Town of Oyster Bay, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oyster Bay 7-24-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dogs and other animals — See Ch. 103.
Explosives and firearms — See Ch. 114.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 168.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 173.
Vehicles for hire — See Ch. 236.
This chapter may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance."
A. 
Terminology. All terminology used in this chapter not defined below shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated dB(A) or dBA.
COMMERCIAL AREA
Any area designated for commercial uses under the Town of Oyster Bay Building Zone Ordinance.[1]
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition.
DECIBEL (dB)
A unit for measuring the volume of a sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of structures, utilities, public or private right-of-way surfaces or similar property.
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating the physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an emergency.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
The value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of a single motor vehicle. In cases where trailers and tractors are separable, the gross combination weight rating (GCWR), which is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of the combination vehicle, shall be used.
INDUSTRIAL AREA
An area designated for any industrial use under the Town of Oyster Bay Building Zone Ordinance.[2]
MOTORBOAT
Any vessel which operates on water and which is propelled by a motor, including but not limited to boats, barges, amphibious craft, water ski towing devices and hover craft.
MOTOR CARRIER VEHICLE ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE
Any vehicle for which regulations apply pursuant to Section 18 of the Federal Noise Control Act of 1972, P.L. 92-574, as amended, pertaining to motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce.
MOTORCYCLE
An unenclosed motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and two or three wheels in contact with the ground, including but not limited to motor scooters and minibikes.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn on land by a motor, such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck-trailers, semitrailers, campers, goKarts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles, but not including motorcycles.
MUFFLER or SOUND DISSIPATIVE DEVICE
A device for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
NOISE
Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
NOISE DISRUPTION
The creation of any sound which interferes with the reasonable and normal activities of reasonable persons of normal sensitivities lawfully occupying an area adjacent to the source of said sound.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals or annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or endangers or injures personal or real property. Time of day, volume and duration are factors considered when determining said sound to be a "noise disturbance."
NOISE-SENSITIVE ZONE
Any area designated pursuant to this chapter for the purpose of ensuring exceptional quiet.
PERSON
Any individual, association, partnership or corporation, and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of a state or any political subdivision of a state.
POWERED MODEL VEHICLE
Any self-propelled airborne, waterborne or landborne plane, vessel or vehicle, which is not designed to carry persons, including but not limited to any model airplane, boat, car or rocket.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk or alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
A line along the ground surface, 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.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
An area designated for any residential use under the Town of Oyster Bay Building Zone Ordinance.[3]
SOUND
An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that cause compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristic of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.
TIME
All "time" references are made to prevailing time.
VIBRATION
An oscillatory motion of solid bodies of deterministic or random nature described by displacement, velocity or acceleration with respect to a given reference point.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, which is not a legal holiday.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 246, Zoning.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 246, Zoning.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 246, Zoning.
A. 
The Town of Oyster Bay Department of Public Works shall have the following duties:
(1) 
Review of actions of other departments. To request any other department or agency responsible for any proposed or final standard, regulation or similar action or construction activity to consult on the advisability of revising the action, if there is reason to believe that the action is not consistent with this chapter.
(2) 
Review of public projects. To review public projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by its department, for compliance with this chapter, if such projects are likely to cause sound or vibration in violation of this chapter.
(3) 
Inspections. To stop any owner or operator of any motorboat operated on any public waterway, including but not limited to any town facility or public waterway reasonably suspected of violating this chapter, and issue a notice of violation and/or issue summons.
(4) 
Investigate and pursue violations. To investigate and pursue possible violations of this chapter.
(5) 
The Town Environmental Quality Review Commission, in compliance with state and local law, shall apply the provisions of this chapter when conducting environmental reviews.
B. 
The Town of Oyster Bay Department of Planning and Development shall have the following duties:
(1) 
Review of private projects. To review private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by its department, for compliance with this chapter, if such projects are likely to cause sound or vibration in violation of this chapter.
(2) 
Inspections. Upon presentation of proper credentials, to enter and inspect any private property or place and inspect any report or records at any reasonable time when granted permission by the owner or of some other person with apparent authority to act for the owner. When permission is refused or cannot be obtained, a search warrant or other court order may be sought.
(3) 
Investigate and pursue violations. To investigate and pursue possible violations of this chapter and issue notice of violation and/or issue summons.
(4) 
Provide capital improvement guidelines. To establish noise assessment guidelines for the evaluation of proposed improvements for capital improvements. These guidelines shall assist in the determination of the relative priority of each improvement in terms of noise impact.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude enforcement by any duly authorized law enforcement body having jurisdiction in the Town of Oyster Bay.
