[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Lavallette. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be cited as the “Noise Ordinance of the Borough of Lavallette.”
Whereas, excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare and the quality of life; and
Whereas, a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive noise may be substantially abated; and
Whereas, the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from noise that may jeopardize their health or welfare or degrade the quality of life; and
Whereas, 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 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 inhabitants of the Borough of Lavallette;
Now, therefore, it is the policy of the Borough of Lavallette to prevent noise which may jeopardize the health or welfare of its citizens or degrade the quality of life.
Word usage. All terminology used in this chapter not defined below shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT NOISE LEVEL
- The sound-pressure level of the all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment being usually a composite of sounds from many sources and/or the A-weighted sound pressure level exceeded 90% of the time/L90 based on a one-hour period.
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The sound pressure level as measured in decibels on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read shall be designated “dB(A)” or “dBA.”
- CONTINUOUS NOISE
- A steady, fluctuating or impact noise which exists, essentially without interruptions, for a period of one hour or more.
- CYCLICALLY VARYING NOISE
- A steady fluctuating or impulsive noise which may or may not contain a pure tone, which varies in sound pressure level such that the same level is obtained repetitively at reasonably uniform intervals of time.
- The abbreviation designating the unit of sound level as measured by a sound level meter using the A-weighting.
- The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level; the number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a (20 micropascals); abbreviated as “dB.”
- Any municipal agency.
- Any mechanism which is intended to produce or which actually produces noise when operated or handled.
- EMERGENCY VEHICLE
- A motor vehicle used in response to an unexpected occurrence or situation resulting from natural or unnatural causes which endangers or has the potential to endanger the health, safety or resources of citizens or a municipality, and, as such, necessitates prompt action and response on the part of the emergency services personnel.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Work necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work to restore public utilities or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger.
- FLUCTUATING NOISE
- The sound pressure level of a fluctuating noise varies more than six dB(A)'s during the period of observation when measured with the slow meter characteristic of a sound-level meter and does not equal the previously existing ambient noise level more than once during the period of observation.
- Any vehicle which is primarily operated on water or which does operate on water, such as a boat, barge, amphibious craft, watercraft, or hovercraft, and which is at any time propelled by mechanical power.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn by mechanical equipment, such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck-trailers, semitrailers, campers, motorcycles, minibikes, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies, racing vehicles or any motorized vehicle having two or more axles.
- Any apparatus consisting of baffles, chambers or acoustical absorbing materials whose primary purpose is to transmit liquids or gases while causing a reduction in sound emission at one end.
- Any sound which is unwanted or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological effect on human beings.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which annoys, disturbs or perturbs reasonable persons with normal sensitivities or any sound which injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, hearing, peace or safety of other persons.
- Any individual, association, partnership, company, corporation, society, officer, employee, department, agency, other entity or instrumentality of the United States, a state or any political subdivision of that state.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE NOISE
- Any noise for which the information content of that noise is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as but not limited to understandable spoken speech or comprehensible musical rhythms.
- POWERED MODEL VEHICLES
- Any powered vehicles, either airborne, waterborne or landborne, which are designated not to carry persons or property, such as but not limited to model airplanes, boats, cars and rockets, and which can be propelled by mechanical means.
- PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line at the ground surface, and its vertical extension, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY and PUBLIC SPACE
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, easement, highway, alley or public space which is owned or controlled by a public government entity.
- PURE TONE
- Any noise which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or a set of single pitches. For the purposes of measurement, a pure tone shall exist if the 1/3 octave band sound pressure level in the band with the tone exceeds the arithmetic average of the sound pressure levels of the two contiguous 1/3 octave bands by five dB's for frequencies of 500 hertz and above, by eight dB's for frequencies between 160 and 400 hertz and by 15 dB's for frequencies less than or equal to 125 hertz.
- REPETITIVE IMPULSIVE NOISE
- Any noise which is composed of a single pressure peak or a single burst (multiple pressure peaks) having a duration of less than one second that is repeated at sufficiently slow rates such that a sound level meter set at fast meter characteristic will slow changes in sound pressure level greater than two dB(A)'s.
- A temporal and spatial oscillation in pressure or other physical quantity in a medium with internal forces that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium and which propagates a finite speed to distant points.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument, which includes a microphone, amplifier, RMS detector, integrator or time averager, output meter and weighting networks used to measure sound pressure levels.
