City of Geneva, NY
Ontario County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Geneva 3-6-1995 by Ord. No. 4-95. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, individually or in unison, within the city to make or continue, or cause to be made or continued, any unreasonably loud, unnecessary or unusual noise, except as otherwise provided in this Code, which either annoys, disturbs or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of one or more individuals of normal sensitivity within the limits of the city.
B. 
Unreasonably loud, unnecessary or unusual noise shall include but not be limited to the following: Sound produced by the playing, using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, CD and tape players, television receiving set or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound, if such sound is loud enough to be clearly heard 25 feet from the source from which the sound is produced or reproduced. The twenty-five-foot requirement shall not apply, however, to multifamily dwellings and residences.
C. 
Unreasonably loud, unnecessary or unusual noises shall also include sounds from sources and locations other than as specified in Subsection B hereof which by reason of their volume, frequency, constancy, duration or character annoy, disturb or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety as prescribed in Subsection A hereof.
D. 
Unreasonably loud, unnecessary or unusual noise shall not include: Noise of safety, warning or emergency devices or signals, or any noise for which a license or permit therefor has been granted in accordance with the City of Geneva Municipal Code.
It shall be unlawful for any person to create any noise on any street, sidewalk or public place adjacent to any school, institution of learning or church while the same is in use or adjacent to any hospital, which noise unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets, sidewalk or public place indicating the presence of a school, church or hospital.
It shall be unlawful for any person within a radius of 500 feet therefrom to operate equipment or perform any outside construction or repair work on buildings, structures or projects or to operate any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist, or other construction type device except to perform emergency work between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the next day in such a manner in which either annoys, disturbs or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of one or more individuals of normal sensitivity.
It shall be unlawful for any person to repair, rebuild or test any motor vehicle between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the next day in such a manner which either annoys, disturbs or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of one or more individuals of normal sensitivity residing in the immediate area.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate motorized lawn care equipment, to include lawnmowers, chippers, hedge trimmers, and the like, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the next day in such a manner which either annoys, disturbs or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of one or more individuals of normal sensitivity.
The Chief of Police of the City of Geneva has deemed it appropriate and in the best interest of the city to reduce and/or mitigate noise problems and complaints in the community, to supplement the provisions contained herein by the establishment of acceptable standards of decibel readings for ambient noise. These standards reflect community needs for such standards taking into consideration such issues as surrounding circumstances, place, time of day, and the like and are set forth hereinbelow:
A. 
Definitions. For the purpose of these standards, the following definitions shall apply:
AMBIENT NOISE
The background average noise level within an area, exclusive of any extraneous sounds.
A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
The sound pressure level measured with a meter using an A-weighted frequency response as prescribed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or its successor. A-weighting is used to approximate the average human ear's response to a range of sound frequencies.
CLASS A (RESIDENTIAL) LAND
Lands residentially zoned and used primarily for sleeping purposes by people. Such lands shall include those contained in the R1, R2 and MR zoning districts.
CLASS B (COMMERCIAL) LAND
Lands where people are likely to communicate with one another by speech. Class B shall include public lands and zoning districts designated as B1 and B2.
CLASS C (INDUSTRIAL) LAND
Lands intended primarily for heavy commercial or industrial use, and shall include those lands in zoning districts F and F1.
CONTINUOUS SOUND
Any sound that is not an impulsive sound.
DAYTIME
From 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
DBA
The abbreviation for A-weighted sound level in decibels.
FAST RESPONSE
The characteristic of a sound level meter which allows for accurate measurement of impulsive sounds such as horn blasts, explosive sounds, firearm discharges or passing vehicles.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
A sound characterized by excursions of the sound pressure which exceed the ambient sound, by six or more decibels, but last two seconds or less.
INDUSTRIAL OPERATION
The production, fabrication and storage of man-made goods, and the production, transformation and storage of energy in all forms.
MAXIMUM SOUND LEVEL
The recorded or noted maximum RMS (room-mean-square) sound pressure level noted using an instrument which meets the requirements of the chapter. Maximum impulsive sound level shall be measured using the fast response setting. Maximum continuous sound level shall be measured using the slow response setting.
REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
An imaginary line exterior to any structure, along the ground surface, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, and the vertical extension of such line.
RECEIVING LAND
The property line of the real property where the sound is being heard, and where appropriate level restrictions apply. In the case of any apartment, townhouse or condominium, the point-of-measurement is within the affected unit.
SOUND LEVEL
The quantity, in decibels, measured using an instrument satisfying the requirements of ANSI SI.4-1983. Sound level is the frequency-weighted (see "A-weighting") sound pressure level obtained with fast or slow response.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument designed to detect and measure sound pressure levels and display this information in decibels, in an analog or digital form. An instrument meeting the requirements of this code shall conform to the requirements of ANSI SI.4-1983, Type 1 or Type 2.
B. 
Maximum permissible sound levels by receiving land use. Any noise source that produces sound in excess of those levels set forth in Table I, as measured at, or within the property boundary of the receiving land use, shall constitute a violation of this section.
TABLE I
A.
Continuous sound-slow response meter level.
Receiving Land Use Category
Maximum Sound in dB(A)
Day
Night
Class A (residential)
65
55
Class B (commercial)
70
60
Class C (industrial)
80
70
B.
Impulsive sound-fast response meter level.
Receiving Land Use Category
Maximum Sound in dB(A)
Day
Night
Class A (residential)
75
65
Class B (commercial)
80
70
Class C (industrial)
90
80
With impulsive noise, the following adjustment in the allowable maximum levels shall apply:
3-10 repetitions per hour
Deduct 1 dB(A)
11-20 repetitions per hour
Deduct 2 dB(A)
21-60 repetitions per hour
Deduct 3 dB(A)
Over 60 repetitions per hour
Deduct 4 dB(A)
C.
In the event the background noise (ambient) level for a given receiving land use exceeds the standards above, the following maximum sound levels, measured using the criteria above, shall apply:
(1)
Any continuous sound which exceeds the ambient by 10 dB(A) or more.
(2)
Any impulsive sound which exceeds the ambient by 20 dB(A) or more, with the above adjustment applied.
D.
The above table shall not apply to noise emanating from an industrial operation, which noise shall be subject to the following limits:
(1)
Performance standards: all heavy industrial and light industrial uses proposed to be established shall provide documentation of conformance with the following standards as a minimum condition of permit issuance.
(2)
Noise:
(a)
Noise shall be measured with a sound level meter having an A-weighted filter constructed in accordance with specifications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Measurements are to be made at any point as indicated in Table II following.
(b)
Impact noise shall be assured using the fast response of the sound level meter. Impact noises are intermittent sounds such as from a punch press or drop forge hammer. Measurements are to be made at any point as indicated in Table II.
(c)
Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the permissible sound levels in a residential district shall be reduced by five decibels for continuous and by 10 decibels for impact noises.
(d)
The following sources of noise are exempt:
[1]
Transportation vehicles not under the control of the industrial use.
[2]
Occasionally used safety signals, warning devises, and emergency pressure relief valves.
[3]
Temporary construction activity between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
(e)
The following table describes the maximum pressure level permitted for industrial source measured in any adjacent nonindustrial district or industrial district lot adjacent to the site.
TABLE II
Maximum Permitted Sound Levels, db(A)
(RE: 0.0002 Microbar)
Sound Measured in
Continuous Slow Meter Response
Impact Fast Meter Response
Decibels
Residential
50
60
Commercial
60
70
Industrial district lot,
70
80
to the noise source
Any person alone or in concert who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250, or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.