[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Secaucus 6-26-73 and amended 8-27-74. Amended in its entirety 2-23-93 by Ord. No. 93-7. Further amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Secaucus Noise Control Code."
It is hereby found and declared that it is the public policy of the Town of Secaucus to significantly reduce the ambient noise level in Secaucus, so as to foster and protect the public health, comfort, safety and welfare of its citizenry. As a matter of legislative determination and public policy, the provisions, regulations and prohibitions of this chapter are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the comfort peace and quiet to which the residents of Secaucus are entitled.
Definitions are as defined by New Jersey Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.1 (Definitions), and are hereby adopted by reference.
All noise measurements shall be taken by a certified noise control officer and according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B, except interior readings in Section 93-5B.
Measurements of continuous sound shall be made either with a Type 1 (Precision) or a Type 2 (General Purpose) sound level meter manufactured to the requirements of ANSI S1.4-1971 "Specification for sound level meters" [See N.J.A.C. 7:29B1.12(a)(2)] or its successor. These meters shall have a range which includes 30-130 decibels.
No person shall make, continue or cause to permit to be made or continued any unnecessary noise. Any noise caused, produced, made or continued in violation of the provisions of this code is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to public health.
Any act in violation of the provisions of this section of the chapter is deemed to be in violation of § 93-4 of the chapter, without in any way limiting the generality of the provisions of said § 93-4.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit, either directly or indirectly, the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property, or any public space or right-of-way adjacent thereto, in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in "Table 1" when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property sound category.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit, either directly or indirectly, the operation of any source of sound on private property, or any public space or right-of-way adjacent thereto, in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the following measurements on the A weighing scale of the sound level meter, when measured from the center of a residential room belonging or leased to any person other than the person responsible for the making of the noise and with all windows and doors closed:
50 decibels (dBA) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
40 decibels (dBA) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
The total measured noise must exceed by 5 dBA the reference level established at one of the following locations within one hour of the same time of day: 1 - same unit or apartment with the source off, or 2 - similarly situated unit or apartment in the same building which is unaffected by the source noise or other discernible extraneous noises. In the event an interior reference level cannot be obtained in this manner, then the exterior neighborhood residual reduced by 10 dBA shall be used.
A noise measured or registered from a vehicle within town limits at a distance of at least 25 feet from the noise source shall not exceed 88 decibels dBA on the A weighing scale. Interstate carriers shall be excepted from the subsection until such time that the federal government establishes controlling noise levels for these vehicles. This shall include amplified music from a motor vehicle sound system, but not horns or emergency signaling devices.
Exemptions. The following are exempt from the A-weighted sound pressure level limits:
Exceptions granted in Section 93-7(A) - (D);
Sound from church bells and church chimes when part of a religious observance or service;
Airports, heliports, and aircraft operations, except the noise control officer shall negotiate noise mitigation with the airport proprietor;
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers, and snow plows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal;
Noise from stationary emergency signaling de-vices that conform with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29-13, which provisions are incorporated herein by reference;
Noise from exterior burglar alarms of any building or motor vehicle provided such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within five minutes after it has been activated;
Interstate railway locomotives and cars;
Air conditioners on residential property when measured across a residential real property line, except as provided in Section 93-6B(8)(b).
Unless exempted under the provisions of this chapter, no person shall cause to be made, directly or indirectly, any loud noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the health, comfort, safety or welfare of others within the Town of Secaucus.
The following specific acts are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall be deemed to be exclusive:
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, truck or other vehicle on any street, road or public place, (except as a warning pursuant to the Provisions of N.J.R.S. 39:3-69); whistle, or other device operating by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
Radio and television sets, phonographs, etc. The use of radio or television receiving sets, musical instruments, phonographs, or any other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or, at any time, with volume louder than is necessary for convenient hearing of the person or persons who are in the room or vehicle in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located, or in the case of such instruments operated in the open, at a distance of 50 feet from the instrument, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising. The use of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purposes of commercial advertising.
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing, 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 the purpose of this section, a noise disturbance shall be defined as that created by allowing a dog to bark or cry, or any cat to cry or howl between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or for 15 minutes during any 60 minute period between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.).
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any motor vehicle engine, except through an adequate muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom. This includes, by way of example and not by way of limitation, internal-combustion engines powering motor vehicles, motorcycles, construction equipment and domestic power tools.
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 building material in liquid gaseous, powder or pellet form, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the following day, except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line or within a noise sensitive zone.
Construction or repairing of buildings. The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for a period of three days or less while the emergency continues. All operating equipment shall be equipped with a proper muffler.
[Amended 4-27-99 by Ord. No. 99-9]
Blowers, fans, pumps. The use of any blower, fan or pump engine or motor in connection therewith, including by way of example and not by way of limitation, air-conditioning systems, compression devices and pool filter systems, if such use creates loud, penetrating or continuous noises that disturb the comfort or repose of persons residing in the vicinity.
The use of any air-conditioner unit on residential property between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. such that the noise created therefrom exceeds 55 dBA across a residential real property line.
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise adjacent to any school institution of learning, house of worship or judicial court while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution, or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided conspicuous signs are displayed on the adjacent streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, church or court street.
Hawkers, peddlers. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers, and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Drums, bells and the like. The use of any drum, bell, horn, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale or display of merchandise by any creation of noise or sound.
Mobile loudspeakers. The use of mechanical loud-speakers or amplifiers on vehicles or aircraft for commercial advertising purposes.
Yelling, shouting and the like. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on the public streets at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office, dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity.
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 week-ends and legal holidays, provided they produce less than 85 dBA at any real property line or residential property.
If any person who is not exempted under the provisions of this chapter shall cause to be made any of the noises prohibited under this section, and if said noises shall be provided to be in violation of the sound levels prescribed under Section 93-5 above, said proof shall be sufficient to prove a violation under this section.
The prohibitions contained in this chapter shall not apply to persons:
Who are engaged in the performance of any public or governmental function such as the sounding of a church or school bell, or a police, fire, ambulance, air raid or like disaster warning, alert, or alarm, whether such alarm be for an actual emergency purpose or for practice or drilling purposes.
Who are engaged in a religious, charitable, recreational, civil or political activity by means of a sound truck or other amplifying device, for nonprofit purposes, provided that such persons shall have first a permit from the Town Council on a written application setting forth the sponsorship, date, hours and routes of such activity; the Council shall issue such permit unless, having considered the date, time and route, it shall determine that the noise created by such activity shall cause undue discomfort to the public.
Who are engaged in the any activity specifically permitted or required by any ordinance, resolution, statute or governmental regulation.
However, all activities which are similar to commercial/industrial activities subject to regulation in private industry, shall be subject to the identical standards as the private operator.
Persons employed by public utility companies engaged in emergency repair services between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. provided, however, that such noise not exceed levels reasonably necessary to accomplish such work.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that such violation shall continue, shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
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.
If any provision of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of the ordinance shall not be invalidated.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed as to the extent of such inconsistencies.