City of Crisfield, MD
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Crisfield 3-9-1994 by Ord. No. 477. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which endangers the health, safety or welfare of the community or which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, rest, health, peace or safety of others within the City of Crisfield.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, unnecessary and disturbing and a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the community and its people, in violation of § 74-1, but the enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
Using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio, television, hi-fi, stereo, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of any persons in the vicinity as set forth below in § 74-2.1, Noise standards.
[Amended 7-23-2008 by Ord. No. 584]
B. 
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing or the making of loud and disturbing noises by the use of clappers, bells, horns, musical instruments or similar devices at any time or place so as to unreasonably annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or rest of any person in any residence, hospital, school, place of business, street or public place.
C. 
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity.
D. 
The use of any automobile, motorcycle, truck or vehicle, so out of repair or loaded, or operated in such a manner, as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
E. 
The creation of loud and excessive noises in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or the operating or manipulation of bales, crates and containers.
F. 
The operation or use of any power lawn mower, chainsaw, fencepost driller or the like between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
G. 
Any of the following activities when occurring in close proximity to residences between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.: the warming up or idling of buses, trucks or tractors and the unnecessary or unreasonable or repeated idling, acceleration and deceleration or starting and stopping of automobiles and motorcycles.
H. 
Using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated 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 left upon the public streets for the purposes of commercial advertising or for any other purpose except as authorized by the government or in 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 City Manager pursuant to § 74-3 hereof.
I. 
Outdoor concerts, except in accordance with permits first obtained therefor from the City Manager pursuant to § 74-3 hereof.
J. 
The excavation, grading, paving, erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any premises, street, building or structure at any time on Sundays or other than between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays or between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on all other days, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and if the nature of the emergency will admit the prior procurement of a permit, then only in accordance with a permit first obtained from the City Manager as to public street work or any other work, pursuant to § 74-3 hereof. Such a permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days or less while the emergency continues. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Mayor shall determine that the public health and safety will not be impaired by such work within the prohibited hours and that undue hardship would result to any party in interest unless such work within the prohibited hours is permitted, the Mayor may, in his discretion, thereupon grant permission for such work to be done within the prohibited hours on application being made at the time the permit for the work is issued or during the progress of the work. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to interior or exterior repairs or to interior alterations, the work for which is actually performed by a homeowner or the occupant personally, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., upon residential premises that are owned by such occupant, provided that the work shall be done without undue noise or disturbance of peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
K. 
The creation of any excessive noise on any street or property adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the same is in use or adjacent to any hospital which unreasonably interferes with the working of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital.
[Added 7-23-2008 by Ord. No. 584]
A. 
Definitions.
(1) 
In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
(2) 
Terms defined.
ANSI
American National Standards Institute or its successor bodies.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar activity.
CURTILAGE
The enclosed land surrounding a house or dwelling and includes all areas maintained in lawn or horticultural plantings and may be bounded by a fence or wall, but would not typically include areas more distant than 300 feet from the dwelling unless those areas were horticulturally maintained and routinely used as areas of personal refuge, or supported accessory structures that were routinely utilized.
DAY-NIGHT AVERAGE SOUND LEVEL (Ldn)
In decibels, the energy average sound level for a twenty-four-hour day with a ten-decibel penalty applied to noise occurring during the nighttime period: i.e., noise levels occurring during the period from 10:00 p.m. one day until 7:00 a.m. the next day are treated as though they were 10 dBA higher than they actually are. The use of the A-weighting is understood. The mathematical expression for Ldn is as follows:
where
Ld = The daytime average sound level.
Ln = The nighttime average sound level.
DAYTIME HOURS
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time.
DBA
Abbreviation for the sound level in decibels determined by the A-weighing network of a sound level meter or by calculation from octave band or one-third octave band data.
DECIBEL (dB)
A unit of measure equal to 10 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the square of the sound pressure to the square of a standard reference pressure. For the purpose of this subsection, 20 micropascals shall be the standard reference pressure.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling destruction, or removal activities.
CITY
The City of Crisfield.
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE
The noise that exists at any location from all sources.
ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE STANDARDS
The goals for environmental noise, the attainment and maintenance of which, in defined areas and under specific conditions, are necessary to protect the public health and general welfare.
EQUIVALENT SOUND LEVEL (ALSO AVERAGE SOUND LEVEL)
The level of a constant sound which, in a given situation and time period, would convey the same sound energy as does the actual time-varying sound during the same period. Equivalent sound level is the level of the time-weighted, mean-square, A-weighted sound pressure. A numerical subscript may be used to indicate the time period under consideration; i.e., 1eq 24 or Leq8 for twenty-four-hour and eight-hour periods, respectively. No subscript indicates a twenty-four-hour period. The mathematical expression for the Leq is as follows:
Where t1 and t2 are the beginning and ending times, respectively, of the period over which the average is determined, and LA(t) is the instantaneous A-weighed sound pressure levels fluctuating with time.
