[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park 4-18-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996. (This local law also repealed former Ch. 122, Noise, adopted 2-23-1939 by Ord. No. 43.) Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Noise Control Law of the Village of New Hyde Park" or, in abbreviated form, as the "NCL-NHP."
The Board of Trustees finds the emission of any loud, disturbing, excessive or unreasonable noise to be an unnecessary environmental hazard, one demonstrably detrimental to individual human life and health and therefore contrary to the public good and welfare. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Board and the purpose and intent of this chapter to impose strict regulatory standards for control of noise emissions within the Village and to prevent and prohibit the generation of noise which, by reason of its character, intensity and duration or due to the time and place of its dispersal into the surrounding environment, would seriously threaten the rightful life, health, comfort and repose of nearby persons; would unreasonably interfere with the lawful use and peaceful enjoyment of neighboring property or facilities; or would unduly disrupt and diminish the public peace, order, safety or welfare of the general community.
For the purpose of this chapter, the words, term and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
- AMBIENT SOUND
- The average level of undifferentiated background sound perceived in an area at any given time, exclusive of any distinguishable extraneous sounds or noises. Statistically, the long-term residual "ambient sound" level for an area is expressed as the L90 value, i.e., the level that is exceeded 90% of the time.
- The American National Standards Institute or its generally recognized functional successor.
- COMMERCIAL OPERATION
- Any lawful business or commercial activity involving the promotion, sale or utilization of goods or services, including but not limited to the operation of commercial dining establishments, bars, lounges and taverns, motor vehicle service and repair shops and recreational and entertainment facilities.
- The conduct of any lawful activity involving or relating to the erection, assembly, alteration, installation, demolition, equipping or repair of buildings or structures and their accessory improvements, including, for the purposes of this chapter, any clearing, excavating, blasting, earthmoving, filling, grading or landscaping of land, necessary or incidental to the foregoing activities, whenever and wherever carried on in the Village.
- CONTINUOUS SOUND
- Any distinguishable sound having a timed duration of more than two seconds.
- That portion of each day which falls between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., prevailing time.
- DECIBEL (DB)
- The logarithmic term used to express, in numerical units, the relative level (the loudness) of sound-pressure intensity as perceived by the human ear. The difference in "decibels" of two sounds is 10 times the common logarithm of the ratio of their power levels, so that a doubling of any sound energy produces a rise of three dB and a rise of 10 dB represents a sound energy increase of 10 times.
- The actual or anticipated onset or the ongoing continuation of any calamity or disaster, whether natural or man-made, which exposes or would expose any person to immediate or imminent danger of death, physical injury or other serious harm or which exposes or would expose any property to immediate or imminent danger of damage, destruction or other serious harm.
- EMERGENCY OPERATION
- The conduct of any activity reasonably required to respond to or to actually handle any particular emergency, including the use of authorized emergency warning devices, the deployment of emergency response vehicles and personnel and the undertaking of emergency work, whenever and wherever carried on.
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE VEHICLE
- Any ambulance, police, fire, rescue, civil defense or other similar such vehicle, owned or operated by a federal, state or local governmental agency or an authorized quasi-public entity, either designed or intended for use or actually so used to respond to an emergency or to carry out emergency work or operations.
- EMERGENCY WARNING DEVICE
- Any mobile or stationary sound-generating device or apparatus that is designed to be used or is actually used to transmit audible warning of an emergency or to give audible notice of the approach of an oncoming emergency response vehicle.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work or activity deemed necessary or prudent to prevent, handle or recover from an emergency, including, for the purposes of this chapter, any work engaged in to repair vital electric, gas, water, sewer or telephone utility services.
- GENERATING LAND
- Any public or private land whereon the source of generation and emission of a sound or sounds is permanently situated or temporarily located.
- IMPULSIVE SOUND
- Any percussive- or impact-type sound lasting two seconds or less which exceeds the ambient sound within an area by six dB or more.
- The intensity of sound as perceived by the average unaided human ear, which is approximated by an A-weighted frequency response (dBA) scale measurement made with a sound-level meter meeting the requirements of this chapter.
- MAXIMUM SOUND LEVEL
- The noted maximum root mean square (r.m.s.) sound-pressure level measured at a particular time and place using a sound-level meter which meets the requirements of this chapter.
- That continuous period of time covering portions of any two consecutive days, which falls between the hours of 9:00 p.m., prevailing time, of the first day and 7:00 a.m., prevailing time, of the next succeeding day.
- Any sound or combination of sounds which, due to its character, intensity and duration or the time and place of its emission and perception, is deemed to be so unpleasant, objectionable and disturbing as to unduly disrupt or unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of any one or more persons.