A. 
Noise disturbances prohibited. No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any noise disturbance at any time.
B. 
Specific prohibitions. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter:
(1) 
Radios, television sets, musical instruments and similar devices.
(a) 
Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:
[1] 
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays in such a manner as to create a noise disruption across a real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone.
[2] 
In such a manner as to create a noise disruption at approximately 50 feet from such device, when operated in or on a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way or public space or in a boat on public waters; or
[3] 
In such a manner as to create a noise disruption to any person other than the operator of the device, when operated by any passenger on a common carrier.
(b) 
This section shall not apply to noncommercial spoken language covered under Subsection B(2).
(2) 
Loudspeakers and public address systems. Using or operating for any purpose any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disruption across real property boundary or within a noise sensitive zone or between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays on a public right-of-way or public space.
(3) 
Street sales. Offering for sale or selling anything by shouting or outcry within any residential or commercial area of the town, except in a stadium or sports arena.
(4) 
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird which, for a long continuous and frequent duration in excess of 30 minutes, howls, barks, meows, squawks or makes other sounds which create noise disruption across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone.
(5) 
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials or similar objects between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays in such a manner as to cause a noise disruption across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone.
(6) 
Commercial equipment. Operating or permitting the operation of any commercial tools or commercial equipment (e.g., air-conditioning and refrigeration systems) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day and 8:00 a.m. in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a residential real property or within a noise-sensitive zone.
(7) 
Construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling or demolition work:
(a) 
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and at any time on Sunday or Holidays, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disruption across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone, except for emergency work or public service utilities.
(b) 
This section shall not apply to the use of domestic power tools subject to Subsection B(16) when said operation is limited to work that does not require a building permit.
(8) 
Vehicle or motorboat repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorboat in such a manner as to cause a noise disruption across a residential real property boundary or within a noise-sensitive zone from 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays.
(9) 
Airport and aircraft operations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit, restrict, penalize, enjoin or in any manner regulate the movement of aircraft which are in all respects conducted in accordance with or pursuant to applicable federal laws, regulations and local laws or ordinances.
(10) 
Explosives, firearms and similar devices. The use or firing of explosives, firearms or similar devices which create impulsive sound so as to cause a noise disruption across a real property boundary or on a public space or right-of-way.
(11) 
Powered model vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of powered model vehicles so as to create a noise disruption across a residential real property boundary, in a public space or within a noise-sensitive zone between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays.
(12) 
Vibration. Operating or permitting the operation of any device that creates vibration which is above the vibration perception threshold of an individual at or beyond the property of the source if on private property or at approximately 50 feet from the source if on a public space or public right-of-way. For the purposes of this section "vibration perception threshold" means the minimum ground- or structure-borne vibrational motion necessary to cause a normal person to be aware of the vibration by such direct means as, but not limited to, sensation by touch or visual observation of moving objects. This section shall not apply to construction activities performed in compliance with all applicable federal, state and any local laws and ordinances.
(13) 
Stationary nonemergency signaling devices.
(a) 
Sounding or permitting the sounding of any signal from any stationary bell, chime, siren, whistle or similar device intended primarily for nonemergency purposes, from any place, for more than one minute in an hourly period.
(b) 
Devices used in conjunction with places of religious worship shall be exempt from the operation of this provisions.
(14) 
Emergency signaling devices.
(a) 
The intentional sounding or permitting the sounding outdoors of any fire, burglar or civil defense alarm, siren, whistle or similar stationary emergency signaling device, except for emergency purposes or for testing, as provided in Subsection B(14)(b).
(b) 
Testing.
[1] 
Testing of a stationary emergency signaling device shall occur at the same time of day each time such a test is performed, but not before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. Any such testing shall use only the minimum cycle test time. In no case shall such test time exceed 60 seconds.
[2] 
Testing of the complete emergency signaling system, including the functioning of the signaling device and the personnel response to the signaling device, shall not occur more than once in each calendar month. Such testing shall not occur before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. The time limit specified in Subsection B(14)(b)[1] shall not apply to such complete system testing.
(c) 
Sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm or any motor vehicle burglar alarm unless such alarm is automatically terminated within six minutes of activation.
(15) 
Motorboats. Operating or permitting the operation of any motorboat in any harbor, bay, sound area or other waterway in such manner as to create a noise disruption at approximately 50 feet or the nearest shoreline, whichever distance is less.