IEC
International Electrotechnical Commission.
NIGHTTIME HOURS
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., local time.
NOISE
The intensity, frequency, duration and character of sound, including sound and vibration of subaudible frequencies.
NOISE POLLUTION
The presence of noise of sufficient loudness, character, and duration, which whether from a single source or multiple sources, is, or may be predicted with reasonable certainty to be injurious to health or which unreasonably interferes with the proper enjoyment of property or with any lawful business activity.
PERIODIC NOISE
Noise possessing a repetitive on-and-off characteristic with a rapid rise to maximum and a short decay not exceeding two seconds.
PERSON
Any individual, group of individuals, firm, partnership, voluntary association, or private, public, or municipal corporation, or political subdivision of the state, or department, bureau, agency, or instrument of federal, state or local government, responsible for the use of the property.
PROMINENT DISCRETE TONE
Any sound which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or a set of single pitches. For the purpose of this regulation, a prominent discrete tone shall exist if the one-third octave band sound pressure level in the band with the tone exceeds the arithmetic average of the sound pressure levels of the two contiguous one-third octave bands by five dB for center frequencies of 500 Hz and above and by eight dB for center frequencies between 160 Hz and 400 Hz and by 15 dB for center frequencies less than or equal to 125 Hz.
SOUND LEVEL
In decibels, the weighted sound pressure level measured by the use of a sound level meter. Sound level and noise level are synonymous. The weighting employed shall always be specified.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument, meeting International Electrotechnical Commission and American National Standards Institute standards comprising a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and frequency-weighting network(s) that is used for the measurement of sound pressure levels in a specified manner.
SOUND PRESSURE
The minute fluctuations in atmospheric pressure which accompany the passage of a sound wave. Sound pressure is usually measured in dynes per square centimeter (dyne/cm2), or in newtons per square meter N/m2), or in micropascals.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
In decibels, 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of a sound pressure to the reference sound pressure of 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter). In the absence of any modifier, the pressure is understood to be that of a root mean-square pressure.
SOURCE
Any person or property, real or personal, contributing to noise pollution.
VIBRATION
Any oscillatory motion of solid bodies.
ZONING DISTRICT
A general land use category, defined according to local subdivision, the activities and uses for which are generally uniform throughout the subdivision. For the purpose of this regulation, property which is not zoned "industrial," "commercial," or "residential" shall be classified according to use as follows:
(a) 
Property used for manufacturing and storing goods;
(b) 
Property used for buying and selling goods and services;
(c) 
Property used for dwellings.
B. 
General noise regulations.
(1) 
Noise and vibration prohibitions.
(a) 
A person may not cause or permit noise levels which exceed those specified in Table 2 except as provided in § 74-2.1B(2) or (3) or § 74-2.1B(1)(b) below.
Table 2
Maximum Allowable Noise Levels (dBA) for Receiving Land Use Categories
Effective Date
Day/ Night
Indus-
trial
Commer-
cial
Resi-
dential
Day
75
67
65
Upon adoption
Night
75
62
55
(b) 
A person may not cause or permit noise levels emanating from construction or demolition site activities which exceed;
[1] 
Ninety dBA during daytime hours;
[2] 
The levels specified in Table 2 during nighttime hours.
(c) 
A person may not cause or permit the emission of prominent discrete tones and periodic noises which exceed a level which is five dBA lower than the applicable level listed in Table 2.
(d) 
A person may not cause or permit, beyond the property line of a source, vibration of sufficient intensity to cause another person to be aware of the vibration by such direct means as sensation of touch or visual observation of moving objects. The observer shall be located at or within the property line of the receiving property when vibration determinations are made.
(e) 
A person may not operate or permit to be operated an off-road internal-combustion-engine powered recreational vehicle, including, but not limited to, a dirt bike, an all-terrain vehicle, a go cart, a snowmobile, or a similar vehicle, on private property closer than 300 feet to a neighboring residence or the associated cartilage, without the written permission of the affected resident, unless it can be demonstrated to the City that the vehicle can be operated within the noise limits specified in Table 2 under § 74-2.1B(1)(a) of this regulation.
(2) 
Exemptions.
(a) 
The provisions of this regulation may not apply to devices used solely for the purpose of warning, protecting, or alerting the public, or some segment thereof, of the existence of an emergency or hazardous situation.
