Borough of North Arlington, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of North Arlington 9-14-1993 by Ord. No. 1597. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Public health nuisances — See Ch. 417.

§ 243-1
Title. 

§ 243-2
Definitions. 

§ 243-3
Enforcing authorities. 

§ 243-4
Duties and responsibilities of enforcing authorities. 

§ 243-5
Duties and responsibilities of other departments. 

§ 243-6
Noise measurements. 

§ 243-7
Maximum permissible sound levels. 

§ 243-8
Exemptions. 

§ 243-9
Motor vehicles and motorcycles. 

§ 243-10
Adequate mufflers required. 

§ 243-11
Motor vehicle horns and signaling devices. 

§ 243-12
Standing motor vehicles. 

§ 243-13
Prohibited acts. 

§ 243-14
Exceptions and variances. 

§ 243-15
Notice of violation. 

§ 243-16
Abatement order; impoundment of vehicles and equipment. 

§ 243-17
Violations and penalties. 

This chapter may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance of the Borough of North Arlington."

Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings described in this section. All terminology not defined below shall have the meaning described by the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.

A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighing network. The level so read is designated dB(A) or dBA.
COMMERCIAL OPERATION
Any facility or property used for the purchase or utilization of goods, services, or land or its facilities, including but not limited to:
A. 

Commercial dining establishments.

B. 

Noncommercial vehicle operations.

C. 

Retail services.

D. 

Wholesale services.

E. 

Banks and office buildings.

F. 

Recreation and entertainment.

G. 

Community services.

H. 

Public services.

I. 

Other commercial services.

CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, creation, substantial repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of structures, utilities, public or private right-of-way surfaces or similar property.
dBa
The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighted network.
DECIBEL
A unit for measuring the volume of a sound equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base of 10 of the ratio of pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating the physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an emergency.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
Sound of a short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Examples include
A. 

Explosions, drop-forge impacts and the discharge of firearms.

B. 

Property used for the production and fabrication of durable and nondurable manufactured goods.

C. 

Activities carried out on the property.

MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn on land by a motor, such as, but not limited to, passenger cars, trucks, truck-trailers, semitrailers, campers, go carts, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles but not including motorcycles.
MOTORCYCLE
An unenclosed motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and two or three wheels in contact with the ground, including but not limited to motor scooters.
MUFFLER or SOUND-DISSIPATIVE DEVICE
A device for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
NOISE
Any sound which annoys or causes or tends to cause adverse psychological or physiological effects on humans.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which either endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals, or annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, or endangers or injures personal or real property.
PERSON
Any individual, association, partnership, or corporation and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of the state or any political subdivision of the state.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, or alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
An 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.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Property used for human habitation, including but not limited to the following:
A. 

Commercial living accommodations, commercial property used for human bodies.

B. 

Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation.

C. 

Community service property used for human habitation.

SOUND
An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristics of such sound, including duration, intensity, or frequency.
SOUND LEVEL
The weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency weighing network, such as A, B, or C as specified in American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters (ANSI SI. 4-1971, or the latest approved revision thereof). If the frequency weighing employed is not indicated, the A-weighing shall apply.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument which includes a microphone, amplifier, RMS detector, integrator or time average, output meter, and weighing networks used to measure sound pressure levels.
SOUND PRESSURE
The instantaneous difference between actual pressure and the average barometric pressure at a given point in space, as produced by sound energy.
UNNECESSARY NOISE
Any noise which is avoidable, not absolutely needed and the elimination of which will not cause greater hardship than the noise itself.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure of 20 micropascals (20 x 10 - 6N/m2). The sound pressure level is denoted LP or SPL and is expressed in decibels.
WEEKDAYS
Any day Monday through Friday which is not a legal holiday.

Except as otherwise provided in the Code of the Borough of North Arlington or by law, the provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Department of Health, the Police Department, and the Building Department, herein referred to as the "enforcing authorization" or the "enforcing authorities." The Police Department shall administer and enforce provisions affecting or involving motor vehicles.

In order to implement and enforce this chapter towards the goal of noise abatement and control, the enforcing authorities shall have, in addition to any other vested powers, the duty and responsibility to:

A. 

Investigate and pursue violations. In consonance with the provision of this chapter, investigate and pursue possible violations of this chapter.

B. 

Inspections. Make whatever inspections are necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. Measure sound levels across real property lines and make any other tests necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. Upon presentation of proper credentials, enter and inspect any building or place be it either public or private property and inspect any report or records at any reasonable time when granted permission by the owner, or by some other person with apparent authority to act for the owner. When permission is refused or cannot be obtained, a search warrant may be obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction upon showing of probable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter may exist.

