Town of Phelps, NY
Ontario County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Phelps 6-2-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 47.
Public assemblies — See Ch. 51.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to preserve the public health, peace, welfare and good order by preventing and suppressing the making, creation or maintenance of excessive, unnecessary, unnatural or unusually loud noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use and which are a detriment to public health, peace, welfare or good order.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, individually or in unison, within the Town 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 of The Town of Phelps, 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 Town.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter (and are examples and not to be interpreted as a limitation of the general statement and purpose of this chapter):
A. 
The operation of any radio, phonograph or use of any musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence.
B. 
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the comfort and repose of any person in the vicinity.
C. 
The use of any automobile, motorcycle, trail bike, minibike, snowmobile, bus or any other vehicle so loaded or in such a manner as to create loud and unnecessary noise.
D. 
The blowing of any steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of danger.
E. 
The discharge into the air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine or motor vehicle engine, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
F. 
The erection, including excavation, demolition, alteration or repair, of any building other than between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer or other applicable laws in the Code of the Town of Phelps.
G. 
The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning or court while the same is in session, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital or court street.
H. 
The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers in such a manner as to create an unreasonable or unnecessary noise of unreasonable extent and duration.
I. 
The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
J. 
The use of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any sale or display of merchandise by the creation of noise.
K. 
The sounding of any horn or signal device on any vehicle, motorcycle, bus or other device except as a warning signal, pursuant to the provisions of Subdivision 1 of § 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
L. 
The use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker or amplifier attached thereto in such a manner that the loudspeaker shall cause the sound from such radio apparatus or talking machine to be projected directly therefrom outside of any building or out of doors, or the use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker or amplifier which is in any way fastened to or connected with any outside wall or window in any building or structure so that the sound therefrom is projected outside of such outside wall or window. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the operation of a radio apparatus or talking machine used in a reasonable manner by any person within any building or structure, provided that said radio apparatus or talking machine or loudspeaker is not so arranged that such loudspeaker shall project the sound therefrom directly outside of any building or out out of doors.
M. 
The creation of any noise which causes public inconvenience or alarm or disturbs the public's peace, comfort or tranquility, including the unnecessary squealing of tires on a motor vehicle and unnecessary blowing of horns on a motor vehicle.
The following sounds shall not be deemed to be a violation of this chapter:
A. 
Normal farming operations. It is recognized that farming is an essential activity in the Town of Phelps and requires that normal farming and agricultural operations be exempted from the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Sand and gravel and extraction companies. It is recognized that there are a number of existing sand and gravel and excavating or mining businesses in the Town and the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to these businesses already existing prior to the enactment of this chapter.
C. 
Sounds created by lawn mowers between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. weekdays and 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sundays.
D. 
Sounds connected with sporting events of any public or private school or authorized carnival, fair, exhibition, parade, etc., allowed by permit of the Town Board.
E. 
Sounds on private property which do not carry beyond the boundary lines of the property on which they are created.
Some of the standards which shall be considered in determining whether a violation of the provisions of this section exist shall include, but not be limited to the following:
A. 
The volume of the noise.
B. 
The intensity of the noise.
C. 
The number of people disturbed by such noise.
D. 
Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual.
E. 
Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural.
F. 
The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any.
G. 
The proximity of the noise to residential facilities.
H. 
The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates.
I. 
The density of the inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates.
J. 
The time of the day or night the noise occurs.
K. 
The duration of the noise.
L. 
Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant.
M. 
Whether the noise is produced by a commercial or noncommercial activity.
The Town Board of the Town of Phelps has deemed it appropriate and in the best interest of the Town to reduce and/or mitigate noise problems and complaints in the community and to supplement the provisions contained herein by the establishment of acceptable standards of decibel readings for ambient noise as an alternate means of enforcement of the intent of this chapter. 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 herein below:
A. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
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.
AMBIENT NOISE
The background average noise level within an area, exclusive of any extraneous sounds.
CLASS A (RESIDENTIAL)
Lands residentially zoned and used primarily for sleeping purposes by people. Such lands shall include those contained in the R-1 and R-AG Zoning Districts.
CLASS B (COMMERCIAL) LAND
Lands where people likely to communicate with one another by speech. Class B shall include public lands and zoning districts designated as C-1.
CLASS C (INDUSTRIAL) LAND
Lands intended primarily for heavy commercial or industrial use, and shall include those lands in zoning district M-1.
CONTINUOUS SOUND
Any sound that is not an impulsive sound.
DAYTIME
From 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 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, 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 this 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 S1.4-1983. 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 S1.4-1983, 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
Continuous Sound - Slow Response Meter Level
Maximum Sound in dBA
Receiving Land Use Category
Day
Night
Class A (residential)
65
55
Class B (commercial)
70
60
Class C (industrial)
80
70
Impulsive Sound - Fast Response Meter Level
Maximum Sound in dBA
Receiving Land Use Category
Day
Night
Class A (residential)
75
65
Class B (commercial)
80
70
Class C (industrial)
90
80
Notes:
  1 With impulsive noise, the following adjustment in the allowable maximum levels shall apply:
Repetitions per hour
Adjustment
3-10
Deduct 1 dBA
11-20
Deduct 2 dBA
21-60
Deduct 3 dBA
Over 60
Deduct 4 dBA
  2 In the event that the background noise (ambient) level for a given receiving land use exceed the standards above, the following maximum sound levels, measured using the criteria above, shall apply:
 
 
 
(a)
Any continuous sound which exceeds the ambient level by 10 dBA or more.
(b)
Any impulsive sound which exceeds the ambient level by 20 dBA or more, with the above adjustment applied
C. 
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 measurement.
(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 measured 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 9:00 a.m., the permissible sound levels in a residential district, including the R-AG 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 9:00 p.m.
(e) 
The following table describes the maximum pressure level permitted for an industrial source measured in any adjacent nonindustrial district or industrial district lot adjacent to the site.
TABLE II
Maximum Permitted Sound Levels, dBA
(RE: 0.0002 microbar)
Sound Measured in Response to the Noise Source
Continuous Slow Meter Response
Impact Fast Meter
Decibels
Decibels
Residential
50
60
Commercial
60
70
Industrial district lot
70
80
A. 
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 $250 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, for a conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, the second violation shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, such third and each subsequent offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
[Amended 8-10-2015 by L.L. No. 3-2015]
B. 
This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Ontario County Sheriff's Department or other law enforcement agency and/or by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Phelps.