[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ossining 9-4-1990 by L.L. No. 10-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village of Ossining recognizes that excessive noise is detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and is inimical to the predominantly residential character of the Village. The creation of any unreasonably loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise is hereby prohibited.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- DECIBEL (dB)
- A unit for measuring the loudness of sounds.
- GASOLINE-POWERED LEAF BLOWER
- Portable, handheld or backpack style power equipment that is powered by gasoline and used in any landscape maintenance, construction, property repair, or property maintenance for the purpose of blowing, moving, removing, dispersing, vacuuming or redistributing leaves, dust, dirt, grass clippings, cuttings and trimmings from trees and shrubs or any other type of litter or debris.[Added 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 8-2017]
- Those days recognized as holidays by New York State.
- PERMANENT EMERGENCY GENERATOR
- An outdoor device that is permanently mounted to a foundation, slab or other permanent supporting fixture designed to be used as a temporary generator of electricity for residential and/or commercial property when the electricity furnished to that property is temporarily disrupted.[Added 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 8-2017]
- REPETITIVE SOUND
- A nonconstant sound which recurs with some degree of regularity.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound-pressure level measured in decibels with a sound-level meter set to A-weighting; expressed in dB(A).
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument for the measurement of sound levels which conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards under ANSI Specifications S1.4-1971 or the latest approved revision thereof.
- SOUND-PRODUCTION DEVICE
- Any device that is used for the production of sound, including, but not limited to, any loudspeaker, radio, television, tape recorder, phonograph or any other sound-producing or sound-amplifying equipment.
- UNREASONABLY INTRUSIVE
- Any sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities under the circumstances.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated in the Village of Ossining any sound source that produces a sound level exceeding the limitations in this section. The measurement of any sound or noise shall be made with a sound-level meter using the A-weighted scale and slow response, except for sounds or noises which occur in single or multiple bursts with a duration of less than one second for which fast response shall be used. The sound level determination or measurement shall be conducted not nearer to the sound source than the closest property line or, in the case of multifamily housing, the dwelling unit of the parcel in or on which such noise is received, except where otherwise specified.
Customary residential activities. Customary residential activities on properties within any residential zoning district, including social gatherings, deliveries of home heating oil, and pickup of residential garbage, shall not be regulated by this chapter except for specific activities or noise sources that are subject to and governed by §§ 178-4 and 178-5.
Other activities within Residential Zones. Sound produced by other activities on properties within any residential zoning district shall not exceed a sound level of 65 dB(A) during the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and 45 dB(A) during the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays, unless otherwise permitted in § 178-5.
Other activities within nonresidential zones. Sound produced by other activities on properties within any nonresidential zoning district shall not exceed a sound level of 70 dB(A) during the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or 55 dB(A) during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and until 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and holidays, unless otherwise permitted in § 178-5.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but any enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Sound reproduction devices. No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated loudspeakers or other sound reproduction devices so as to produce sounds which are audible between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., or are audible and unreasonably intrusive at any other times on any other property used for residential purposes within any residential zoning district. At no time shall these sounds exceed the limitations imposed in § 178-3B. In addition, loudspeakers and other sound equipment must face into the property on which they are located. Nothing in this subsection is intended to prohibit incidental sounds emanating from public sporting events or public entertainment events.
Animals. The owner of any animal which barks, whines, howls or makes any other noise continuously for a period of 10 minutes or more at a volume which can be heard anywhere beyond the owner's premises shall be guilty of violating this chapter.
Honking of horns. The honking of horns on motor vehicles, for other than emergency purposes, is hereby prohibited between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.
The continuous running of diesel or gas powered engines on vehicles parked within the Village is hereby prohibited between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.
The making, creation or maintenance of any unnecessary noise is prohibited if it is of such character, intensity, duration or repetition as to annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others.
Unnecessary repetitive sounds which are determined to be of an annoying or disturbing nature are hereby prohibited, regardless of decibel level.
For the purpose of this section, "continuously" shall mean constant, with few, if any, brief periods of silence.
Air-conditioning and air-handling equipment. No person shall operate or permit to be operated an air-conditioning or air-handling device an any property within a residential district or adjacent to a residential district that produces a sound level greater than 55 dB(A) or exceeds the limits established in § 178-3.
Loading of commercial vehicles. The loading or unloading of commercial vehicles is not permitted within a residential district or adjacent to a residential district between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 9:00 P.M. to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Construction activities. Any building or construction activity, including the clearing and removal of trees or other site preparation work, which is audible outside of a building or structure is permitted only as follows:
Domestic tools and equipment; vehicle repair; gas-powered leaf blowers and permanent emergency generators.
[Amended 12-20-2017 by L.L. No. 8-2017]
In addition to the restrictions of § 178-5C, no person shall operate or permit to be operated any hand tool or power tool or equipment, including, but not limited to, saws, hammers, sanders, drills, grinders, lawn or garden tools, mowers, tractors, chain saws, leaf blowers, including gas-powered leaf blowers, or gatherers or similar devices or wood chippers of any kind or cause or permit vehicle repair or engine tuneup activities so as to create noise in excess of the following limits. This prohibition includes equipment used by lawn care or landscape services.