C. 

Coordination. Share personnel and equipment and coordinate efforts with the other departments as required to best insure affective enforcement of this chapter.

D. 

Delegation of authority. Delegate functions, where appropriate under this chapter, to personnel within their respective departments or to other agencies or departments.

E. 

Contracts. Enter into contracts, with the approval of the Mayor and Council, for the provision of technical and enforcement services.

F. 

Review public and private projects. Review public and private projects subject to mandatory review by the Borough for compliance with this chapter.

G. 

Special exceptions and variances. Administer special exceptions and variances pursuant to § 243-7 of this chapter.

All departments and agencies shall carry out their programs in a manner which furthers the policy of this chapter.

Noise measurements made for the enforcement of this chapter shall be taken in accordance with procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B. Such measurements shall be made by a person who is deemed qualified pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:29B.

No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category or property in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in Table I when measured at the real property line of the receiving property.

Table 1 Maximum Permissible Sound Levels by Receiving Property Category
Receiving Property Category
Sound Source Property Residential (7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.) Residential (10:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.) Commercial (all times) Industrial (all times)
Residential 55 dBA 50 dBA 65 dBA 75 dBA
Commercial 65 dBA 50 dBA 65 dBA 75 dBA
Industrial 65 dBA 50 dBA 65 dBA 75 dBA

The sound levels listed in Table 1 shall not apply to:

A. 

Domestic power tools, lawn mowers, and agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays.

B. 

Church bells and church chimes.

C. 

Noise from construction activity, except as provided in § 243-13G of this chapter.

D. 

Noise from air-conditioning and air-handling devices, except as provided in § 243-13L of this chapter.

E. 

Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers, and snow plows when operated, with a muffler, for the purpose of snow removal.

F. 

Noise from motor vehicles and motorcycles. The standards for these motor vehicles are set forth in § 243-9 of this chapter.

A. 

The making, creating or permitting of any unreasonably loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise from motor vehicles and motorcycles is hereby prohibited.

B. 

The making, creating or permitting of any noise of such character, intensity or duration from motor vehicles and motorcycles as to be detrimental to the life, health or welfare of any individual or which either steadily or intermittently annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, peace or safety of any individual is hereby prohibited.

A. 

No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with the original muffler or equivalent replacement in good working order and in constant operation.

B. 

No person shall remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair, or replacement, any muffler on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.

The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter:

A. 

The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device in any motor vehicle or motorcycle on any public right-of-way or public space, except as a warning of danger or where the motor vehicle statutes of New Jersey require the sounding of such horn or signal device.

B. 

The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device in any motor vehicle or motorcycle that produces a sound level in excess of 100 dBA at 25 feet (7.5 meters).

No person shall operate or permit the operation of any vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period longer than three minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion, on a public right-of-way or public space, or within 150 feet of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. except for refuse collection as described in § 243-13K of this chapter.

No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the following acts:

A. 

Creation of unnecessary noise, or a noise disturbance.

B. 

Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, portable stereo device, tape recorder, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier, or similar device which produces, reproduces, or amplifies sound:

(1) 

In such a manner as to create unnecessary noise at 50 feet from such a device when operated in public buildings, on public modes of transportation, on public streets or at any other public place or on a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way.

(2) 

In such a manner as to create unnecessary noise for any person other than the operator of the device.

(3) 

In such a manner as to create a sound level across a real property line, or through partitions common to two or more persons within a building, that exceeds the applicable limit set forth in Table 1.

C. 

Using or operating any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. the following day, or on Saturday, Sunday or legal holidays, such that the sound therein creates unnecessary noise across a residential real property line. This provision shall not apply to any public performance, gathering or parade for which a permit has been obtained form the Borough of North Arlington.

[Amended 12-3-2002 by Ord. No. 1860]

D. 

Offering for sale or selling anything by shouting or outcry within any residential or commercial area.

E. 

Animals. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird that frequently or for a continued duration makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line. For the purpose of this chapter, a dog barking continuously for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes will constitute a noise disturbance.

F. 

Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing, or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans, or similar objects between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to exceed any applicable limit set forth in Table 1.

G. 

Construction; operating or permitting the operation of tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, demolition, or similar work between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day, Monday through Friday; Saturday prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m., or at any time on Sunday or legal holidays except for emergency work, or by special variance issued pursuant to this chapter, or when the resulting sound level does not exceed the applicable limit set in Table I.

[Amended 12-3-2002 by Ord. No. 1860]

H. 

