Town of Elmira, NY
Chemung County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elmira at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm devices — See Ch. 55.
Animals — See Ch. 61.
Farming — See Ch. 113.
Snowmobiles — See Ch. 180.
Timber harvesting — See Ch. 206.
This chapter shall be known as the "Noise Control Law of the Town of Elmira."
Excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety, and quality of life and people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive noise. It is therefore declared to be the policy of the Town of Elmira to prevent excessive noise. It is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the health, comfort, convenience, peace and quiet of the Town of Elmira and its inhabitants. This chapter shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes described in this section.
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings set forth below:
ACTIVITY
Any act or combination of acts which causes the production of sound.
ANIMALS
Any animal under the control of an individual, including birds.
CONSTRUCTION
Any or all activity necessary or incidental to the erection, demolition, assembling, altering, installing or equipment of buildings, public or private highways, roads, premises, parks, utility lines (including such lines in already-constructed tunnels) or other property, including land clearing, grading, excavating and filling.
EMERGENCY
A public calamity or an exposure of any person or property to imminent danger.
EMERGENCY SIGNAL DEVICE
Any gong, siren, whistle, air horn or similar device, the use of which on emergency vehicles is permitted by Subdivision 26 of § 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
EXCESSIVE NOISE
Any sound which endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals or annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivity or endangers or injures personal or real property.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn, which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, except vehicles which run only upon rails or tracks. This definition shall include but is not limited to trucks, buses, automobiles, vans, motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, motor scooters, dune buggies, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, go-carts, minibikes, trail bikes and all other types of motorized recreational vehicles.
NOISE
Any sound of such a level and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare; or which would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.
OWNER
Any person who has regular control of a device or site, including, but not limited to, the owner of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, or an agent of such person.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, firm, organization, governmental agency, administration or department or any other group of individuals, or any officer or employee thereof.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
An imaginary line along the surface of the ground 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.
SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICE
A device intended for the production or reproduction of sound, including but not limited to any radio receiver, television receiver, tape recorder, compact disc player, musical instrument, phonograph or sound-amplifying system.
No person shall make, continue or cause or permit to be made or continued any excessive noise.
No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any sound reproduction device for commercial or business advertising purposes or for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale or display of merchandise in connection with any commercial or business enterprise, including those engaged in the sale of radios, television sets, phonographs, tape recorders, compact disc players, phonograph records, tapes or compact discs in front or outside of any building, place or premises or on or through any aperture of such building, place or premises abutting on or adjacent to a public street, park or place or in or upon any vehicle operated, standing or being in or on any public street, park or place where the sound therefrom may be heard upon any public street, park or place or from any stand, platform or other structure or from any airplane or other device used for flying, flying over the Town or on a boat or on the waters within the jurisdiction of the Town or anywhere on the public streets, parks or places; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall prohibit vehicles from which ice cream products or similar products are sold from being equipped with a bell or bell-like device, nor prohibit the use thereof by the driver of such vehicle, provided that no such bell or bell-like device shall be capable of being heard from a distance greater than 400 feet and provided further that no such bell or bell-like device shall be used for any purpose between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following day nor be used as an ordinary warning signal at any time.
A. 
No person shall use or operate or permit to be used or operated any radio, television, phonograph, compact disc player, musical instrument or other machine or device for the producing, reproducing or amplification of sound with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of the person or persons who are voluntary listeners thereto. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section if sound emanating from such machine or device is:
(1) 
Audible beyond the property lines of the premises upon which it is being used between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
(2) 
Audible at a distance of 50 feet beyond the property line of the premises upon which it is being used between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. of the same day.
(3) 
Audible at a distance of 50 feet from such machine or device if operated from within a motor vehicle on a public street.
(4) 
Audible at a distance of 50 feet from such machine or device when operated in a public park or other public place.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following:
(1) 
Funeral processions or use of such devices by a church.
(2) 
The production of music in connection with any parade authorized under any provision of law.
(3) 
Any musical performance upon a public place where a permit has been obtained from the Town Clerk for such purpose.
(4) 
The use of amplifiers or other sound producing instruments or equipment in connection with any religious or political activity or any permitted athletic competition or recreational event held on athletic fields, stadiums or public places in the Town.
A. 
No person shall own, possess or harbor any animal or bird which frequently or for continued duration makes excessive noise which is audible across a real property boundary.
B. 
For the purpose of this section, a barking dog which makes excessive noise may be defined as a dog that barks continuously for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes.
No person shall sound or permit the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle unless such alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes of its being activated. Notwithstanding this provision, any member of the Police Department of the Town of Elmira shall have the authority to take such steps as may be necessary to disconnect any such alarm at any time when such alarm is operating. Any motor vehicle on which a burglar alarm has been installed and armed shall, when parked in a public highway, prominently display a telephone number at which communication may normally be made with the owner or operator of such motor vehicle.
No person shall operate or use any radio, musical instrument, television, phonograph or other machine or device in or on any bus or public means of conveyance, other than taxicabs, in such manner that the sound emanating from such sound reproduction device is audible to another person.
No person shall cause or permit the creation of any excessive noise through the use of any device on any street, sidewalk or public place adjacent to any church, court or school while such church, court or school is in use, or adjacent to any hospital at any time, provided that signs are displayed so as to identify such church, court, school or hospital.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, or demolition work between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on any day of the week. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following:
A. 
Emergency work or action by public service utilities.
B. 
Domestic power tools.
C. 
By special variance issued pursuant to § 145-20 of this chapter.
D. 
When the sound is not audible across a real property boundary.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motorized or mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool, or similar device used outdoors in residential areas so as to be audible across a real property boundary between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the following day on weekends.
No person shall cause the sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle, except as a danger warning.
No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any emergency signal device except:
A. 
On an emergency vehicle when such vehicle is in the immediate act of responding to an emergency;
B. 
To give notice as a warning of an emergency; or
C. 
In order to reasonably test such device.
A. 
Every motor vehicle operated or driven upon the streets of the Town shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler and exhaust system in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive noise, and no such muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cut-out, bypass or similar device. No person shall modify the muffler or exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor or exhaust system of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler or exhaust system originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler and exhaust system shall comply with all the requirements of this section. A "muffler" is a device consisting of a series of chambers or baffle plates, or other mechanical design, for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from an internal-combustion engine, and effective in reducing noise. An "exhaust system" is a series of mechanical devices for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from an internal-combustion engine and expelling it into the atmosphere.
B. 
No person shall sell, install or use a motorcycle exhaust device without internal baffles, known as "straight pipes."
No person shall make or permit to be made excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading of any vehicle or the opening, unloading or destruction of bales, boxes, crates, containers or construction material.
It shall be unlawful for any person within any residential area of the Town to repair, rebuild, or test any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorboat in such a manner as to create sound audible beyond the property lines of the premises upon which it is being repaired, rebuilt or tested, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated a place of public entertainment, including but not limited to a restaurant, bar, cafe, discotheque, or dance hall, in such a manner as to create sound audible beyond the property lines of the premises upon which it is being generated, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Any noise originating from a satisfactory property location which is heard at the property line from which the sound is emanating, or beyond, and found to be audible at a time or place prohibited in this chapter shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency or in the performance of emergency work or action.
B. 
The Town of Elmira shall establish regulations governing exceptions, variances and appeals. Such regulations shall be subject to the approval of the Town Board prior to the promulgation thereof.
C. 
The Town of Elmira shall have the authority to grant special variances which may be requested.
Any person violating any of the terms of this chapter shall be liable to a fine not to exceed $250 for each violation thereof. Each day of violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.