(16) 
Domestic power tools. Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, sander, drill, grinder, lawn or garden tool, snowblower or similar device used in residential areas between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays or Holidays so as to cause a noise disruption across a residential real property boundary.
(17) 
Tampering. The following acts or the causing thereof are prohibited:
(a) 
The removal or rendering inoperative by any person, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, of any noise control device or element of design.
(b) 
The moving or rendering inaccurate or inoperative of any sound-monitoring instrument or device positioned by or for the Town of Oyster Bay or its agent or employee, provided that such device or the immediate area is clearly labeled or identified.
(c) 
The use of a product which has had a noise control device or element of design rendered inoperative, with knowledge that such action has occurred.
(18) 
Leaf blowers. The operation of any motorized leaf-blower device prior to 8:00 a.m., prevailing time, or after 7:00 p.m., prevailing time, weekdays, or prior to 9:00 a.m., prevailing time, or after 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, weekends and national holidays.
[Added 10-1-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996]
A. 
Emergency exception. 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 the emission of sound in the performance of emergency work.
B. 
Municipal operation exception. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the emission of sounds created in conjunction with the performance of valid municipal functions by town or private entities.
C. 
Lawful hunting exception. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the emission of sounds created in conjunction with lawful hunting at New York State approved hunting areas when proper hunting licenses are obtained.
A. 
No person shall operate or cause to be operated a public or private motor vehicle or motorcycle on a public right-of-way at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle exceeds the level set forth in applicable federal regulations. Since newly manufactured motor vehicles of all kinds, including trucks, automobiles and motorcycles, are covered by applicable federal regulations, it is not the intent of this chapter to regulate the standards for newly manufactured vehicles.
B. 
Adequate mufflers or sound dissipative devices.
(1) 
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with a muffler or other sound dissipative device in good working order and in constant operation.
(2) 
No person shall remove or repair inoperative or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler or sound dissipative device on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.
C. 
Motor vehicle horns and signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device on or in any motor vehicle except as a warning of danger is a violation of this chapter.
D. 
Standing motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in excess of 10,000 pounds or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle for a period longer than 10 minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion on a public right-of-way or public space, within 150 feet of a residential area between the hours of 10:00 p.m. the previous day to 9:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9:00 p.m. the previous day to 8:00 a.m. on Sunday or Holidays.
E. 
Recreation motorized vehicles operating off public right-of-way. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any recreational motorized vehicle off a public right-of-way in such a manner that the sound level emitted therefrom creates a noise disruption at a distance of approximately 50 feet or more from the path of the vehicle when operated on a public space or at or across the boundary of private property when operated on private property. This section shall apply to all recreational motorized vehicles, whether or not duly licensed and registered, including but not limited to commercial or noncommercial racing vehicles, motorcycles, goKarts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft, campers and dune buggies, but not including motorboats.
A. 
Immediate threats to health and welfare.
(1) 
The Town of Oyster Bay or its agent or employee shall order an immediate halt to any sound which exposes any person to continuous sound levels in excess of those shown in Table I or to impulsive sound levels in excess of those shown in Table II. Within five days following issuance of such an order, the Town of Oyster Bay or its agent or employee shall apply to the appropriate court for an injunction to replace the order.
(2) 
Any person subject to an order issued pursuant to Subsection A(1) shall comply with such order until the sound is brought into compliance with the order, as determined by the Town of Oyster Bay or its agent or employee, or a judicial order has superseded the Town of Oyster Bay or its agent or employee.
TABLE I
CONTINUOUS SOUND LEVELS WHICH POSE AN IMMEDIATE THREAT TO HEALTH AND WELFARE
(measured at 50 feet or 15 meters)
Sound Level Limit
(dBA)
Duration
90
24 hours
93
12 hours
96
6 hours
99
3 hours
102
1.5 hours
105
45 minutes
108
22 minutes
TABLE II
IMPULSIVE SOUND LEVELS WHICH POSE AN IMMEDIATE THREAT TO HEALTH AND WELFARE
(measured at 50 feet or 15 meters)
Sound Level Limit
(dBA)
Number of Repetitions per 24-Hour Period
145
1
135
10
125
100
B. 
Other remedies. No provision of this chapter shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of action or legal remedy therefrom of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this chapter or from other law.
Any person who shall violate any portion of the chapter herein or regulation thereon or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter or of such regulation shall be deemed misdemeanors, and, for such purpose only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
[Added 8-19-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997]
In addition to and notwithstanding any other remedy for an offense against this chapter, any person violating a directive issued by the Commissioner or his/her duly authorized representative, made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $900 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both.