[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Byram 10-2-1974 as Sec. 6-2 of the Revised General Ordinances of 1974; amended in its entirety 12-20-1999 by Ord. No. 10-1999. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The title of this chapter shall be the "Byram Township Noise Control Ordinance."
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings set forth below. Terms not defined in this chapter shall have the same meaning as those defined in N.J.A.C. 7:29, Noise Control.
- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, including demolition, of buildings, structures or roadways.
- Any dismantling, destruction or removal of buildings, structures or roadways.
- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work or action necessary to deliver essential public services, including, but not limited to, repairing water, sewer, electric, gas, telecommunications or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way, or abating life-threatening conditions.
- IMPULSIVE SOUND
- Sound of less than one-second duration, either a single pressure peak or a single burst (multiple pressure peaks).
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle that is propelled on land other than by human or animal power.
- A properly functioning sound-dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gases on equipment where such a device is part of the normal configuration of the equipment.
- MULTIDWELLING UNIT BUILDING
- Any building comprising two or more dwelling units, including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, co-ops, multiple family houses, townhouses and attached residences.
- MULTIUSE PROPERTY
- Any distinct parcel of land that is used for more than one category of activity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- A. A commercial, residential, industrial or public service property having boilers, incinerators, elevators, automatic garage doors, air conditioners, laundry rooms, utility provisions, or health and recreational facilities, or other similar devices or areas, either in the interior or on the exterior of the building, which may be a source of elevated sounds levels at another category on the same distinct parcel of land; or
- B. A building which is both commercial (usually on the ground floor) and residential property located above, behind, below or adjacent.
- NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
- An employee of: a local, county or regional health agency which is certified pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act (N.J.S.A. 26:3A2-21 et seq.) to perform noise enforcement activities; or a municipality with a Department-approved noise control ordinance and the employee has received noise enforcement training and is currently certified in noise enforcement. The employee must be acting within his or her designated jurisdiction and must be authorized to issue a summons in order to be considered a noise control officer.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE
- Any sound that can be detected by a person using his or her unaided hearing facilities. As an example, if the sound source under investigation is a portable or personal vehicular sound amplification or reproduction device, the detection of the rhythmic bass component of the music is sufficient to verify plainly audible sound. The Noise Control Officer need not determine the title, specific words or the artist performing the song.
- PRIVATE RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased or controlled by a nongovernmental entity.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.
- REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- A. The imaginary line including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of real property from another;
- B. The vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is part of a multidwelling unit building; or
- C. On a multiuse property, the interface between the two portions of the property on which different categories of activity are being performed (e.g., if the multiuse property is a building which is residential upstairs and commercial downstairs, then the real property line would be the interface between the residential area and the commercial area).
- Any day that is not a federal holiday, beginning on Monday at 7:00 a.m. and ending the following Friday at 6:00 p.m.
- Beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and ending on the following Monday at 7:00 a.m.
This noise chapter applies to sound from the following property categories:
Sound from stationary emergency signaling devices shall be regulated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.3, except that tests of the electromechanical functioning of a stationary emergency signaling device shall not meet or exceed 10 seconds.
Excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life, and a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated. The people have a right to and should be ensured of an environment free from excessive sound. Therefore, it is the policy of the Township of Byram to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the people or degrade the quality of life. This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from sources within the Township of Byram.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by noise control officers. A person shall be qualified to be a noise control officer if the person meets the criteria set forth in the definition above and completes, at a frequency specified by the Department in N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.11, a noise certification and recertification course which are offered by the Department of Environmental Sciences of Cook College, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, or any other noise verification and recertification course which is offered by an accredited university and approved by the Department.
Noise control officers shall have the power to:
Coordinate the noise control activities of all departments in the Township of Byram and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable;
Review the actions of the Township of Byram and advise of the effect, if any, of such actions upon noise control.
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this chapter.
Investigate and pursue possible violations of this chapter for sound levels which equal or exceed those set forth in Tables I and II when measured at a receiving property located within the designated jurisdiction of the Noise Control Officer, in accordance with § 171-8 below.
Cooperate with noise control officers of adjacent municipalities to enforce one another's noise control ordinances.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on any source property listed in § 171-3A above in such manner as to create a sound level that equals or exceeds the sound level limits set forth in Tables I and II when measured at or within the real property line of any of the receiving properties listed in Tables I and II, except as specified in § 171-6B below.
When measuring total sound or residual sound within a multiuse property, or within a residential unit when the property line between it and the source property is a common wall, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room most affected by the noise. Residual sound shall be measured in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.9(b)2. When measuring total sound or residual sound, all sound sources within the dwelling must be shut off (e.g., television, stereo). Measurements shall not be taken in areas which receive only casual use, such as hallways, closets and bathrooms.
Indoor measurements shall only be taken if the sound source is on or within the same property as the receiving property, as in the case of a multiuse property (e.g., sound generated within a commercial unit of a multiuse property building and received within a residential unit of the same building) or multidwelling building. In addition, indoor measurements shall be taken if the property line between the receiving property and the source property is a common wall, such as in a multidwelling unit building. The allowable sound levels for indoors are as shown on Tables I and II.
Impulsive sound shall not equal or exceed 80 decibels at any time.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any of the following noise sources pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.4:
Bells, chimes or carillons while being used in conjunction with religious services;
Emergency energy-release devices;
Emergency work to provide electricity, water or other public utilities when public health or safety is involved;
Motor vehicle racetracks;
National Warning System (NAWAS), systems used to warn the community of attack or imminent public danger such as flooding or explosion. These systems are controlled by the New Jersey Office of Emergency or Hazardous Spill Management, Division of State Police;
Noise of aircraft flight operations;
Public celebrations. Municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events, or noncommercial public speaking or public assembly activity conducted on public spaces or public rights-of-way;
Surface engaged in commerce by railroad;
The unamplified human voice;
Normal operation of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, skeet shooting or trapshooting range which has been maintained continuously in the same location since January 24, 1972.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Tables I and II, the following standards shall apply to the activities or sources of sound set forth below:
Noncommercial or nonindustrial power tools, landscaping and yard maintenance equipment shall not be operated between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless such activities can meet the applicable limits set forth in Tables I and II. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to noncommercial or nonindustrial power tools and landscaping equipment;
Commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment excluding emergency work shall not be operated on residential property or within 250 feet of a residential property when operated on a commercial or industrial property, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, or between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends or federal holidays, unless such activities can meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II. In addition, commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment, excluding emergency work, utilized on commercial or industrial property shall meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment;
Construction and demolition activity, excluding emergency work, shall not be performed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, or between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends and federal holidays, unless such activities can meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to construction and demolition activities;
Motorized snowblowers, snow throwers, and lawn equipment with attached snowplows shall be operated at all times with a muffler;
An exterior burglar alarm on a building or motor vehicle must be activated in such a manner that the burglar alarm terminates its operation within five minutes for continuous airborne sound and within 15 minutes for impulsive sound after it has been activated;
Personal or commercial vehicular music amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated in such a manner that it is plainly audible at a residential property line between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;
Personal vehicular music amplification equipment shall not be operated in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
Self-contained, portable, hand-held music or sound amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated on a public space or public right-of-way in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., sound from such equipment shall not be plainly audible by any person other than the operator;
Summons. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for an enforcement document to be issued by the Noise Control Officer to the violator according to procedures set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.6. The recipient of an enforcement document shall be entitled to a hearing in a municipal court having jurisdiction to contest such action.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty for each offense of not more than $3,000. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.
No provision of this chapter 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 chapter or from other law.