- SOUND PRESSURE
- The instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average of barometric pressure at a given point in space, the level of which can be measured in dB units with a sound level meter which has a uniform (“flat”) response over the band of frequencies measured.
- STATIONARY EMERGENCY SIGNALING DEVICES
- Any device, excluding those attached to motor vehicles, used to alert persons engaged in emergency operations. These include, but are not limited to, fire fighters, first-aid squad members and law enforcement officers, whether paid or volunteer.
- STATIONARY NOISE SOURCE
- Any device, fixed or movable, which is located or used on geographically defined real property other than a public right-of-way.
- STEADY NOISE
- A sound pressure level which remains essentially constant during the period of observation, i.e., the fluctuations are too small to meet the criterion for fluctuating noise.
- Any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday which is not a legal holiday.
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the local health services provider and the Police Department of the Borough of Lavallette to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Ocean County Board of Health shall be department responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
Method of enforcement. Violation of this chapter shall be cause for summons and complaint to be issued forthwith; provided, however, that if the noise source is not a motor vehicle moving on a public right-of-way, in lieu of a summons and complaint, enforcement personnel may issue a twenty-four-hour notice, in writing, which may be served personally or by certified mail to the last known address of the person or persons in charge of or in control of the device, building or premises to abate said violation of this chapter. Failure to comply with the order so issued and served shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
In order to implement the purposes of this chapter, the Ocean County Health Department in conjunction with the Health Advisory Board of the Borough of Lavallette and/or its authorized agents and the Police Department of the Borough of Lavallette shall have the power to:
Studies. Conduct or cause to be conducted studies, research and monitoring related to noise.
Education. Conduct programs of public education regarding the causes and effects of noise, but not giving specific advice for its abatement, and to encourage the participation of public interest groups in related public information efforts.
Inspections. For reasonable cause and upon presentation of proper credentials, enter any building, property, premises or place and inspect any noise source for the purpose of ascertaining the compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this chapter or have access to and require the production of books and papers pertinent to any matter under investigation.
Records. Require the owner or operator of any noise source to establish and maintain records and make such reports as the local health services provider and/or its authorized agents and the Police Department may reasonably prescribe.
Measurements. Require the owner or operator of any noise source to measure the noise emissions thereof in accordance with such methods and procedures and at such locations and times as the local health services provider and/or its authorized agents and the Police Department may reasonably prescribe.
[Amended 6-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-09 (1108)]
It shall be unlawful for any person within the Borough of Lavallette to:
Make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, excessive or unusual noise, or any noise which unreasonably annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the Borough of Lavallette; or
Allow to emanate from any property, device or vehicle under their control any loud, excessive or unusual noise, or any noise which unreasonably annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the Borough of Lavallette.
The following acts are declared to be loud, disturbing or excessive noise in violation of this chapter, but said specified acts shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Horns and signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any motor vehicle on any public right-of-way, except as a danger warning signal or as provided in N.J.S.A. 39:4-1 et seq.
Radios, television sets and similar devices.
Operating or permitting the use or operation of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, television, phonograph, drum or other device for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance; or
Operating any such device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day in such manner as to be plainly audible across real property boundaries or through partitions common to two parties within a building or plainly audible at 50 feet from such device when operated within a motor vehicle parked on a public right-of-way or on a public space or within a motorboat.
Exterior loudspeakers. Using or operating any mechanical device or loudspeaker in a fixed or movable position exterior to any building or mounted upon any aircraft, motor vehicle or motorboat such that the sound therefrom is plainly audible at or beyond the property boundary of the source or on a public way between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Animals. Owning, keeping, possessing or harboring any animal or animals which, by frequent or habitual howling, barking, meowing, squawking or other noisemaking, cause a noise disturbance. The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to all private or public facilities, including any animal pounds which hold or treat animals.
Loading operations. Loading, unloading, opening or otherwise handling boxes, crates, containers, garbage cans or otherwise similar objects between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day in such manner as to cause a noise disturbance.
Construction noise. Operating or causing to be operated any equipment used in construction, repair, alteration or demolition work on buildings, structures, streets, alleyways or appurtenances thereto in residential or commercial land use categories between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Vehicle repairs or testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, off-road vehicle or motorboat in or near a residential use district in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance or violate the provisions of § 43-9.
