[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Waterford 7-25-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety, and the quality of life.
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated.
Township residents have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound.
It is the policy of Township Committee to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare, or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound within the limits of the Township.
As used in this chapter:
- COMMERCIAL AREA
- A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
- COMMERCIAL FACILITY
- Any premises, property, or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
- A. Banking and other financial institutions;
- B. Dining establishments;
- C. Establishments for providing retail services;
- D. Establishments for providing wholesale services;
- E. Establishments for recreation and entertainment;
- F. Office buildings;
- G. Transportation;
- H. Warehouses;
- I. Construction companies.
- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
- DECIBEL (dB)
- The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level; the number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound (20 micropascals); abbreviated "dB."
- Any dismantling, intentional destruction, or removal of buildings or structures.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including, but not limited to, repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone, sewer facilities, or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way, or abating life-threatening conditions.
- INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
- Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities, or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture, or production of durable or nondurable goods.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
- A sound dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gasses of an internal combustion engine.
- MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING
- Any building wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
- Any sounds of such 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 throughout the Township or in any portions thereof, but excludes all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
- NOISE CONTROL ADMINISTRATOR
- The Waterford Township Zoning Officer shall be designated as the official liaison with all municipal departments and shall be empowered to grant permits for variations in accordance with provisions of § 192-6.
- NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
- Officially designated officers of the Waterford Police Department or of the Camden County Department of Health, trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue a summons for violations of this chapter.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound that:
- Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint-stock company, the state or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley that is leased, owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- PUBLIC SPACE
- Any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity.
- REAL PROPERTY LINE
- RESIDENTIAL AREA
- A group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting; sound level is expressed in dBA.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument used to measure sound level and conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI specifications S1.4-1971.
- Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
- Saturday and Sunday.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any excessive or unusually loud noise, or to create a noise disturbance within the limits of the Township except as provided in this section.
An excessive or unusually loud noise shall be defined, for purposes of this section, as any noise or sound that emanates past the boundary or property from which it originates and by so doing creates a disturbance for any of the contiguous property owners, or property owners in the near vicinity.
The following acts are declared to be loud, disturbing or excessive noise in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
Horns and signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or signaling device except as a danger warning signal or as provided in the Vehicle Code of the State of New Jersey.
Radios, television sets and similar devices.
Operating or permitting the use or operation of any exterior radio receiving set, musical instrument, television, phonograph, drum or other device for the production or reproduction of sound, except as provided for in Subsection C below, in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance.
Or operating any such device except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and dusk or 8:00 p.m., whichever comes first.
Exterior loudspeakers. Using or operating any mechanical device or loudspeaker in a fixed or movable position exterior to any building or mounted upon any aircraft or motor vehicle such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible at or beyond the property boundary of the source, or on a public way, except by permit. The Land Use Board shall have the authority to restrict and control the granting of permits.
Street sales. Selling anything by shouting or by outcry within any area of the Township zoned primarily for residential uses, except by permit.
Animals. Owning, keeping, possessing or harboring any fowl or animal for a continued duration which, by frequent or habitual howling, barking, meowing, squawking or other noisemaking, causes a noise disturbance across a residential property boundary. The noise disturbance must exist for a minimum of 30 minutes intermittently or 10 minutes consistently.
Loading operations. Loading, unloading, opening, or otherwise handling boxes, crates, containers, or otherwise similar objects, construction materials, stones, soil, lumber, blocks, bricks, or similar type objects and work-related equipment except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and dusk or 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, whichever comes first. Trash collection is specifically governed by contract. In no event shall solid waste or recyclables be collected before 7:00 a.m. Commercial/retail establishments may obtain an exemption from this provision pursuant to § 192-6.
Construction noise. Operating or causing to be operated any equipment used in residential, commercial or industrial construction, repair, excavation, alteration or demolition work on buildings, structures, streets, alleys or appurtenances thereto, in residential or commercial land use categories, except on Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and dusk or 8:00 p.m., whichever comes first, and on Saturdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and dusk or 6:00 p.m., whichever comes first. An existing single-family home may obtain an exemption from this provision for Sunday pursuant to § 192-6.
Impulsive sources. The use of explosives or firing of guns or other explosive devices.
Motor vehicle racing events. Operating or permitting the operation of motor vehicle racing events at any place except an authorized track and in a manner approved by the Township Committee to minimize noise disturbance.
Powered model vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of powered model vehicles except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and dusk or 8:00 p.m., whichever comes first.
Power equipment. Operating or permitting to be operated any power saw, sander, drill, grinder, garden equipment or tools of like nature, used primarily for domestic purposes, outdoors in residential zones except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and dusk or 7:00 p.m., whichever comes first, Monday through Saturday, and between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Gas-powered vehicles. The operation of any gas-powered vehicle without a muffler shall be deemed a violation. This shall include, but is not limited to, the "revving" of engines.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
Any person who owns or operates any noise source may apply to the Department of Community Development for a variation, provided that the reason for the application is to take care of a verifiable emergency situation or for a particular purpose. The Township of Waterford reserves the right to decide whether or not a true emergency exists. Applications for a permit of variation shall supply information, including, but not limited to:
The nature and location of the noise source for which such application is made;
The reason for which the permit of variation is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant, his/her client, or the public if the permit of variation is not granted;
The nature, intensity and times of day when noise that will occur during the period of the variation;
The subsection or subsections of this section for which the permit of variation shall apply;
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts of occurring therefrom; and
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance with this section within a reasonable time.
Failure to supply the information required by the Department of Community Development shall be cause for rejection of the application.
A copy of the permit of variation must be kept on file by the Township Clerk for public inspection.
The Department of Community Development shall charge the applicant a fee of $50 to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit on the variation application.
The Department of Community Development may, at their discretion, limit the duration of the permit of variation, which shall be no longer than 10 days unless otherwise authorized. Any person holding a permit of variation and requesting an extension of time shall apply for a new permit of variation under the provisions of this subsection.
No variation shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that:
In making the determination on granting a variation, the Department of Community Development shall consider:
The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, the health and welfare or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
The social and economic value of the activity for which the variation is sought.
The ability of the applicant to apply best practical noise control measures.
The approval of the application for variation by the Chief of Police and Township Council.
The permit of variation may be revoked by the Department of Community Development if the terms of the permit of variation are violated.
A variation may be revoked by the Department of Community Development if there is:
Violations of any provision of this section shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the Police Department, Community Development, Building Code Department.
In addition to a summons, any individual, organization, or establishment that fails to abide by this section when required to do so may be subject to closure and/or a cease-and-desist order.
Except as provided in Subsection B(2) below, in lieu of issuing a summons as provided in Subsection A, the above-named officials may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this section within a reasonable time period and according to the guidelines which the Department of Community Development may prescribe.
Other remedies. No provision of this section 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 violations of this section or from other law.