[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Emerson 12-12-1978 by Ord. No. 703 as Chapter 71 of the 1966 Code of the Borough of Emerson. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Whereas excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare and the quality of life; and whereas a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive noise may be substantially abated; and whereas the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from noise that may jeopardize their health or welfare or degrade the quality of life; and whereas the necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy and the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare and the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the Borough of Emerson, now, therefore, it is the policy of the Borough of Emerson to prevent noise which may jeopardize the health or welfare of its citizens or degrade the quality of life.
All terminology used in this chapter and not defined below shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CONTINUOUS NOISE
- A steady, fluctuating or impact noise which exists, essentially without interruptions, for a period of one hour or more.
- CYCLICALLY VARYING NOISE
- A steady, fluctuating or impulsive noise which may or may not contain a pure tone, which varies in sound-pressure level such that the same level is obtained repetitively at reasonably uniform intervals of time.
- Any municipal agency.
- Any mechanism which is intended to produce or which actually produces noise when operated or handled.
- EMERGENCY VEHICLE
- A motor vehicle used in response to a public calamity or to protect persons or property from imminent danger.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work to restore public utilities, or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicles which are propelled or drawn by mechanical equipment, such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck trailers, semitrailers, campers, motorcycles, minibikes, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles.
- Any apparatus consisting of baffles, chambers or acoustical absorbing materials, whose primary purpose is to transmit liquids or gases while causing a reduction in sound emission at one end.
- Any sound which is unwanted or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological effect on human beings.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which annoys, disturbs or perturbs reasonable persons with normal sensitivities; or any sound which injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, hearing, peace or safety of other persons.
- Any individual, association, partnership or corporation, and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of the United States, a state or any political subdivision of that state.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE NOISE
- Any noise for which the information content of that noise is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as but not limited to understandable spoken speech or comprehensible musical rhythms.
- POWERED MODEL VEHICLES
- Any powered vehicles, either airborne, waterborne or landborne, which are designed not to carry persons or property, such as but not limited to model airplanes, boats, cars or rockets, and which can be propelled by mechanical means.
- PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line at the ground surface, which line separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person and its vertical extension.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY and PUBLIC SPACE
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, alley or public space which is owned or controlled by a public government entity.
- A temporal and spatial oscillation in pressure, or other physical quantity, in a medium with internal forces, that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium and that propagates at finite speed to distant points.
- STATIONARY EMERGENCY SIGNALING DEVICES
- Any device, excluding those attached to motor vehicles, used to alert persons engaged in emergency operations. These persons include but are not limited to fire fighters, first-aid squad members and law enforcement officers, whether paid or volunteer.
- STATIONARY NOISE SOURCE
- Any device, fixed or movable, which is located or used on geographically defined, real property other than a public right-of-way.
- STEADY NOISE
- A sound-pressure level which remains essentially constant during the period of observation, i.e., the fluctuations are too small to meet the criterion for fluctuating noise.
- Any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday which is not a legal holiday.
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Police Department of the Borough of Emerson to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
A violation of this chapter shall be cause for summons and complaint to be issued forthwith; provided, however, that if the noise source is not a motor vehicle moving on a public right-of-way, in lieu of a summons and complaint, enforcement personnel may issue a twenty-four-hour notice, in writing, which may be served personally or by certified mail to the last known address of the person or persons in charge of or in control of the device, building or premises to abate said violation of this chapter. Failure to comply with the order so issued and served shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
In order to implement the purposes of this chapter, the Police Department of the Borough of Emerson shall have the power to:
Studies: conduct, or cause to be conducted, studies, research and monitoring related to noise.
Education: conduct programs of public education regarding the causes and effects of noise but not giving specific advice for its abatement, and to encourage the participation of public interest groups in related public information efforts.
Inspections: for reasonable cause, and upon presentation of proper credentials, enter any building, property, premises or place and inspect any noise source for the purpose of ascertaining the compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this chapter, or have access to, and require the production of, books and papers pertinent to any matter under investigation.