Noise levels from domestic tools and equipment and from vehicle repair during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to sundown Monday through Friday, except holidays; and 9:00 a.m. to sundown Saturday, Sunday and holidays shall not be restricted by this subsection, except as detailed in Subsection D(4)(b) and (c) and (5). At all other times, such noise levels shall not exceed 45 dB(A) on any other property used for residential purposes within any residential zoning district.
Operations of gas-powered and/or electric leaf blowers, mowers, wood chippers and other lawn and/or garden tools shall not cause leaves, dirt, debris, grass clippings, cuttings or trimmings from trees or shrubs or any other type of litter or debris to be blown on any adjacent parcel of land or lot other than the parcel, land or lot upon which the leaf blower is being operated. Leaves, dirt, debris, grass clippings, cuttings, or trimmings that are blown onto a public right-of-way shall be promptly removed, or during leaf season gathered at the curb in a manner suitable for collection by the Village pursuant to § 225-11.
Operation of permanent emergency generators.
All permanent emergency generators shall be installed and maintained in compliance with all federal, state, county and local laws, including the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Energy Conservation Code.
All permanent emergency generators must be certified by their manufacturer not to cause or create any noise exceeding 80 dB(A) as measured from the closest property line, or in the case of multifamily housing, the dwelling unit of the parcel in or on which the noise is received.
The operation of a permanent emergency generator for maintenance and testing shall not exceed more than 45 minutes in any seven-day period. Maintenance and testing shall occur during daytime hours.
Use of snowblowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, including gas-powered leaf blowers, generators, including permanent emergency generators, and other domestic tools and equipment are exempted from the noise limits detailed in this chapter when the items are being used to clear driveways, streets, walkways and the exterior of premises during and within 24 hours after snowfalls, rainstorms, ice storms, windstorms or other emergencies as declared by the Village Manager.
Notwithstanding the noise limits detailed in this chapter, a portable emergency generator or permanent emergency generator may be operated if the Village Manager or his/her designee determines that there is an emergency condition so that the use of the portable or permanent emergency generator is necessary to remove water from a basement, or operate medical equipment necessary for the health and welfare of an occupant in the event of a power blackout. Such permission to use the portable or permanent emergency generator shall be granted only for such time as necessary to protect the person or property involved. Operation of the portable or permanent emergency generator shall cease (except for maintenance and testing detailed above) upon the end of the emergency condition that required its use.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, gas-powered leaf blowers shall be used only during the following periods: March 1 through June 1 and September 15 through December 15 during the times set forth in Subsection D(2). No more than two handheld or backpack gas-powered leaf blowers may be used at a time unless the property where the gas powered leaf blower is being used is at least 1/2 acre in size. This restriction shall not become effective until May 31, 2019.
[Added 12-5-2018 by L.L. No. 8-2018]
Effective January 1, 2023, the use of gas-powered leaf blowers shall at all times be prohibited on all properties that are less than 1/2 acre in size. For property that is at least one-half acre, gas-powered leaf blowers may continue to be used after January 1, 2023, pursuant to Subsection D(7).
[Added 12-5-2018 by L.L. No. 8-2018]
The operation of gas-powered leaf blowers for maintenance and testing shall not exceed more than 30 minutes in any seven-day period. Maintenance and testing shall occur during daytime hours.
[Added 12-5-2018 by L.L. No. 8-2018]
Editor's Note: This local law provided an effective date of 5-31-2019.
Noise emanating from the operation of motor vehicles on public highways is regulated by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. The maximum noise levels set forth in the Vehicle and Traffic Law for the operation of motor vehicles on public highways, as they may be amended from time to time, are hereby designated to be the maximum permissible noise levels for the operation of motor vehicles on all other property in the Village of Ossining.
Noise emanating from motor vehicles other than from their operation, including, but not limited to, the noise of radios is regulated by this chapter and must not be audible more than 50 feet from the vehicle from which the noise emanates.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the production of music in connection with any military or civic parade, funeral procession or religious service.
This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the use of any organ, bell, chimes or any other similar instrument or device by any church, synagogue or school on or within its own premises in connection with religious rites or ceremonies of such church or synagogue or in connection with a school education program.
Sounds created by any governmental agency by the use of public warning devices are exempted from the limitations of this chapter.
Upon the trial of any person charged with creating unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise in violation of this chapter, the court may admit evidence of sound-pressure levels in decibels as shown by a standard calibrated sound meter. For the purpose of this section, evidence that noise exceeding the maximum sound-pressure levels in decibels, as provided in § 178-3 hereof may be admitted as prima facie evidence that the noise was unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary.
Both the owner of any instrumentality exceeding permissible noise levels and its operator shall be deemed violators of this chapter.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable, upon conviction thereof, by a fine provided in Article III, General Penalty, of Chapter 1, General Provisions. With regard to violations of § 178-5D(7), (8) and (9), all persons in violation of those subsections shall receive one warning before an appearance ticket is issued.
[Amended 8-3-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999; 12-5-2018 by L.L. No. 8-2018]