manner and for such a period of time as to be unreasonable under the circumstances.
I. 
Noise from tools, machinery and heavy equipment in the construction, repair or alteration of property. The use of domestic or industrial tools, machinery and equipment of any kind in construction, repair or alteration of property and resulting in loud grinding, hammering, sawing and similar noise shall be prohibited:
(1) 
Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day, if said noise can be heard inside any residence, regardless of whether the windows of such residence are open.
(2) 
At any other time if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
J. 
Noise in the conduct of any business. The creation of noise in the operation, conduct and/or maintenance of any business, factory, plant yard or manufacturing establishment (except as otherwise provided in this chapter), including but not limited to excavating, blasting, grinding, breaking, crushing or processing of any substance (where permitted), shall be prohibited:
(1) 
Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day, if said noise can be heard inside any residence, other than in the building where the premises are located, regardless of whether the windows of said residence are open.
(2) 
At any other time if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
K. 
The operation of restaurants, taverns, bars and discos.
(1) 
No restaurant, tavern, bar, nightclub, disco or other similar use, whether public or private, shall be conducted so that music or other noise caused by and/or emanating from said use can be heard:
(a) 
Inside any residence between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 noon the following day, other than in the building where the premises are located, regardless of whether the windows of such residence are open.
(b) 
At any other time if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
(2) 
Any owner, operator or proprietor of such a business use or other owner, licensee or person in control of any private premises shall so limit the level of noise emanating from premises.
(3) 
Further, it shall be the duty of any such person to disburse any assembly of persons loitering, drinking alcoholic beverages or otherwise engaging in loud or disorderly conduct adjacent to or near the premises or to immediately notify the Town of Rotterdam Police of such conduct.
L. 
Fraternities and sororities, dormitories, private clubs, meeting halls, private residences. No noise from parties, entertainment, music or social gatherings of any kind, whether public or private, shall be such that noise caused by and/or emanating from said use can be heard:
(1) 
Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 noon the following day, inside any residence, regardless of whether the windows of such residence are open.
(2) 
At any other time if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.

§ 188-5 Warning of violation.

A. 
In those cases of unreasonable noise, other than violations of § 188-4A, B and C, the person or persons responsible shall be advised of any conduct prohibited herein by the Town of Rotterdam Police or the Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer or their duly authorized representatives. After such warning, if any party shall continue or repeat said conduct or similar conduct, he shall be in violation of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
It shall be sufficient if said warning is oral and/or in person or over the telephone.
C. 
No such warning shall be required in any case of a violation of § 188-4A, B and C of this chapter.

§ 188-6 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 6-12-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013]
Any violation of this chapter by any person, firm or corporation shall constitute a violation and shall be punishable by a fine not less than $500 and no more than the sum of $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense. Each subsequent violation will be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a separate, additional offense.