[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Dover 4-11-1989 as Ord. No. 8-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and disorderly conduct for any person, firm or corporation to make, cause or permit on any premises owned, occupied or controlled by it or upon any public street in the Town of Dover or any other public place in the Town of Dover any unnecessary noise by means of human voices or by any other means or methods which are so loud, harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in their use or time as to be physically annoying to people or which affect and are a detriment to the public health, peace, convenience, safety, welfare, prosperity and comfort of the residents of said town.
The following acts and noises are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but this enumeration shall be deemed to be illustrative only and not an exclusive enumeration of such noises:
Horns and signaling devices.
The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, public conveyance or other vehicle on any street or other private or public place in the town, except as a danger warning.
The creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound.
The sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time.
The use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhausts.
Radios, tape players, compact disc players, phonographs, amplified musical instruments, motor vehicle sound systems, musical instruments and similar devices.
Playing or permitting the playing of any radio, tape player, compact disc player, phonograph, amplified musical instrument, motor vehicle sound system, musical instrument or similar device:
In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across real property boundaries or within a noise sensitive zone.
When played in any motor vehicle, in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance outside the vehicle as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet.
When played in any motor vehicle in such a manner as to create a sound level of 65 decibels on the A scale as read by the slow response of a sound-level meter when read at the curbline of the adjoining street from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. or in such a manner as to produce sound which is plainly audible to anyone other than occupants of the motor vehicle between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
When played on any street or sidewalk, playground, school, park or common area of any building, in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance.
When played by any passenger on a common carrier, in such a manner as to be heard by any other passenger.
When played in any residential neighborhood so as to produce 65 decibels on the A scale as read by the slow response of a sound-level meter when measured at a distance of 25 feet or at the next adjoining full property line between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or when played between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on any street, playground, school, park or common area of any building, in such a manner as to be heard by anyone other than the operator of the device.
Loudspeakers, amplifiers or advertising. The using or operating of or permitting to be played, used or operated 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 purpose of advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure without the prior written authorization of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, upon such terms as will not impair public health as determined by the Mayor and Board using reasonable standards.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine, motorboat or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Defect in vehicle load or vehicle. The use of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such condition as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
Construction, repair or alteration of buildings. The erection (including excavation), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
[Amended 8-22-2016 by Ord. No. 19-2016]
In cases of emergency and/or urgent necessity or in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare, as determined by the Town Administrator or Construction Official, as applicable, work may be conducted outside of the above-stated hours provided that all other applicable laws are adhered to.
Schools, courts, churches and hospitals. The creation of any excessive noises on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably and unnecessarily interferes with the workings of such institution, or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital.
Hawkers and peddlers. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
For purpose of this section, "noise disturbance" means any sound which endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities. The following acts are prohibited in the Town of Dover:
Possessing or carrying a boom box which is in operation on any street, sidewalk, school, playground or public area. A "boom box" means any radio, tape player, compact disc player or loudspeaker, combination of radio, tape player, compact disc player and loudspeaker or similar device which is operated to produce 65 decibels on the A scale as read by the slow response of a sound-level meter measured at 25 feet or at the next adjoining full property line, and is:
Installing or possessing or operating in any motor vehicle operating or garaged in the Town of Dover a radio, tape player or sound system other than the original equipment in which:
The number of speakers exceeds four;
There is any speaker which exceeds six and one-half (61/2) inches in width or height or exceeds 100 watts in power output; or
There is any speaker which is external to the passenger compartment; a speaker contained in an opened hatchback vehicle shall be considered "external" for purposes of this chapter.
For the purpose of this chapter, "decibel" is defined as a unit for measuring the volume of a sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to military or civil parades and celebrations at public gatherings. Permits may be issued, using reasonable standards, by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, for any use of loudspeakers or amplifiers.
[Amended 10-11-1994 by Ord. No. 33-1994]
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not to exceed $200 for the first offense, a fine of not less than $200 but not to exceed $500 for the second offense and a fine of not less than $500 but not to exceed $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses; or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 10 days; or by both fine and imprisonment, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same violation continues shall be determined and taken as a separate and new offense.