(b) 
The provisions of this regulation do not apply to the following:
[1] 
Household tools and portable appliances in normal usage during daytime hours;
[2] 
Lawn care and snow removal equipment (daytime only) when used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications;
[3] 
Agricultural field machinery when used and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's specifications;
[4] 
Blasting operations for demolition, construction, and mining or quarrying (daytime only);
[5] 
Motor vehicles on public roads;
[6] 
Aircraft and related airport operations at airports licensed by the Maryland Aviation Administration;
[7] 
Boats on state waters or motor vehicles on state lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources;
[8] 
Emergency operations;
[9] 
Pile-driving equipment during the daytime hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
[10] 
Sound except those sounds that are electronically amplified, between 7:00 a.m. and midnight, created by:
[a] 
Sporting events (except trap shooting, skeet shooting, or other target shooting);
[b] 
Entertainment events; and
[c] 
Other public gatherings operating under permit or permission of the appropriate local jurisdiction;
[11] 
Rapid rail transit vehicles and railroads;
[12] 
Construction and repair work on public property;
[13] 
Air-conditioning or heat pump equipment used to cool or heat housing on residential property; for this equipment, a person may not cause or permit noise levels which exceed 70 dBA for air-conditioning equipment at receiving residential property and 75 dBA for heat pump equipment at receiving residential property;
[14] 
Household pets on residential property that are maintained in accordance with local zoning requirements;
[15] 
Trap shooting, skeet shooting, or other target shooting between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on any range or other property of a shooting sports club that is chartered and in operation as of January 1, 2001.
[16] 
Trash collection operations between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
[17] 
The events and gatherings under § 74-2.1B(2)(b)[10] of this regulation include, but are not limited to, athletic contests, amusement parks, carnivals, fairs at fairgrounds, sanctioned auto-racing facilities, parades, and public celebrations.
(3) 
Variance procedure.
(a) 
Any person who believes that meeting the requirements of § 74-2.1B, above is not practical in a particular case may request an exception to its requirements.
(b) 
Requests submitted to the City shall be in writing and shall include evidence to show that compliance is not practical.
(c) 
Upon receipt of a request for an exception, the City shall schedule a hearing to be held within 60 days.
(d) 
The applicant for the exception, at least 30 days before the hearing date, shall advertise prominently the hearing by placing a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the subdivision in which the facility or source for which the exception is sought is located. The notice shall include the name of the facility or source and such additional information as the City may require.
(e) 
Based upon evidence presented at the hearing, the City may grant an exception to § 74-2.1B, above for a period not to exceed five years under terms and conditions appropriate to reduce the impact of the exception.
(f) 
Exceptions shall be renewable upon receipt by the City of evidence that conditions under which the exception was originally granted have not changed significantly.
(g) 
Applicants shall be responsible for public hearing costs, as directed by the City, including the hearing advertisement, facility rental, court reporter, and preparation of the transcript of the hearing.
(4) 
Measurement.
(a) 
The equipment and techniques employed in the measurement of noise levels may be those recommended by the City, which may, but need not, refer to currently accepted standards or recognized organizations, including, but not limited to, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
(b) 
The measurement of noise levels shall be conducted at points on or within the property line of the receiving property or the boundary of a zoning district, and may be conducted at any point for the determination of identity in multiple source situations.
(c) 
Sound level meters used to determine compliance with Regulation 03 shall meet or exceed the specifications for Type II sound level meters.
A. 
The City Manager is charged with the responsibility of issuing permits for the activities requiring permits in accordance with § 74-2 hereof and shall issue permits for such activities if found 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. 
Permits shall specify the dates and hours of the permitted activities, which shall not be allowed between the hours of 11:00 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 City Manager is authorized to adopt and use such forms of applications and permits as may be reasonably required in the performance of his/her duties. Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $5, which shall be payable to the City of Crisfield.
An applicant for a permit hereunder shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor and City Council from the denial of the permit by the City Manager. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal addressed to the Mayor and City Council. Such notice shall be filed within three days after the City Manager shall have notified the applicant of the denial of the permit. The Mayor and City 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 City Council may affirm the City Manager's denial of the permit or may grant the permit with modifications or conditions. The appeal shall be decided by resolution of the Mayor and City Council and subject to the rules of procedure for the enactment of resolutions.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply to the following:
A. 
City-sponsored events in public parks or places.
B. 
Federal, state or local governmental agencies.
C. 
Public service companies as defined in Article 78 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the City Manager, by the City Building Inspector and by city law enforcement officers, who shall have the power to bring complaints under this chapter and to take other appropriate action to secure compliance with the terms hereof.
Any person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a municipal infraction and subject to the procedures and penalties set forth under the City Code and under the Annotated Code of Maryland with regard to municipal infractions.