- OWNER OR OCCUPANT
- Any person having a legal interest in real property or a lessee, tenant, manager or agent of such person a mortgagee or receiver in possession of such property; and/or any person deemed to be an actual or presumptive lawful occupant of such property or any part or portion of the same.
- Any natural person or any partnership, corporation, company, firm, association or other legal entity whatsoever capable of suing or being sued.
- That point on and along the property line(s) of generating land or within an area or confined space located in or upon any adjoining or neighboring receiving land at which sound or noise emissions from the generating land are heard and alleged or measured and determined to be in violation of any provision of this chapter.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any real property or any of the buildings, structures or other improvements thereon, including any public area used or intended for the parking or standing of any type of vehicle, which is owned or leased by or under the control of a governmental entity or any agency thereof.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any public street, road, highway, alley, sidewalk, path or other public way used or intended for use by pedestrians, bicyclists or motor vehicles.
- RECEIVING LAND
- Any public or private lands, including the buildings, structures, facilities and open spaces situated thereon, whereon the sound or sounds emitted from any generating land can be heard and detected by any person and where, when implicitly or expressly required by any provision of this chapter, the level of such sound(s) shall be measured to determine whether it (or they) comply with or exceed any limits or restriction imposed by this chapter.
- Refers to the time-sensitive response capacity of a sound-level meter, generally designated as either slow or fast in conformance with ANSI standards and specifications; the slow "response" generally being more desirable for the measurement of continuous sounds, while the fast "response" is more usually employed to measure sounds having a short event, such as impulsive, explosive or impactive sounds.
- SOUND-GENERATING DEVICE OR APPARATUS
- Any machine, mechanism or equipment; any musical instrument; any radio or tuner, amplifier, phonograph, CD or tape player, speaker or similar electronic device or apparatus; or any other thing or device either designed or intended or actually so used to produce, amplify or reproduce any sound or sounds.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound-pressure level, in decibels, as measured and obtained using a sound-level meter having an A-weighted frequency scale and employing the appropriate slow or fast response.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument, designed and used to detect and measure sound-pressure levels in their decibel equivalents and to display that information in either analog or digital form, which meets or exceeds all ANSI specifications or any other standards imposed or required by the provisions of this chapter.
- That which is not required by the usual circumstances, which is excessive or extreme when compared to the ordinary or which is singularly unreasonable in respect to the the time, the place or the prevailing circumstances.
- When referring to a particular vehicle, machine or other device, the normal frequency range and pressure levels of sound(s) emitted by that particular type of device when the same is properly maintained in a good state of repair and working order and is being lawfully and properly used in a reasonable manner.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter and except as may be otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to engage in or to cause, assist, direct, procure, induce or allow another person to engage in any of the following enumerated acts, each of which is hereby expressly declared a public nuisance and the conduct of which is hereby prohibited:
The operation of any sound-generating device or apparatus in such a manner or at such a volume as to generate unnecessary noise, especially during nighttime, which annoys, disturbs, disrupts or interferes with the peaceable and quiet comfort, rest and repose of any person occupying any dwelling, apartment or other type of residential unit.
The harboring, keeping or maintaining of any animal or bird which, by its frequent, continuous or recurrent emissions of any loud or unnecessary noise, especially during nighttime, causes annoyance to and disturbs or disrupts the comfort, rest and repose of any person in the vicinity.
The discharge of any firearm, fireworks, explosives or other similarly loud and unnecessarily disturbing impulsive noise devices, except when duly licensed and properly authorized in the interest of public safety, welfare, necessity and convenience.
The use or operation of any automobile, motorcycle, truck, tractor-trailer or other motor vehicle so out of repair or poorly maintained, so ill-equipped or unequipped, so loaded or in such other manner as to create and emit, especially during nighttime, any loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling, banging, knocking or other unusual noise. No such vehicle shall be permitted to idle in place or to operate any generator of any kind for more than a five-minute continuous period or a ten-minute aggregated intermittent period during any one continuous hour while in a single location. For purposes of this section, a single location shall be defined as an area at curbside or otherwise and any physical point or place within a one-hundred-foot radius thereof.
[Amended 7-16-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
The discharge into the open air of the exhaust from any steam engine, any stationary internal-combustion engine or the engine of any gasoline-, diesel- or other liquid-fuel-powered tool, equipment or device, except through an approved muffler or other noise-baffling medium which effectively prevents the unnecessary release or emission of loud and disturbing noises therefrom.
The blowing of any steam whistle or air horn attached to a stationary device, except briefly to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or except as may be reasonably required to give warning of actual or impending danger or emergency.
The creation of any relatively loud or excessive noise, especially during nighttime, in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or the handling, transport, distribution or storage of any packages, boxes, crates, containers, bales or pallets.
