Borough of Fort Lee, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Ch. III, Sec. 3-12, of the Revised General Ordinances of the Borough of Fort Lee, 1978, adopted 3-1-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 126.
Animals — See Ch. 138.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 296.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 388.
The Mayor and Council of the borough find that the maintenance of loud and annoying noises in the borough adversely affects the general welfare of the inhabitants thereof, and pollutes and endangers the integrity of the environment, and is degrading to the quality of life; and declares that the provisions of this chapter are, as a matter of legislative determination and public policy in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and well-being of the residents of the borough, and for the purpose of maintaining the peace and quiet within the borough during the normal hours of rest.
A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound:
(1) 
Which is loud and unnecessary or unreasonable; or
(2) 
Which endangers or injures personal or real property; or
(3) 
Which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
PERSON
Any individual, association, partnership or corporation.
REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
Any imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, but not including intrabuilding real property divisions.
B. 
All terminology used in this chapter, not otherwise defined herein, shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
A. 
No person shall unreasonably make, continue or cause to be made or continued, any noise disturbance. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from operation of this chapter.
B. 
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
(1) 
Vehicular horns, signaling devices, car alarms, etc. The sounding of any horn, signaling device and alarm on or in any automobile, motorcycle, truck, bus or other vehicle in the borough except as a danger warning; the creation by means of use of any horn or signaling device of any noise disturbance; the sounding of any such device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; and the use of any such horn or signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
(2) 
Radios, televisions, phonographs, tape recorders, etc. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, television, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to create a noise disturbance or to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person or persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto; the operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the next day in such manner as to create a noise disturbance across a real property boundary.
(3) 
Loudspeakers, amplifiers. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph loudspeaker, sound amplifier, tape recorder or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or for any other purpose, except as authorized by governmental authorities in connection with law enforcement or public emergencies, provided that such devices may be employed in connection with nonprofit, charitable, educational, civic, religious or recreational activities in accordance with permits first obtained therefor from the Chief of Police pursuant to § 284-5 hereof. In no event shall any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device be used or operated for any noncommercial purpose between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following day.
(4) 
Yelling, shouting. Yelling and shouting on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time or place so as to create a noise disturbance or annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity.
(5) 
Animals, birds. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long continued noise, shall cause a noise disturbance to any persons in the vicinity or in the same dwelling or building.
(6) 
Nonvehicular whistles, horns and other signaling devices. The sounding of any whistle, horn or other signaling device, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of fire or danger, or upon a request by borough authorities, or as may be required by general law or ordinance.
(7) 
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary jet or internal combustion engine or motor vehicle except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent a noise disturbance or loud or explosive noises therefrom.
(8) 
Vehicles and their loads. The use of any automobile, motorcycle, truck or vehicle so out of repair, so loud or operated in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance due to loud and unnecessary, grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
(9) 
Loading or unloading.
(a) 
The creation of a noise disturbance across a real property boundary in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or the handling or opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates or containers.
(b) 
Loading or unloading of any vehicle or the handling or opening or destruction of bales, boxes, crates or containers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. within any residential zone or within 100 feet from any residence located within the borough.
(10) 
The excavation, erection, grading, demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. If, pursuant to § 284-5 hereof, the Borough Inspector should determine that the public health and safety will not be impaired by the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and if he shall further determine that loss or inconvenience would result to any party in interest, he may grant permissions for such work to be done within the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. upon application being made at the time the permit for the work is awarded or during the progress of the work. No work involving the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation or the movement of any dirt shall be done on Saturday or Sunday, except with permit which may be granted by the Borough Building Inspector in accordance with the conditions set forth above.
(a) 
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to interior or exterior repairs or to the interior alterations, the work for which is actually performed by a homeowner, occupant or tenant between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. upon residential premises owned by the homeowner or occupied by such occupant or upon apartments leased by the tenant.
(b) 
Surface blasting shall be conducted only during daylight hours but not before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For blasting at any other time, express permission of the Commissioner of Labor is required.
(11) 
Pile driver, hammers or compressors. The operation, other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, of any pile driver, pneumatic hammer or drill or compressor, the use of which creates a noise disturbance across a real property boundary.
(12) 
Schools, court, religious institutions, nursing homes. The creation of a noise disturbance on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, religious institution or court while the same is in use, or adjacent to any nursing home which unreasonably interferes with the working of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the nursing home, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, nursing home, religious institution or court street.
(13) 
Drums, etc. The using or playing of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device or the creation of any noise for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale or display of merchandise.
(14) 
Hawkers, peddlers. The shouting of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or creates a noise disturbance.
(15) 
Commercial transport. The causing, permitting or continuing of any excessive, unnecessary and avoidable noise in the operation of trucks and buses.
(16) 
Blowers. The creation of a noise disturbance from the operation of any noise-creating blower or power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, unless the noise from such blower or fan is adequately muffled and such engine is equipped with a muffler device sufficient to deaden such noises.
