[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township of Washington (now Township of Robbinsville) 12-31-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-37 as § 3-6 of the 2001 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby found and declared that:
The making and creation of loud, unnecessary or unusual noises within the limits of the Township is a condition which has existed for some time, and the extent and volume of such noises is increasing.
The making, creation or maintenance of such loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the Township.
The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and the peace and quiet of the Township and its inhabitants.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- SOUND-AMPLIFYING EQUIPMENT
- Any machine or device for the amplification of the human voice, music or any other sounds. This shall not be construed as including standard automobile radios when used and heard only by occupants of the vehicles in which they are installed or warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles or horns or other warning devices on other vehicles used only for traffic safety purposes.
- SOUND TRUCK
- Any motor vehicle, horse-drawn vehicle or any other means of conveyance whatsoever having mounted thereon or attached thereto any sound-amplifying equipment.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued and allowed unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety or others within the limits of the Township.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but these enumerations shall not be deemed to be exclusive.
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, street car or other vehicle on any street or public place of the Township, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of any such device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; also, the use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up is prohibited.
Radios, phonographs, etc. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or 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 at louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the personal enjoyment of persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto is prohibited. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 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 shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter.
Loudspeakers and amplifiers for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device, whether producing or reproducing sound, which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure, is prohibited.
Yelling, shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing in the public street, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity, is prohibited.
Steam whistles. The blowing of any locomotive steam whistle or steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of fire or danger or upon request of proper Township authorities, is prohibited.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom, is prohibited.
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals and retirement communities. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church, retirement community or municipal building while the same is in use, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institutions or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital or municipal building, is prohibited.
Drums. The use of any drum or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by creation of noise to any performance, show or sale is prohibited.
Miscellaneous night noises. The warming up of diesel motors or motor vehicles; creation of loud or excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle; or the creation of any other loud or raucous sound or noise between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in proximity to any dwelling, residence or other inhabited buildings is prohibited.
[Amended 11-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-24]
All construction and demolition activity noise shall be restricted to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and those holidays when construction activity is not prohibited. All construction activity, including, but not limited to, deliveries shall be prohibited on Sundays and the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
[Added 11-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-24; amended 4-9-2020 by Ord. No. 2020-5]
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any sound truck, either for commercial or noncommercial purposes, in the Township with sound-amplifying equipment in operation.
Registration required. No person shall use or cause to be used any sound-amplifying equipment for noncommercial purposes in the Township before filing a registration statement with the Municipal Clerk in writing. This registration statement shall be filed in duplicate and state the following:
Name and address of applicant.
Name and address of person who owns the sound-amplifying equipment.
Name and address of person having direct charge of the sound-amplifying equipment.
The purpose for which the sound-amplifying equipment will be used.
A statement identifying the place or premises on which the sound-amplifying equipment will be used.
The proposed hours of operation of the sound-amplifying equipment.
The number of days of proposed operation of such equipment.
A general description of the sound-amplifying equipment which is to be used.
Registration statement amendment. All persons using or causing to be used sound-amplifying equipment for noncommercial purposes shall amend any registration statement filed pursuant to Subsection A above within 48 hours after a change in the information therein furnished.
Registration and identification. The Municipal Clerk shall return to each applicant under Subsection A above one copy of the registration statement duly certified by the Clerk as the correct copy of the application. The certified copy of the application shall be in the possession of any person operating the sound-amplifying equipment at all times while it is in operation, and the copy shall be promptly displayed and shown to any policeman of the Township upon request.
Noncommercial use of sound-amplifying equipment shall be subject to the following regulations:
The only sounds permitted are music or human speech.
Operation is permitted for four hours each day, except on Sundays and legal holidays when no operation shall be authorized. The permitted four hours of operation shall be between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The sound-amplifying equipment shall not be operated within 100 yards of hospitals, schools, churches, retirement communities or municipal buildings.
The human speech and music amplified shall not be profane, lewd, indecent or slanderous.
The volume of sound shall be controlled so that it will not be audible for a distance in excess of 100 feet from the sound-amplifying equipment and so that the volume is not unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons within the area of audibility.
No sound-amplifying equipment shall be operated with in excess of 15 watts of power in the last stage of amplification.
The following uses of sound-amplification equipment are hereby specifically excepted and excluded from the operation of this chapter:
Use of sound-amplification equipment by municipal and county, state or federal government or agencies in connection with any emergency or other governmental or educational function or use of any program or activity sponsored by the governing body.
Use of sound-amplification equipment by persons at public parks in the Township, provided that such equipment is operated in strict accordance with the rules and regulations of the Recreation Commission of the Township.
Use of sound-amplification equipment in enclosed buildings where the sound is not audible at a distance of 50 feet from such buildings.