The construction of any building, structure or accessory improvement, including but not limited to excavation, demolition, construction work, painting and the installation of equipment upon any public or private land at any time on Sundays and legal holidays or other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., prevailing time, on any other day of the week, except in cases of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety and then only with a special permit issued by the Village Building Department, which permit may be issued or renewed for a period of three days or fewer while the emergency continues.
[Amended 12-18-2007 by L.L. No. 15-2007]
The shouting or crying out of peddlers, hawkers and other vendors of goods, wares or services which disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or disrupts or interferes with the comfort, rest or repose of any person or persons in the vicinity thereof.
The use of any stationary or mobile sound-generating device or apparatus either in, on or within 50 feet of the boundary line of any public street, park or place or any residence district for the purpose of advertising, promoting or otherwise attracting attention to any commercial operation, any sale or display of merchandise or goods or any fair, carnival, circus, show or other exposition, except where and when such activity has been specifically authorized in the interest of public necessity or convenience by special permit from the Board of Trustees.
The sounding of any horn or audible signal device on any automobile, bus, motorcycle, truck, streetcar or other vehicle except as a warning signal pursuant to the provisions of Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
The operation of any machinery, equipment, pump, intake or exhaust fan, air-conditioning apparatus, heating or refrigeration equipment or similar mechanical device in such a manner as to create any sound or combination of sounds exceeding 40 decibels at any point on the property line of the land on which such noise is generated.
Allowing or permitting, while the owner or occupant of any land, the sound from any burglar, water-flow or fire alarm located on that land to be emitted beyond the property lines of that land for a continuous period of more than 15 minutes.
Allowing or permitting, while the owner, occupant or operator of any vehicle that is parked or standing, the sound from any burglar or other alarm located on that vehicle to be emitted beyond a radius of five feet from that vehicle for a continuous period of more than five minutes.
The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply to nor constitute any legal constraint against the officers, employees or other lawful agents of any federal, state or local government or any agency, bureau, department, board or commission thereof, when carrying on or performing any governmental operation, activity, function or duty or while engaged or assisting in any emergency work or operations; nor shall the same apply to nor be deemed to constrain any public utility when reasonably carrying out the operations of its franchise.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to install, maintain or use any audible burglar, fire or other alarm that is not provided with a device that will automatically and effectively shut off such alarm within 15 minutes of its initial setoff when the same is located on any land or buildings and within five minutes of its initial setoff when the same is located on any vehicle.
Sound-measuring equipment. Enforcement of the provisions of this section shall be effected and of any other provision of this chapter may be effected using a sound-level meter or its equivalent which meets or exceeds the requirements of ANSI § 1.4-1983, Type 2, standards and specifications, and which has a dynamic range and A-weighted frequency response (fast and slow) consistent with ANSI requirements the measurements being taken. All sound-level meters meeting the foregoing requirements shall be calibrated on a regular periodic basis using a calibrator properly fitted to the instrument being employed, which is traceable to National Bureau of Standards criteria, and which has an accuracy of plus or minus 0.5 dB or better.
Noise level standards. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person, including the owner or occupant of any generating land, to cause or allow or to permit, direct, employ or assist another to cause or allow any sound or sounds to be emitted which exceed the decibel levels for a designated land use category as set forth in the following tables, when measured at a point of complaint located either on or within the property lines of any particular receiving land of a type covered or described by that designated category*:
Adjustment of table sound levels for other conditions. In the event that the level of ambient sound detected and measured at a particular location shall exceed the applicable maximum sound level prescribed for that location under one of the tables in the preceding subsection, then the following maximum sound levels shall apply in lieu of the prescribed table level for and during the stated time of day:
For Table I: continuous sound which exceeds the ambient sound level by 10 dB or more during the daytime or by five dB or more during the nighttime.
For Table II: impulsive sound which exceeds the ambient sound level by 20 dB or more during the daytime or by 10 dB or more during the nighttime.
Exceptions. None of the preceding provisions of this section shall apply to or constitute any legal restraint against the officers, employees or other lawful agents of any federal, state or local government or any agency, bureau, department, board or commission thereof, when carrying on or performing any governmental operation, activity, function or duty of any nature or kind or while engaged in or assisting in any emergency work or operations; nor shall the same apply to nor be deemed to constrain any public utility when reasonably carrying out the operations of its franchise.
[Amended 11-16-1999 by L.L. No. 4-1999; 4-15-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008]
Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this chapter or assists in the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter only and shall be punishable as follows:
By a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
By a fine of not more than $3,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a second offense, provided the first and second offenses were committed within a period of five years of each other.
By a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offense or a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years.
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that it would take effect 12-1-1999.
In the event that any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or other part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter but shall be confined in its operation to the specific clause, sentence, paragraph, subsection, section or other part of this chapter directly involved in the action or proceeding in which such judgment shall have been rendered.