[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 12-7-1999 by L.L. No. 41-1999 (Ch. 366 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that excessive noise can endanger the general health of individuals exposed to it and can actually cause hearing loss.
This Legislature further finds that many persons cause excessive noise through the use of radios and amplifiers and other devices that play music, including boom boxes, which can be deleterious to the health, safety and general well being of the public.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to limit noise on County-owned properties.
[Amended 5-13-2003 by L.L. No. 18-2003]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT SOUND
- An all-encompassing composite of sounds from many sources associated with a given environment.
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The sound pressure level in decibels, as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network slow response (dBA).
- CONTINUOUS SOUND
- Any sound that is not an impulsive sound.
- A unit for measuring the pressure level of a sound, equal to 1/10 of a bel.
- IMPULSIVE SOUND
- A sound characterized by brief excursions of peak sound pressure which significantly exceed the ambient sound.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound that:
- PEAK SOUND PRESSURE
- The maximum absolute value of the instantaneous sound pressure level during a specified time interval.
- Any natural person, individual, corporation, unincorporated association, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association or other entity or business organization of any kind.
- SHOOTING RANGE
- An outdoor range equipped with targets for use with firearms and shall include, but not be limited to, all rifle, pistol, and shotgun ranges.
- Any variation in ambient barometric pressure.
- SOUND DEVICE OR APPARATUS
- Any radio device or apparatus or any device or apparatus for the amplification of sounds from any radio, phonograph or other sound-making or sound-producing device or apparatus for the reproduction or amplification of the human voice or other sounds.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- When measured in decibels, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the effective pressure of the sound measured to the standard reference pressure of a sound.
- STANDARD REFERENCE PRESSURE OF A SOUND
- Twenty micronewtons per square foot.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made mechanically any noise disturbance on any County highway or within the limits of the right-of-way of such highway or upon any parcel of real estate owned by the County of Suffolk, in whatever capacity and for whatever purpose, or upon buses owned, leased or operated by the County of Suffolk.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation or playing of any noise device or apparatus on any County highway or within the limits of the right-of-way of such highway, in whatever capacity or for whatever purpose, or upon any parcel of real estate owned by the County of Suffolk or upon buses owned, leased or operated by the County of Suffolk in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on any County highway or within the limits of the right-of-way of such highway or upon any parcel of real estate owned by the County of Suffolk or upon buses owned, leased or operated by the County of Suffolk in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in Table I of this section, when measured at or within the real property line of the County-owned property, except those acts specifically prohibited in § 618-3 of this chapter for which no measurement of sound is required.
This chapter shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this chapter.
Section 618-3 of this chapter shall not apply to the following activities:
The noise from domestic power tools, lawn mowers and agricultural equipment, when operated with a muffler, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided that they produce less than 85 dBA at any real property line of County-owned property.
The sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service.
The noise from construction activity, except for operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earth-moving, excavating or demolition work between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays or at any time on weekends or legal holidays, except:
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows, when operated with a muffler, for the purpose of snow removal.
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices owned and operated by any public utility, municipal subdivision, fire department or ambulance corps when used in connection with an emergency or for testing purposes.
Noise from a burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after it has been activated and shall not operate more than 15 minutes in any one-hour period.
This chapter shall not apply to:
[Amended 5-13-2003 by L.L. No. 18-2003]
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency or the creation of sound in the performance of emergency work.
Noise from noncommercial public-speaking and public-assembly activities.
Noise from municipally sponsored celebrations or events.
Noise emanating from the recreational discharge of firearms at a County-owned, -operated- or -leased shooting range, the site for which was being used as a facility for the recreational discharge of firearms prior to January 1, 1980.