Records: require the owner or operator of any noise source to establish and maintain records and make such reports as the Police Department may reasonably prescribe.
Measurements: require the owner or operator of any noise source to measure the noise emissions thereof in accordance with such methods and procedures and at such locations and times as the Police Department may reasonably prescribe.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued or cause any excessive or unusually loud noise or to create a noise disturbance within the limits of the Borough of Emerson.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing or excessive noise in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Horns and signaling devices: the sounding of any horn or signaling device on any motor vehicle on any public right-of-way, except as a danger warning signal or as provided in the Vehicle Code of the State of New Jersey.
Radios, television sets and similar devices:
Operating or permitting the use or operation of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, television, phonograph, drum or other device for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance; or
Operating any such device, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 am. the following day, in such a manner as to be plainly audible across real property boundaries or through partitions common to two parties within a building or plainly audible at 50 feet from such device when operated within a motor vehicle parked on a public right-of-way or on a public space or within a motorboat.
Exterior loudspeakers: using or operating any mechanical device or loudspeaker in a fixed or movable position exterior to any building or mounted upon any aircraft, motor vehicle or motorboat, such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible at or beyond the property boundary of the source or on a public way between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Animals: owning, keeping, possessing or harboring any animal or animals which, by frequent or habitual howling, barking, meowing, squawking or other noisemaking, cause a noise disturbance. For the purpose of this section, a "noise disturbance from a barking dog" shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked. The provisions of this section shall also apply to all private or public facilities, including any animal pounds, which hold or treat animals.
[Amended 5-5-2009 by Ord. No. 1372]
Loading operations: loading, unloading, opening or otherwise handling boxes, crates, containers, garbage cans or otherwise similar objects between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day, in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance.
Construction noise: operating or causing to be operated any equipment used in commercial construction, repair, alteration or demolition work on buildings, structures, streets, alleys or appurtenances thereto, in residential or commercial land use categories, on weekdays between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day or between 6:00 p.m. Saturday night and 8:00 a.m. Monday morning and on legal holidays.
Vehicle repairs or testing: repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, off-road vehicle or motorboat in or near a residential use district in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance or violate the provisions of § 190-7.
Refuse compacting vehicles: the operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle which can compact refuse and which creates, during the compacting cycle, a disturbing noise, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day, in residential use districts.
Bells and alarms: the sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle unless such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 30 minutes of its being activated. Any motor vehicle upon which a burglar alarm has been installed shall prominently display the telephone number of which communication may be made with the owner of such motor vehicle.
Powered saws, sanders, drills and grinders: operating or permitting to be operated any powered saw, sander, drill, grinder, garden equipment or tools of like nature, used primarily for domestic purposes, outdoors in residential zones between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day.
Blowers, fans and pumps: using any blower, fan, pump or engine or motor in connection therewith, including by way of example and not by way of limitation, air-conditioning systems, compression devices and pool filter systems, if such use creates loud, penetrating or continuous noises that disturb the comfort or repose of persons residing in the vicinity.
Vehicle use: using any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such manner as to create loud or unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
Unmuffled exhaust: discharging into the open air the exhaust of any automobile, motorcycle, steam or other engine except through a muffler or other device which effectively prevents loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Noise caused in the performance of emergency work for the immediate safety, health or welfare of the community or individuals of the community or to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit law enforcement, ambulance, fire or other emergency personnel to make excessive noise in the performance of their duties when such noise is not clearly necessary. The use of stationary emergency signaling devices shall be for emergency use only.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall be found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter shall, for each offense, be fined a sum of not more than $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day of such violation's continuance shall be considered as a separate offense and shall be separately punishable.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall be found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter for a second time within a six-month period shall, for each offense, be fined a sum of not less than $200 and not more than $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both.
The operation or maintenance of any noise source in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in any other manner available for the abatement of public nuisances.
Any remedy available pursuant to this chapter shall be considered separate and not exclusive of any other remedy available hereunder.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair any cause of action, or legal remedy therefor, of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this chapter.