[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ontario 7-14-2003 by L.L. No. 2-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Whereas excessive sound is a hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and quality of life; and whereas a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated; and whereas the people have a right to an environment free from excessive sound; now therefore it is the policy of the Town of Ontario to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from any sources within the limits of the Town of Ontario.
All terminology defined herein which relates to the nature of sound and the mechanical detection and recordation of sound is in conformance with the terminology of the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting, abbreviated "dBA."
- AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
- Enterprises or activities which are carried out or operated on-site principally for financial gain for the production and sale of agricultural, horticultural, forest or other products of the soil or water, including but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products, grain and grain products, honey, nuts, preserves, maple sap products, apple cider, fruit juice, wine, ornamental or vegetable plants, nursery products, flowers, firewood and Christmas trees.
- BUSINESS AND BUSINESS TRANSITIONAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter located in, zoned or classified as business or business transitional district according to the Code of the Town of Ontario, Chapter 150, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Ontario.
- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, including demolition of buildings or structures.
- DECIBEL (dB)
- The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level. The number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm of the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound (20 micropascals) abbreviated "dB."
- (1) Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including but not limited to repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone, television, internet, septic systems, sewer facilities, public transportation, and removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way.
- (2) The work or activity that is necessary to prevent or recover from an emergency, or disaster, or life-threatening condition, or to secure property against imminent damage from weather or acts of God.
- (3) The operation or parking of an authorized emergency vehicle when such vehicle is engaged in transporting a sick or injured person, responding to or working or assisting at the scene of an accident, disaster, public call, alarm, or fire, or any other emergency.
- INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter zoned or classified as an industrial district, business, or business transitional according to the Code of the Town of Ontario, Chapter 150, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Ontario.
- Any airborne sounds of such level, frequency of occurrence and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare or that would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.
- NOISE CONTROL ADMINISTRATOR
- The Town of Ontario Code Enforcement Officer, his or her
agent and/or designee, which shall include the police, their assistants,
deputies and/or officers.[Amended 11-23-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
- Any natural person or individual; partnership, limited or general; corporation, business, municipality, professional or not-for-profit organization; estate and/or trust; government, state or federal, including any of their agencies or subdivisions.
- PROPERTY LINE
- The imaginary line, including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of property owned or controlled by one person from that owned and controlled by another person, including intrabuilding property divisions.
- RECREATIONAL MOTOR VEHICLES
- Motorcycles, minibikes, trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and other motorized two- three- and four-wheeled vehicles and similar vehicles and devices designed for operation primarily for off-highway use.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter located in, zoned or classified as rural, suburban-residential, urban-residential, and planned unit development according to the Code of the Town of Ontario, Chapter 150, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Ontario.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting. Sound level is expressed in dBA.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument for the measurement of sound levels.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The level of a sound measured in decibel units with a sound level meter, which has a uniform response over the band of frequencies measured.
- UNREASONABLE NOISE
- Any excessive or unusually loud sound or any sound, whether made verbally or mechanically, which creates inconvenience, annoyance, alarm, disturbance or offense or recklessly creates a risk of the foregoing. The determination of whether a particular noise is unreasonable shall consider criteria including these:
- (1) The volume of the noise.
- (2) The frequency of the noise.
- (3) The duration of the noise.
- (4) Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual in the context of ordinary human experience.
- (5) The volume and intensity of the ambient noise, if any.
- (6) The proximity of the noise to property line.
- (7) The nature of the zoning district from within which the noise emanates.
- (8) The time of the day or night the noise occurs.
- (9) Whether the noise is temporary.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Noise Control Administrator operating in an official capacity. Upon receiving a complaint, the Administrator or officer shall take a report noting the date and time of the noise, the complaint, the approximate proximity and relationship of the source and receiving properties, the ambient noise, and the nature of the unreasonable noise when heard on the receiving property at any point that the complainant shall specify.
The use of any sound-producing, sound-reproducing or sound-amplifying device, machinery, domestic equipment, heavy equipment or engine so as to cause the sound produced thereby to be audible outside the property line of the property where it originates, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter.
Barking, squawking, whining, neighing or any other domestic animal sound which is audible at a point beyond the real property boundary from which such sound emanates and which continues for over 30 minutes between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter.
Exterior noise limits for residential, business, and business transitional property. Unless otherwise specifically indicated in this chapter, no person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit any unreasonable noise to emanate from a property and cross over to another property, except that during the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., unreasonable noise is permitted within any single continuous thirty-minute time period per day.
Exterior noise limits for industrial property. Unless otherwise specifically indicated in this chapter, no person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit any noise to emanate from industrial property that exceeds 75 dBA, except that during the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., noise shall not exceed 85 dBA within any single continuous thirty-minute time period per day when measured at the property line.
Maximum noise limit. It shall be prohibited for any person to cause, suffer, allow or permit any sound or noise under any circumstances that exceeds 110 dBA when measured at the property line.
Recreational motor vehicles. In the case of noise emanating from a recreational motor vehicle, the noise limits set forth above in this section may not be exceeded at any time.
The provisions of this chapter, except for the provisions of § 35-5C, shall not apply to:
The emission of sound or noise for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency, including noise from stationary emergency signaling devices owned and operated by a public utility, or municipal corporation, fire department or ambulance corps when used in connection with an emergency or for testing purposes; and including noise from a burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle.
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work.
Public celebrations or events of municipal corporations.
Normal agricultural activities, provided that all powered agricultural and farm equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturers thereof.
Snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows when used in their usual and customary manner, and provided that the equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof.
The emission of sound or noise from lawn and garden power tools and/or lawn mowers when operated in their usual and customary manner between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., or 30 minutes after sunset, whichever is later, provided that the equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof.
The emission of sound or noise associated with construction, repair, remodeling, demolition or paving of any real property between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., or 30 minutes after sunset, whichever is later, provided that all powered equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof.
The educational activities of public schools and private schools operated under the Education Law of the State of New York as they apply to elementary or secondary schools; provided, however, that such activities are conducted on the property of such school conducting the activity.
Any person who owns or operates any noise source may apply to the Town Board, on forms provided by the Town of Ontario, for a permit from one or more of the provisions of this chapter. Applications for a permit shall provide information, including but not limited to:
The nature and location of the facility or process for which such application is made.
The reason for which the permit is requested.
The nature and intensity of noise, expressed in decibels, that will occur during the period of the permit.
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom.
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance.
Failure to supply the information required or requested by the Noise Control Administrator shall be cause for rejection of the application.
The fee for such application for permit shall be such fee as established by resolution of the Ontario Town Board.
The maximum duration of a permit shall be 15 days. Any person holding or having held a permit may request an extension or may request a new permit. However, no person shall be entitled to permits totaling more than 30 days during any calendar year.
The permit will be deemed revoked if any of the terms or conditions of the permit is violated.
Any violation of this chapter is an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, upon conviction. Each day (twenty-four-hour period) of violation shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.
In addition to the penalties provided above, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding to prevent, correct or restrain any violation of this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect on filing with the Secretary of State.
If any provision of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional, preempted by state or federal law, or otherwise invalidated by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of the chapter shall not be invalidated.