Places of public entertainment. Operating or permitting to be operated any loudspeaker or other source of sound in any place of public entertainment which produces maximum levels of 90 dB(A)'s at any point that is normally occupied by a human being, as read with the slow response on a sound level meter, without a conspicuous and legible sign located outside such place, near the entrance, stating: WARNING. SOUND ENVIRONMENT WITHIN MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY HEARING IMPAIRMENT WHICH MAY BECOME PERMANENT WITH CONTINUED EXPOSURE.
Powered model vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of powered model vehicles between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following morning. Maximum sound pressure levels during the permitted period of operation shall conform to those set forth in Table I of § 43-9 and shall be measured at the property boundary of the source or at a distance of 100 feet if it is operated in a public place.
Refuse compacting vehicles. The operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle which can compact refuse and which creates, during the compacting cycle, a disturbing noise between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day in residential use districts.
Standing motor vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of the motor of any motor vehicle whose manufacturer's gross weight is in excess of 10,000 pounds or any attached auxiliary equipment for a period longer than three minutes in any hour while such vehicle is stationary on a public right-of-way in a residential district or in any designated quiet zone or is on private property in a residential or commercial zone and is not within a completely enclosed structure.
Bells and alarms. The sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle unless such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes of its being activated. Any motor vehicle upon which a burglar alarm has been installed shall prominently display the telephone number at which communication may be made with the owner of such motor vehicle.
Stationary emergency signaling devices. Testing of only the electromechanical functioning of a stationary emergency signaling device shall occur at the same time each day that a test is performed, but not before 7:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. Any such testing shall only be run for one cycle of alarm activation.
Operating or permitting to be operated any powered saw, sander, drill, grinder, garden equipment or tools of like nature, used primarily for domestic purposes outdoors in residential zones between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Noise caused in the performance of emergency work for the immediate safety, health or welfare of the community or individuals of the community or to restore property to a safe condition following an emergency shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit law enforcement, ambulance, fire or other emergency personnel to make excessive noise in the performance of their duties when such noise is clearly unnecessary. The use of the stationary emergency signaling devices shall be for emergency use only.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or permit to be operated any stationary source of noise in such a manner as to create a sound pressure level which exceeds the limits set forth for the receiving land use category in Table I when measured at the property boundary. When a noise source can be identified and its noise measured in more than one land use category, the limits of the most restrictive use shall apply at the boundaries between different land use categories.
Motor vehicles on public rights-of-way. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way at any time in such manner that the sound pressure level emitted by said vehicle exceeds the levels set forth in Table II when measured at the location established by Subsection B. This section shall apply to all motor vehicles, whether publicly or privately owned, that are duly licensed.
Measurement distance. For the purpose of Subsection A, the standard measurement height shall be four feet (1.2 meters), and the standard horizontal measurement distance from the center line of the traffic lane being monitored shall be 50 feet (15 meters). Whenever it is not feasible to use 50 feet, the distance may be shortened to 25 feet (7.5 meters), in which case the values of Table II of Subsection A shall be increased by six dB(A)'s.
Vehicles operating off public rights-of-way. No person shall operate a power-propelled vehicle or recreational device off a public right-of-way in such manner that the sound pressure level emitted therefrom exceeds the limits set forth in Table III when measured at the locations set forth in Subsection B. This subsection shall apply to all motorized vehicles and recreational devices, whether publicly or privately owned or whether or not duly registered or licensed, including but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, campers, motorcycles, minibikes, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft, dune buggies, racing vehicles, water-ski towing devices and motorboats.
No zoning change, adjustment, variance or exception which affects the land use categories will be permitted unless the proposed use does not violate the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall sell or rent or cause to be sold or rented any structure to be used for habitation outside which structure the sound pressure levels are in excess of those permitted under § 43-9 without making full disclosure to all potential buyers or renters of the existence of such noise disturbance.
Any person, firm or corporation that shall be convicted of a violation of a provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction whereof by any court authorized by law to hear and determine the matter, be subject to a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $1,000, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or community service of not more than 90 days, or any combination of fine, imprisonment and community service, as such court in its discretion may impose. Each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
The operation or maintenance of any noise source in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in any other manner available for the abatement of public nuisances.
Any remedy available pursuant to this chapter shall be considered separate and not exclusive of any other remedy available hereunder.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair any cause of action or legal remedy therefor of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this chapter.