Town of Dedham, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dedham as Ch. 13, Sec. 61, of the 1996 By-laws; amended 11-18-2013 STM by Art. 16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 117.
Moving of buildings — See Ch. 125.
Peddling, soliciting and sales — See Ch. 204.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 265.
As used in this by-law, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PLAINLY AUDIBLE
Any sound from a source regulated by this by-law that can be detected above routine or normal ambient background noise by unaided human hearing.
SOUND AMPLIFICATION SYSTEM
Any fixed or portable system to operate or amplify sound, including, but not limited to, phonograph, radio, television, stereo, record player, tape player, cassette player, compact disk player, digital music player, "boom box," or loud speaker.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to cause or allow any noise which emanates from any building, boat, structure, vehicle, premises, or any sound amplification system, which is plainly audible at a distance of 150 feet from the property line of the lot on which any such building, boat, structure, vehicle, premises or amplification system is located. The fact that the noise is plainly audible at a distance of 150 feet from said property line of any building, structure, vehicle, boat, premises or amplification system from which it originates shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this section. Each such act, which constitutes a violation of this section, which either continues or is reported more than 30 minutes after the issuance of a warning or citation to cease said activities, shall be considered a separate offense and shall be prosecuted as a separate offense.
B. 
For the purposes of this by-law, noises which disturb the reasonable quiet, comfort, repose, or health of others shall include but not be limited to the sound of construction or demolition equipment, loading or unloading activities, use of power tools and equipment, use of lawn or landscaping equipment, loud outcries, and other loud or boisterous noises which are not specifically exempted by § 192-6 and which are plainly audible at a distance of 150 feet from the property line of the lot on which their source is located between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 am. on Saturdays and Sundays, except as otherwise indicated, as outlined in § 192-2(B).
(1) 
In no event shall construction activity of any kind commence before 7:00 a.m. or continue beyond 9:00 p.m. except in compliance with the conditions of a valid permit issued by the Chief of Police pursuant to G.L. c.136, §§ 7 or 15.
C. 
For the purposes of this by-law, noises which disturb the reasonable quiet, comfort, repose, or health of others shall include but not be limited to noises produced by the prolonged unattended sounding of automobile burglar alarms for periods longer than 15 minutes, construction and demolition equipment which characteristically emits sound but which may be fitted and accommodated with equipment such as enclosures to suppress sound or may be operated in a manner so as to suppress sound, suppressible and preventable industrial and commercial sources of sound and other man-made sounds which are plainly audible at a distance of 150 feet from the property line on which their source is located at any hour of the day or night.
It shall be the duty of any police officer of this Town to order any person or persons so acting as to violate the provisions of this by-law to cease any prohibited activities which are specified in this by-law, and if the person or persons so ordered does not forthwith obey, the officer may enforce this by-law in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 1-6 of these By-laws, provided however that for purposes of non-criminal disposition, the initial violation shall be subject to a fine of $100, and any subsequent violations shall be subject to a fine of $300.
A. 
If the person or persons responsible for violation(s) of this by-law cannot be determined, then the person in lawful custody and/or control of the premises where the violation(s) occurred, including but not limited to the owner, lessee, manager, or occupant of the property, may be deemed responsible for the violation(s).
B. 
The Town may enforce this by-law or enjoin violations thereof through any lawful process, and the election of one remedy by the Town shall not preclude enforcement through any other lawful means.
The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the noise level regulations:
A. 
Any law enforcement motor vehicle equipped with any communication or signaling device necessary in the performance of law enforcement duties.
B. 
Any fire apparatus, ambulance, rescue, public works or emergency response vehicle in performance of their public safety responsibilities.
C. 
Any emergency vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary in the performance of any emergency procedures.
D. 
Any highway maintenance, water department, or public utilities vehicle utilizing an amplified communications system in the performance of their responsibilities.
E. 
Announcing systems at sanctioned sporting or other authorized public events.
F. 
Noises of safety signals, warning devices and emergency pressure relief valves during public emergencies.
G. 
Noises resulting from any authorized vehicle(s) responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency.
H. 
Noises resulting from activities of a temporary duration permitted by law and/or for which a license or permit has been granted by the Town.
I. 
Parades, music festivals, public gatherings, and events for which the Selectmen have issued a permit provided that such parades, music festivals, public gatherings and events in one city or town do not cause or allow any noise to be plainly audible in another city or town.
J. 
Bells, chimes or carillons, or their amplified, recorded, or other electronic substitution while being used for religious purposes, in conjunction with religious services or to denote time intervals between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
K. 
Snow removal from public or private parking lots, drives, roadways, driveways, sidewalks, and other vehicle- or pedestrian-traveled surfaces.
L. 
Noises resulting from activities of a temporary duration being conducted by a public utility company to repair/maintain public utility infrastructure.
M. 
Noises for which the Board of Selectmen has granted a special permit.
N. 
Construction activity under a valid permit issued by the Chief of Police pursuant to G.L. c.136, §§ 7 or 15.
O. 
Police, fire, and civil, state and national defense official activities.
P. 
Noise associated with loading/unloading activities in designated loading zones during approved hours as established by the Board of Selectman, so long as conducted in a manner so as to suppress sounds to as great an extent as is feasible, consistent with § 192-2(C). hereof.
A. 
Application for a permit for relief from the noise level designated in this by-law on the basis of undue hardship may be made to the Board of Selectmen.
B. 
Any permit granted by the Selectmen shall set forth all conditions pertaining to the specified noise and a reasonable time limit for its abatement.
C. 
The holders of licenses to provide alcoholic beverages and/or entertainment shall comply with any noise allowances and/or restrictions imposed upon such licenses, and in the case of a conflict between individual license allowances or restrictions and this by-law, the terms of the license shall apply, and a violation of any such allowances or restrictions shall also constitute a violation of this by-law.
If any part of this by-law is deemed to be contrary to state or federal law by the Attorney General, that part can be severed without affecting any other part of this by-law.