[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LaGrange 4-13-1981 by L.L. No. 2-1981 (Ch. 68 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The proliferation of unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in the Town of LaGrange of such character, intensity, duration or repetition as to be detrimental to the life, health or safety of any individual or of the public has reached such proportions that the Town Board, pursuant to the authority of § 130 of the Town Law of the State of New York, to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare, has enacted a Noise Control Local Law which, pursuant to the standards hereinafter set forth, shall delineate permitted noise levels within the Town of LaGrange.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein shall be defined as follows:
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The frequency-weighted sound-pressure level (in decibels) measured on a sound-level meter with an A-weighted scale as specified in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications for sound-level meters (ANSI No. 4-1971).
- A unit for measuring the volume of sound equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure which is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).
- A public calamity or the exposure of any person or property to imminent danger.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Work or activity that is necessary to prevent or recover from an emergency, including but not limited to work to repair electric, gas, water, sewerage and telephone services.
- NOISE OF AN IMPULSIVE CHARACTER
- Bursts of sound usually less than one second's duration, for example explosions and gunshots.
- NOISE OF A PERIODIC CHARACTER
- A sound of short duration punctuated by pauses of indefinite duration, for example a power saw.
- Any person who has regular control of a device or site, including but not limited to the owner of a freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein or mortgagee thereof or an agent of such person.
- Any individual, partnership, company, public or private corporation, association, firm, organization, political subdivision, governmental agency, administration or department, municipality, trust estate, group of individuals or any other legal entity whatsoever.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is propelled by any power other than muscular power that is designated for or capable of cross-country travel, such as a motorcycle, trail bike or minibike, but not a snowmobile. A "recreational vehicle" is also classed as a motor vehicle when such "recreational vehicle" is operated or driven upon a public highway.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency-weighing network for the measurement of sound levels.
- The Town of LaGrange situate within the County of Dutchess and the State of New York.
- UNNECESSARY NOISE
- Any excessive or unusually loud sound or any sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a person or which causes injury to animal life or damages to property or business. Standards to be considered in determining whether unnecessary noise exists in a given situation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A. The intensity of noise.
- B. Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual.
- C. Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural.
- D. The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any.
- E. The proximity of the noise to sleeping facilities.
- F. The nature and the zoning districts of the area within which the noise emanates.
- G. The time of day or night in which the noise occurs.
- H. The time duration of the noise.
- I. Whether the sound source is temporary.
- J. Whether the noise is continual or of a periodic or impulsive character.
No person shall make, continue or cause or permit to be made or continued any unnecessary noise. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted in any public space shall be exempt from the operation of this section.
The following acts, and the causing thereof, are declared to be in violation of this chapter, but any enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
The operation of or the permitting of the operation of a radio, television set, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound which creates unnecessary noise at the adjoining property line or, in the case of a multiple residence, within the adjoining or adjacent apartment.
The projection of sound by an electronic device, musical instrument or otherwise, directly onto the public way, for any purpose whatsoever so as to create unnecessary noise. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting the normal emanation of sound from a vehicle playing a car radio, tape recorder or similar device or the normal emanation of sound from the demonstration or use of a musical instrument within a store or within a music department of a department store; provided, however, that there is no unnecessary noise therefrom at a distance of 50 feet or more from said vehicle or store.
Operating or permitting the operation of any tool or equipment used in construction, drilling or demolition work, including excavation and the alteration or repair of any building between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. so as to create unnecessary noise except in the case of an emergency or the interests of public safety and then only with the permit of the Building Inspector, which permit may be issued for a maximum period of three days and may be renewed once for a maximum period of three days during the existence of the emergency period.
The operation of an appliance, including but not limited to a pump, fan, exhaust fan, air-conditioning device or similar mechanical device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. so as to create unnecessary noise at the adjoining property line or, in the case of a multiple residence, within the adjoining or adjacent apartment.
