[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton 6-8-1970 as Sec. 5-3 of the Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, to continue, or cause to be made or continued and allowed, unnecessary or unusual noise, or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the Town of Newton.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- SOUND-AMPLIFYING EQUIPMENT
- Any machine or device for the amplification of the human voice, music or any other sounds. Sound-amplifying equipment as used herein shall not be construed as including standard automobile radios when used and heard only by occupants of the vehicles in which they are installed, or warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles, or horns or other warning devices on other vehicles used only for traffic safety purposes.
- SOUND TRUCK
- A motor vehicle or any other means of conveyance having mounted thereon or attached thereto any sound-amplifying equipment.
The following acts are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but enumerations shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, street car, or other vehicle on any street or public place of the Town, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device or any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; the sounding of any such device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
Radios, phonographs, etc. Using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet, and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants, or at any time at louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the personal enjoyment of persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which the machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners; the operation of any device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter.
Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or other machine or device, whether producing or reproducing sound, which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
Yelling, shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing in the public street, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, hotel, or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Steam whistles. The blowing of any locomotive steam whistle or steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of fire or danger, or upon request of proper Town authorities.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to a school, institution of learning, church or courthouse while the same are in use, or adjacent to a hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institutions or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in such hospitals; provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in the streets indicating that located thereon is a school, hospital or court house.
Drums. The use of any drum or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by creation of noise to any performance, show or sale.
Miscellaneous night noises. The "warming up" of diesel motors or motor vehicles; creation of loud or excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading of any vehicle; the repair, erection or demolition of any building, or the creation of any other loud or raucous sound or noise between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in proximity to any dwelling, residence or other inhabited buildings.
The sound of any construction vehicles and/or equipment in operation that creates unreasonably loud or harsh sounds, including engine noise which shall be prohibited at commercial and residential development construction sites every day between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., as well as on Sundays; except during emergency or disaster situations that require immediate action, regardless of when such emergencies or disasters occur.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any sound truck, either for commercial or noncommercial purposes in the Town with sound-amplifying equipment in operation.
Registration required. No person shall use or cause to be used any sound-amplifying equipment for noncommercial purposes in the Town before filing a registration statement with the Clerk in writing. This registration statement shall be filed in duplicate and shall state the following:
Name and address of applicant.
Name and address of person who owns the sound-amplifying equipment.
Name and address of persons having direct charge of the sound-amplifying equipment.
The purpose for which the sound-amplifying equipment will be used.
A statement identifying the place or premises on which the sound-amplifying equipment will be used.
The proposed hours of operation of the sound-amplifying equipment.
The number of days of proposed operation of such equipment.
A general description of the sound-amplifying equipment which is to be used.
The maximum sound producing power of the sound-amplifying equipment, including the wattage to be used, the volume in decibels of the sound which will be produced, and the approximate maximum distance that the sound can be heard.
Registration statement amendment. All persons using or causing to be used sound-amplifying equipment must file amendments to the registration statement pursuant to Subsection A of this section within 48 hours after any change in the information therein furnished.
Registration and identification. The Clerk shall return to the applicant one copy of the registration statement duly certified by the Clerk as a correct copy of the application. The certified copy of the application shall be in the possession of any person operating the sound-amplifying equipment at all times while it is in operation, and it shall be prominently displayed and shown to any police officer of the Town upon request.
Noncommercial use of sound-amplifying equipment shall be subject to the following regulations:
The only sounds permitted are music or human speech.
Operation is permitted for four hours each day, except on Sundays and legal holidays when no operations shall be authorized. The permitted four hours of operation shall be between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The sound-amplifying equipment shall not be operated within 100 yards of hospitals, schools, churches or court houses.
The human speech and music amplified shall not be profane, lewd, indecent or slanderous.
The volume of sound shall be controlled so that it will not be audible for a distance in excess of 100 feet from the sound-amplifying equipment, and so that the volume is not unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons within the area of audibility.
No sound-amplifying equipment shall be operated within excess of 15 watts of power in the last stage of amplification.
The following uses of sound-amplification equipment are hereby specifically excepted and excluded from the intent of this chapter:
Use of sound-amplification equipment by Town and county, state or federal governments or agencies in connection with any emergency or other governmental or educational function, or use of any program or activity sponsored by the Town Council.
Use of sound-amplification equipment by persons at Memory Park in the Town, provided that such equipment is operated in strict accord with the rules and regulations of the Recreation Commission.
Use of sound-amplification equipment in enclosed buildings where the sound is not audible at a distance of 50 feet from such buildings.