[HISTORY: 1984 Code §§ 97-1—97-11 as amended through December 31, 2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of South Amboy hereby adopts the State Noise Pollution Code pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act (N.J.S.A. 26:3A2-21), a copy of which is on file with the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Compliance and Enforcement, Office of Local Environmental Management.
A copy of said Noise Pollution Code shall remain on file with the Office of the City Clerk.
Whereas, excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life; and
Whereas, a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated; and
Whereas, the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound;
Now, therefore, it is the policy of the City of South Amboy to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
This Article shall apply to the control of sound originating from stationary sources within the limits of the City of South Amboy.
- 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:
- 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 gases 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 state 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 noise control officer designated as the official liaison with all municipal departments, empowered to grant permits for variances. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be the "noise control administrator."
- NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
- An officially designated employee of the municipality, of a group of municipalities or of the county, trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue a summons for violations of this Article. The Health Officer or his designee, the Police Department, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee and the Middlesex County Department of Health or its designee shall be the "noise control officers" in the City of South Amboy.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound that endangers the safety or health of any person; or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or endangers personal or real property.
- 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 or 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
- Either the imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another; or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
- 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 specification S1.4-1971.
- Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
The provisions of this Article shall be enforced by the noise control officers.
The noise control administrator shall have the power to:
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable.
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of such actions on noise control.
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this Article.
The noise control administrator shall consult with the airport proprietor to recommend changes in airport operations to minimize any noise which the airport owner may have the authority to control in its capacity as proprietor. The noise control administrator shall report on his/her efforts to the governing body.
A person shall be qualified to be a noise control officer if the person has satisfactorily completed any of the following:
"Community Noise - A Short Course" offered by the Department of Environmental Science of Cook College, Rutgers and the State University;
A program of tutoring and on-the-job training offered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Local Environmental Management to its employees; or
All departments and agencies of the City of South Amboy shall carry out their programs according to law and shall cooperate with the noise control administrator in the implementation and enforcement of this Article.
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 ensure that such activities comply with the provisions of this Article.
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 Subsection A(1).
Table I is included as an attachment to this chapter.
When measuring noise within a dwelling unit of a multi-dwelling-unit building, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
The following are exempt from the sound level limits of Table I:
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 that they produce less than 84 dBA at or within any real property line of a residential property.
Sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service.
Noise from construction activity, provided that all motorized equipment used in such activity is equipped with functioning mufflers, except as provided in Section 97-8B(6).
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal.
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that conforms with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29.
Noise from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after it has been activated.
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 operation of this section.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the following acts:
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.
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.
Animals and birds: owning, possessing or harboring any pet animal or pet bird that frequently or for a continued duration makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line [for the purpose of this section, a "noise disturbance" from a barking dog shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked].
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 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a weekday and between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 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.
Standing motor vehicles: operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle whose manufacturers 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 the 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 8:00 a.m. of the following day.
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 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and at no time between 7:00 p.m. on Saturday to 7:00 a.m. on Monday or legal holidays, provided that such equipment when used shall be equipped with a functioning muffler, except for emergency work; by variance issued pursuant to Section 97-10; or when the sound level does not exceed any applicable limit specified in Table I. (Ord. No. 15-2004)
The provisions of this Article shall not apply to:
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; or
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events shall be exempt from the provisions of this Article.
Application for variance.
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 Article. Applications for a permit of variance 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 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.
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance.
The section or sections of this Article for which the permit of variance shall apply.
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom.
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance with this Article within a reasonable time.
Failure to supply the information required by the noise control administrator shall be cause for rejection of the application.
A copy of the permit of variance must be kept on file by the Municipal Clerk for public inspection.
The noise control administrator may charge the applicant a fee of $25 to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit of variance application.
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 section.
No variance shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health and that compliance with this Article would impose an arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefits to the public. In making the determination on granting a variance, the noise control administrator 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 variance is sought.
The ability of the applicant to apply the best practical noise control measures.
The permit of variance may be revoked by the noise control administrator if the terms of the permit of variance are violated.
A variance may be revoked by the noise control administrator if there is:
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this Article shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the noise control officer. The following are designated noise control officers:
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), in lieu of issuing a summons as provided in Subsection A, the noise control officer may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this Article within a reasonable time period and according to guidelines which the noise control officer may prescribe.
An abatement order shall not be issued if any person willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this Article; or if the noise control officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Article or who shall fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be punishable as follows:
Each day that such violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
Other remedies. No provision of this Article 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 Article or from other law.