The loading or unloading of any vehicle or in the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers in such a manner as to create unnecessary noise at the adjoining property line or, in the case of multiple residence, within the adjoining or adjacent apartment. Without limiting the above language, it shall be a violation of this chapter to load or unload any vehicle or open or destroy any bales, boxes, crates and/or containers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. within 300 feet of the boundary line of a residential district as established by the Zoning Law of the Town of LaGrange, so as to create unnecessary noise at the adjoining property line or in the case of a multiple-dwelling residence, within the adjoining or adjacent apartment.
The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors in such a manner as to create unnecessary noise.
The creation of any unnecessary noise on any street adjacent to any court, public or parochial school, college or institution of learning while the same is in session or adjacent to a hospital which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed at such streets indicating that the same is a court, school or hospital street and that quiet is required. Such areas are to be designated by the Town Board by resolution.
The use of any drum, loud speaker or other instrument or device for the purposes of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale or display of merchandise by the creation of unnecessary noise.
The use of or playing or performing upon any musical instrument by any person upon any street or in any other public place within the Town outside of the limits of an incorporated village without a permit to so authorize, issued by the Town Board of the Town of LaGrange.
The use of any automobile, motorcycle, truck or other vehicle so out of repair or loaded in such a manner as to create unnecessary noise by grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
The blowing of any steam whistle attached to a stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to start work or stop work or as a warning of danger.
The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, recreation vehicle, snowmobile or any other motor vehicle unless equipped with a muffler or other device in good order and in constant operation which will prevent unnecessary noise from being emitted therefrom.
The sounding of a horn or signal device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or other vehicle so as to create unnecessary noise, except as a warning signal pursuant to the provisions of the motor vehicle laws of the State of New York.
The use or operation of any sound-producing device in any public place in such a manner as to create unnecessary noise to any person other than the operator of the device.
The harboring of any animal, including a bird, which animal, whether by its barking, growling, howling, squawking, scratching or otherwise, creates unnecessary noise at the adjoining property line or, in the case of a multiple residence, within the adjoining or adjacent apartment.
The operation of a vehicle in such a manner as to cause unnecessary noise by the spinning or squealing of the tires of such vehicle.
It shall be prima facie evidence that an act is in violation of this chapter when a sound-measuring meter determines that the decibel level of a particular activity is in excess of the standards hereinafter set forth. All measurements will be made on the A-weighted sound level of a sound-level meter, which level is most in accord with human perception of sound.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated any recreational vehicle off a public highway at any time, at any speed or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration or in any manner whatsoever as to exceed 92 dB(A)'s. The limit shall apply at a distance of 50 feet from such recreational vehicle.
Except as provided by Subsection D of this section, no person shall operate or permit to be operated an air-conditioning or air-handling device that exceeds the maximum sound-level limitations provided in this section.
In areas zoned as residential, continuous sound in air which has crossed a property line shall not exceed any of the following sound levels:
In areas zoned for multiple dwellings or apartments, continuous sound shall not exceed 50 dB(A)'s outside any living area window with the microphone not more than three feet from the window opening.
The provisions of this section shall not apply if the sound from the air conditioner or air-handling device produces less than a five dB(A)'s increase in the sound level that exists in the absence of such sound.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated a place of public entertainment, including but not limited to a restaurant, bar, cafe, discotheque or dance hall, in which the sound level is equal to or exceeds 95 dB(A)'s sustained for more than 30 seconds measured at the location of the spectators.
The following sounds shall not be deemed to be in violation of this chapter:
Sounds created by church bells or chimes.
Sounds created by any government agency by the use of public warning devices.
Sounds created by lawnmowers and home power tools in good working order in use between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Sounds created by public utilities in carrying out the operations of their franchise.
Sounds connected with sporting events of any public or private school or authorized carnival, fair, exhibition or parade authorized by permit of the Town Board.
The sounds created by crop cultivation, production, harvesting and livestock production.
Sounds created by safety and protective devices.
For each and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be guilty of an offense and shall be punished by not more than a fine of $250 or by imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each and every day that the violation continues after the owner has been notified of violation shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation.