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City of Wildwood, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-1]
This section may be cited as the "Noise Control Regulations of the City of Wildwood."
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 1]
Whereas excessive sound and vibration are a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety, and the quality of life; and technology exists by which excessive sound and vibration may be substantially abated; and whereas the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound and vibration that may jeopardize their health or welfare or safety or degrade the quality of life; it is the policy of the City to prevent excessive sound and vibration which may jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of its citizens or degrade the quality of life.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 2]
This section shall apply to the control of all sound and vibration originating within the limits of the City.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-3]
AGENT
Shall mean a duly authorized individual or corporate officer designated by the owner.
COMMERCIAL AREA
Shall mean a group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Shall mean 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.
CONSTRUCTION
Shall mean any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
DECIBEL (dB)
Shall mean 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 ten of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound of a standard sound (20 micropascals): abbreviated dB.
DEMOLITION
Shall mean any dismantling, intentional destruction, or removal of buildings or structures.
EMERGENCY WORK
Shall mean 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 FACILITIES
Shall mean any activity and its related premises, property, facilities, or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture, or production of durable or nondurable goods.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Shall mean any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER
Shall mean a sound dissipating device or system for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING UNIT BUILDING
Shall mean any building wherein there are more than two dwelling units.
NOISE
Shall mean 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 city 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
Shall mean the Wildwood Chief of Police, who is designated as the official liaison with all municipal departments, empowered to grant permits for variances.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICERS
Shall mean Police Officers of the City and licensed Code Enforcement Officers who are employees of the City.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Shall mean any sound that:
a. 
Endangers the safety or health of any person; or
b. 
Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
c. 
Endangers personal or real property.
NOISE FREE ZONE
Shall mean an area in the City of Wildwood where, because of the history of repeated or continuous noise violations occurring in the area, the Board of Commissioners, by ordinance, adopts a special enforcement area with clearly marked boundaries established by signs, in which the penalties for violations of noise regulations shall be doubled.
PERSON
Shall mean 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
Shall mean any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk or alley that is leased, owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Shall mean any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Shall mean either:
a. 
The imaginary line including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of real property from another; or
b. 
The vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Shall mean a property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
a. 
Private property used for human habitation;
b. 
Commercial living accommodations and commercial property used for human habitation;
c. 
Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation;
d. 
Community service property used for human habitation.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
Shall mean a group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
SOUND LEVEL
Shall mean 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
Shall mean an instrument used to measure sound level and which conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI specifications S1.4-1971.
WEEKDAY
Shall mean any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-4.2]
a. 
The provisions of this section shall be enforced by any aggrieved citizen, agent or employee of the city by the noise control officers.
b. 
The noise control administrator shall have the power to:
1. 
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable;
2. 
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of those actions on noise control;
3. 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this section.
4. 
Grant permits for variances according to the provisions of Section 3A-8 provided the variances are consistent with regulations concerning noise control promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:29.
c. 
A person shall be qualified to be a noise control officer as defined in Section 3A-3 if the person has satisfactorily completed any of the following:
1. 
"Community Noise—A Short Course" offered by the Department of Environmental Science of Cook College, Rutgers, the State University; or
2. 
A program of tutoring and the on-the-job training offered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Noise Control, to its employees; or
3. 
Education or experience or a combination thereof certified by the above department as equivalent to the provisions of paragraph c1 or 2 of this subsection.
d. 
Noise measurements made by noise control officers shall be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B, except as provided in subsection 3A-6.1.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-5]
a. 
All departments and agencies of the city shall carry out their programs according to law and shall cooperate with the noise control administrator in the implementation and enforcement of this section.
b. 
All departments charged with new projects or changes to existing projects that may result in the production of noise shall consult with the noise control administrator prior to the approval of such projects to insure that such activities comply with the provisions of this section.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-6]
a. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property or any public space or right-of-way in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in Table I when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property except as provided in paragraph 1 below. A sound level in excess of Table I shall create a presumption of a violation of this section.
1. 
When measuring noise within a dwelling unit of a multi-dwelling building, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
Table I
Maximum Permissible Sound Levels by Receiving Property Category, in DBA
Receiving Property Category
Sound Source Property Category
Another Dwelling-Within a Residential Commercial Industrial Multi-Dwelling-Unit Building
7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
All Times
All Times
Any location within a multi-dwelling-unit building
45
40
55
50
65
75
Residential
55
50
65
75
Commercial or public spaces or rights-of-way
65
50
65
75
Industrial
65
50
65
75
b. 
The following are exempt from the sound level limits of Table I.
1. 
Noise from domestic power tools, lawn mowers, and agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided they produce less than 85 dBA at or within any real property line of a residential property;
2. 
Sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service;
3. 
Noise from construction activity provided all motorized equipment used in such activity is equipped with functioning mufflers;
4. 
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers, and snow plows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal;
5. 
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that conform with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29;
6. 
Noise from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within ten minutes after it has been activated.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-7; Ord. No. 627-05 § 1; Ord. No. 833-10]
a. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit to be made verbally or mechanically any noise disturbance. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the enforcement of this subsection.
b. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the following acts:
1. 
Sound Reproduction Systems. Operating, playing, or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance for any person other than the operator of the device;
2. 
Loudspeakers and Public Address Systems. Using or operating of any loudspeaker, public address system, or similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line;
3. 
Animals and Birds. Owning, possession, or harboring any pet animal or pet bird that frequently or for continued duration, makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line (for purpose of this subsection, a noise disturbance from a barking dog continually for ten minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked);
4. 
Loading and Unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans, refuse or similar objects, or the pneumatic or pumped loading or unloading of bulk materials in liquid, gaseous, powder, or pellet form, or the compacting of refuse by persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a weekday and between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a legal holiday or a weekend day except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line;
5. 
Standing Motor Vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle whose manufacturer's gross weight is in excess of 10,000 pounds, or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period of longer than five minutes in any hour while a vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet (46 meters) of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day;
6. 
Construction and Demolition. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating, or demolition work between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a legal holiday or a weekend day except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating, or demolition is hereby prohibited on legal holidays and Sundays except:
(a) 
For emergency work;
(b) 
When the sound level does not exceed any applicable limit specified in Table I.
c. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit to be made verbally or mechanically any noise disturbance in a Noise Free Zone. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the enforcement of this section.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-8]
a. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
1. 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency except as provided in subsection 3A-6b5 and 6.
2. 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; or
3. 
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
b. 
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations, events or emergency work shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-9]
a. 
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the noise control administrator for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this section.
Applications for a permit of variance shall supply information including, but not limited to:
1. 
The nature and location of the noise source for which the application is made;
2. 
The reason for which the permit of variance is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant, his/her client, or the public if the permit of variance is not granted;
3. 
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance;
4. 
The subsection or subsections of this section for which the permit of variance shall apply;
5. 
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom;
6. 
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.
b. 
Failure to supply the information required by the noise control administrator shall be cause for rejection of the application.
c. 
A copy of the permit of variance must be kept on file by the city clerk for public inspection.
d. 
The noise control administrator shall charge the applicant a fee of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit of variance application.
e. 
The noise control administrator may, at his/her discretion, limit the duration of the permit of variance, which shall be no longer than one year. Any person holding a permit of variance and requesting an extension of time shall apply for a new permit of variance under the provisions of this subsection.
f. 
No variance shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that:
1. 
Noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health; and
2. 
Compliance with this section would impose an arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefits to the public.
g. 
In making the determination on granting a variance, the noise control administrator shall consider:
1. 
The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, the health and welfare of or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
2. 
The social and economic value of the activity for which the variance is sought.
3. 
The ability of the applicant to apply best practical noise control measures.
h. 
The permit of variance may be revoked by the noise control administrator if the terms of the permit of variance are violated.
i. 
A variance may be revoked by the noise control administrator if there is:
1. 
Violation of one or more conditions of the variance;
2. 
Material misrepresentation of fact in the variance application; or
3. 
Material change in any of the circumstances relied upon by the noise control administrator in granting the variance.
j. 
Either a denial of a variance or a revocation of a variance may be appealed to the board of commissioners.
[Ord. No. 604-04 § 3A-10]
a. 
Abatement Orders. In lieu of issuing a summons as provided, a Noise Control Officer 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 unless he/she has reason to believe there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
b. 
Violation of any provision of this section upon complaint of any individual listed in subsection 3A-4.1 shall be cause for a summons to be issued.
[Ord. No. 604-04 §§ 3A-9.3 and 3A-9.4]
a. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable upon conviction to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-6. Each day any such violation continues shall be construed as a separate offense.
b. 
Any person who exercises dominion and/or control over the premises or establishment where sound in violation of this section occurs shall be presumed to be a violator of this section. Such presumption shall be subject to rebuttal in a court of law.
c. 
Other Remedies. No provisions 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 violation of this section or from other law.
d. 
Noise Free Zones. Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while in an area of the City of Wildwood designated by ordinance of the board of commissioners as a Noise Free Zone, as that term as defined by Section 3A-3, shall:
1. 
Be liable upon conviction to double the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-6;
2. 
In addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 25 hours of community service.
Each day such violation continues shall be construed as a separate offense.