Place of public entertainment. Operating, playing, or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier, or similar device that produces or amplifies sound in any place of public entertainment as to exceed any applicable limit specified in Table 1.

I. 

Explosives, firearms, and similar devices. The use or firing or explosives, firearms, or similar devices which create impulsive sound so as to cause a noise disturbance across a real property line or on a public space or right-of-way, without first obtaining a variance issued pursuant to § 243-14 of this chapter.

J. 

Emergency signaling devices. The intentional sounding or permitting the sounding of any fire, burglar, civil defense, or other emergency signaling device, except for emergency or testing. Testing of any emergency signaling device shall take place at the same time of the day for each test and shall be performed between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and shall not exceed 30 seconds. Provisions shall be made by the owner of an emergency signaling device for that device to be turned off in a timely manner after the signal has served its purpose of signaling an emergency. Emergency signaling devices shall be maintained in good repair to prevent repeated accidental alarms.

K. 

Sanitation and refuse collection. The operation of sanitation or refuse collection equipment between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and earlier that 8:00 a.m. on Sundays and legal holidays except for emergency work, or by variance issued pursuant to this chapter, or when the sound level resulting does not exceed any applicable limit set forth in Table 1.

L. 

Air-conditioning and air-handling devices. The operation of air-conditioning or air-handling devices, including heat pumps, that produces a sound level greater than a fifty-five-decibel increase in the sound level that exists in the absence of such sound.

A. 

Emergency exception. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

(1) 

The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.

(2) 

The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work.

B. 

Special variances.

(1) 

The Directors shall have the authority, consistent with this section, to grant special variances which may be requested of good cause shown.

(2) 

Any person seeking a special variance pursuant to this section shall file an application with the Director. The application shall contain information which demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the special variance is sought into compliance with this chapter would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, on the community, or on other persons. Any individual who claims to be adversely affected by allowance of the special variance may file a statement with the Directors containing any information to support his or her claim. If the Directors find that a sufficient controversy exists regarding an application, a public hearing may be held.

(3) 

In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the Directors shall balance the hardship to the applicant, the community and other persons, the special health, safety, and welfare of persons affected, the adverse impact on property affected, and any other adverse impact in granting the special variance. Applicants for special variances and persons contesting special variances may be required to submit any information the Directors may reasonably require. In granting or denying an application, the Directors shall place on public file a copy of the decision and the reasons for denying or granting the special variance.

(4) 

Variances in time to comply shall be granted to the applicant containing all necessary conditions, including a schedule for achieving compliance. The variance in time to comply shall not become effective until all conditions are agreed to by the applicant. Noncompliance with any condition of the variance shall terminate the variance and subject the person holding it to those provisions of this chapter for which the variance was granted.

(5) 

Application for extension of time limits specified in variances in time to comply or for modification of other substantial conditions shall be treated like applications for initial variances under § 243-14B, except that the Directors must find that the need for extension or modification clearly outweighs any adverse impact of granting the extension or modification.

(6) 

The Directors may issue guidelines defining the procedures to be followed in applying for a variance in time to comply and the criteria to be considered in deciding whether to grant a variance.

Editor's Note: Original Section 150-15, Enforcement, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

Violation of any provisions of this chapter shall be cause for a notice of violation to be issued.

A. 

In conjunction with the issuance of a notice of violation the enforcing authority shall issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period and according to guidelines which the said authority may prescribe.

B. 

An abatement order shall not be issued;

(1) 

For any willful or knowing violation of this chapter.

(2) 

If the enforcing authority has reason to believe that there will be no compliance with the abatement order.

C. 

Impoundment of motor vehicles.

(1) 

Any motor vehicle found to be operated in violation of this chapter shall be impounded forthwith by the Police Department. The operator of said motor vehicle shall be issued a summons that shall inform him or her of the right to a hearing in regard to the violation of the ordinance and in regard to the obligation to pay any towing and impoundment charges that occur because of the violation.

(2) 

If the operator of a motor vehicle demands a hearing in regard to the validity of the impoundment of his or her vehicle, said hearing shall be scheduled by the Municipal Court within 72 hours of the written request for the hearing. If the Court finds that there was no probable cause to seize the vehicle, the Court shall order the release of the vehicle without charge to the defendant or owner of the vehicle.

D. 

Any person who violates § 243-13B of this chapter shall have the noise-producing equipment impounded by the North Arlington Police Department and be subject to the issuance of a summons by the North Arlington Police mandating a court appearance by the violator in order to retrieve said equipment.

Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall upon conviction be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty. Each day of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.