(17) 
Cooling apparatus. The operation of any air conditioner, refrigerator unit, cooling tower, evaporative condenser, air-cooled condenser, mechanical fan, compressor unit or other such apparatus which causes frequent, irregular or continued noise or noise disturbance or which causes discomfort or annoyance to any person.
(18) 
Miscellaneous night noises. Any of the following activities when causing a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary line between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.: the warming up or idling of buses, trucks or tractors, and the unnecessary and repeated idling, acceleration and deceleration or starting and stopping of automobiles and motorcycles.
(19) 
Holidays.
[Added 10-11-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-14]
(a) 
The excavation, erection, grading, demolition, construction, alteration or repair of any building on the following holidays:
[1] 
New Year's Day;
[2] 
Memorial Day;
[3] 
Independence Day;
[4] 
Labor Day;
[5] 
Veterans Day;
[6] 
Thanksgiving Day; and
[7] 
Christmas Day.
(b) 
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to construction or repairs to the interior only of a residence, provided the work is actually performed by the homeowner, occupant or tenant between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. upon residential premises owned by the homeowner or occupied by such occupant or upon apartments leased by the tenant.
C. 
The above enumeration is only intended to give typical illustrations of prohibited noise and shall not be construed as exclusive.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to church bells or chimes; or to prohibit playing by a band or orchestra in a hall or building or in the open air where duly authorized; or to municipal, county, state, federal government agencies, utility companies or employees thereof in connection with any emergency; or to normal working activities of or activities sponsored by the borough; or to warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles; or to horns or other devices on other vehicles used only for traffic safety purposes; or to any motor vehicle which compacts or collects refuse. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency; or
B. 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work or emergency repairs.
A. 
The officer charged with the responsibility of issuing permits for the activities requiring permits in accordance with this chapter shall issue permits for such activities if such officer shall find that the activities will not unduly or unnecessarily annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others, that the activities will not violate any other ordinance or law or create a public nuisance and that the public health and safety will not be endangered thereby.
B. 
All permits authorized to be issued by this chapter shall specify the dates and hours of the permitted activities. No such permit shall be issued for between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless the issuing officer shall determine that it is in the best interest of the community that the activities take place wholly or partially during such hours.
C. 
The issuing officer is authorized to adopt and use such forms of applications and permits as may be reasonably required in the performance of their duties. Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $2 which shall be payable to the borough.
An applicant for a permit hereunder shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor and Council from the denial of the permit by the issuing officer. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal addressed to the Mayor and Council at the Borough Hall. Such notice shall be filed within three days after the issuing officer shall have notified the applicant of the denial of the permit. The Mayor and Council shall act upon the appeal as soon as practicable after receiving the notice thereof and shall give the applicant an opportunity to be heard before taking action. The Mayor and Council may affirm or reverse the issuing officer's denial of the permit or may grant the permit with modifications or conditions.
In addition to public law enforcement officers and others who by law are entitled to enforce or bring complaints under this chapter, the officers who are designated hereunder for the issuance of permits shall have the power to enforce and bring complaints under this chapter. The Building Inspector is only authorized to bring complaints for violations of § 284-3B(10) and (11) of this chapter. In addition, any person may bring a complaint in the Fort Lee Municipal Court on his own behalf against any person who is alleged to be in violation of any provision of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter are not intended to be exclusive or to supersede any other remedies provided by law or ordinance. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subsection or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
A. 
No person shall make or cause to be made any sound, whether directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever, in such a manner as to create a sound level which:
(1) 
Exceeds the following measurements on the "A Weighted Scale" of the sound level meter when measured at any outdoor location along the real property boundary of the premises where the complaint originates:
(a) 
Sixty-five decibels (dBA) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.; or
(b) 
Fifty decibels (dBA) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.; or
(2) 
Exceeds the following measurements on the "A Weighted Scale" of the sound level meter when measured at any indoor location of the premises on which the complaint originates, if the sound complained of also originates from the same building:
(a) 
Fifty decibels (dBA) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.; or
(b) 
Forty decibels (dBA) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.; or
(3) 
In the case of motor vehicles, including automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and motor bikes, exceeds 86 decibels on the "A Weighted Scale" of the sound level meter at a distance of 50 feet from the source of the sound.
B. 
Subsection A is applicable when and where the character and nature of any sound or noise lends itself to measurement, but nothing in this chapter shall be construed in any way to limit any other portion or part of this chapter. Subsection A shall not be applicable to activities covered by § 284-3B(10) and (11), nor shall it be applicable to any of the activities designated in § 284-4.
A. 
In lieu of issuing a notice of violation as provided for in Subsection B, the public law enforcement officers and others who by law are entitled to enforce or bring compliance under this chapter may, in their discretion, issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound or vibration alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period.
B. 
Except where a person is acting in good faith to comply with an abatement order issued pursuant to Subsection A above, violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for a notice of violation to be issued by the public law enforcement officer entitled to enforce or bring compliance under this chapter.