[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Brookfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by the Board of Selectmen 7-16-2001]
It is the intention of this article to carry out and effectuate the public policy of the State of Connecticut, the federal government and the Town of Brookfield concerning the regulation of those activities causing measurably excessive noise and noise disturbance within the Town of Brookfield. It is recognized that excessive noise is a serious hazard to the health, welfare and quality of life of all citizens and that each person has a right to an environment free from noise that may jeopardize their health, safety or welfare.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article.
- BACKGROUND NOISE
- Noise which exists at a point as a result of the combination of many distant sources, individually indistinguishable. In statistical terms, it is the level which is exceeded 90% of the time (L90) in which the measurement is taken.
- COMMERCIAL ZONE
- Those areas designated for commercial use in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Brookfield.
- DAYTIME HOURS
- Hours between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
- A unit of measurement of the sound level.
- Any occurrence involving actual or imminent danger to persons or damage to property which demands immediate action.
- EXCESSIVE NOISE
- Any sound, the intensity of which exceeds the standard set forth in § 159-3 of this article.
- IMPULSE NOISE
- Noise of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay.
- INDUSTRIAL ZONE
- Those areas designated for industrial use in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Brookfield.
- INTRUSION ALARM
- A device with an audible signal which, when activated, indicates intrusion by an unauthorized person. Such alarm may be attached to, or within, a building, structure, property or vehicle.
- LAWN CARE AND MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT
- All engine- or motor-powered garden or maintenance tools intended for occasional use in residential districts, typically capable of being used by a homeowner, including, but not limited to, lawn mowers, riding tractors, snowblowers, and including equipment intended for infrequent service work in inhabited areas, typically requiring skilled operators, including, but not limited to, chainsaws, log chippers or paving rollers.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Shall be given that meaning which is provided for by Connecticut General Statutes, § 14-1(a)(47).
- NIGHTTIME HOURS
- The hours between 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., Sunday evening through Saturday morning, except that "nighttime hours" shall mean the hours between 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 an. on Sunday and 7:30 p.m. of the day preceding a recognized national holiday and 10:00 a.m. on said holiday.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, association, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, municipality, agency or political or administrative subdivision of the State or other legal entity of any kind.
- Any building, structure, land or portion thereof, including all appurtenances, and shall include yards, lots, courts, inner yards and real properties without buildings or improvements owned or controlled by a person.
- PROPERTY LINE
- That real or imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension which separates real property owned or controlled by any person from contiguous real property owned or controlled by another person, and separates real property from the public right-of-way.
- RESIDENTIAL ZONE
- Those areas designated for residential use in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Brookfield.
- A transmission of energy through solid, liquid or gaseous media in the form of vibrations which constitute alterations in pressure or position of the particles in the medium and which, in air, evoke physiological sensations, including, but not limited to, an auditory response when impinging on the ear.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of sound levels. The sound level meter shall conform to the ANSI Specifications for Sound Level Meters, S1.4-1971.
Noise zones within the Town of Brookfield shall be classified according to the zoning applicable to the parcel or tract of land from which noise is emitted and the surrounding parcels or tracts on which noise is received, provided that any parcel whose use is lawfully nonconforming to its zone at the time this article is enacted shall be classified for noise emission purposes according to the zone appropriate for the nonconforming use. It shall be unlawful for any person to emit or cause to be emitted any noise beyond the boundaries of his/her premises in excess of the noise levels established in this section. Measurements shall be taken at a point that is located approximately one foot beyond the boundary of the emitter's premises within the receptor's premises. The emitter's premises includes his/her individual unit of land or ground or contiguous parcels under the same ownership, as indicated by the public land records.
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 80 decibels' peak sound pressure level during the night time to any residential zone. No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 100 decibels' peak sound pressure level at any time to any zone.
A person conducting sound measurements shall have been trained in the techniques and principles of sound measuring equipment and instrumentation. Instruments used to determine sound level measurements shall be sound level meters as defined by this article.
In those individual cases where the background noise levels caused by sources not subject to this article exceed the standards contained herein, a source shall be considered to cause excessive noise if the noise emitted by such source exceeds the background noise level by five dBA, provided that no source subject to the provisions of § 159-3 shall emit noise in excess of 80 dBA at any time, and provided that this section does not decrease the permissible levels set forth in any other section of this article.
Maximum noise levels established pursuant to § 159-3 hereof shall not apply to any noise emitted by or related to:
Any bell or chime from any building clock, school or church.
Any siren, whistle or bell lawfully used by emergency vehicles or any other alarm system used in an emergency situation. This exclusion does not include, however, intrusion alarms attached to any building, structure, or property not terminating within 30 minutes after being activated or any intrusion alarm attached to a vehicle not terminating within 10 minutes after being activated. The repetition of activation of the audible signal of an intrusion alarm due to malfunction, lack of proper maintenance, or lack of reasonable care shall be considered excessive noise.
Warning devices required by OSHA or other state or federal safety regulations.
Noise created as a result of an emergency, including, but not limited to, the use of emergency generators.
Noise created by lawn care and maintenance equipment utilized during daytime hours, as that term is defined in this article, provided that noise discharged from exhausts is adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom,
Activities specially licensed or under permit from the Town of Brookfield, including, but not limited to, parades, sporting events, conceit and firework displays. This exclusion applies only if noise discharged from exhausts is adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noise therefrom. Moreover, patriotic or public celebrations may not extend longer than one calendar day.
Noise from snow removal equipment, provided that such equipment shall be maintained in good repair so as to minimize noise, and noise discharged from exhausts shall be adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.
Utility maintenance, including, but not limited to, the removal of fallen trees and the installation and repair of utility wires and poles.
Town of Brookfield construction, road repair, and tree removal operations.
The repair of buildings owned by the Town of Brookfield.
Activities conducted by the Town of Brookfield in a governmental capacity or by the State of Connecticut or by the government of the United States.
All motor vehicles operated within the limits of the Town of Brookfield shall be subject to the noise standards and decibel levels act forth by Connecticut General Statutes, §§ 14-80 and 14-80a, and the regulations issued thereunder.
Any person in violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be fined in the amount of $25 for his or her first violation; $50 for a subsequent violation occurring within 30 days of his or her first violation; and $75 for any subsequent violation occurring within 30 days of any previous violations, not including his or her first violation occurring pursuant to this section. Each day such violation continues after the time for correction of the violation has been given in an order shall constitute a separate violation. Notification of violation shall be given at the time of the occurrence of the noise or shortly thereafter in the form of a written notice of violation,
The Brookfield Police Department shall enforce the provisions of this article pertaining to the measurement of noise levels and the issuance of notices of violation.
Any person living or doing business within the Town of Brookfield may apply for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this article in accordance with the procedures established by this chapter. No variance shall be issued unless it has been demonstrated that the proposed activity will not violate any provisions of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regulations as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes, § 22a-69 et seq.
Editor's Note: The phrase "this Chapter" refers to the Town of Brookfield Zoning Regulations, which are on file in the Town offices.