[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ocean Beach 4-14-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979 as Article XVIII of the 1951 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Noise Control Law of the Village of Ocean Beach."
[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
The Village of Ocean Beach (VOB) was founded as a community dedicated to the enjoyment of the natural features of a barrier beach and to allowing its citizens quiet repose and the pleasures of sun, fresh air and surf. As an incorporated village within the Fire Island National Seashore, the Village of Ocean Beach possesses certain features that contribute to generally low ambient natural noise levels reflective of rural areas, especially the lack of mobile sources of noise such as highway traffic. The low ambient natural noise levels, the often damp environment and the close proximity of homes to each other, as well as the mostly wood building materials used for home construction, mean that sound from any source can be unusually disturbing to the quiet repose of the Village and its citizens. It is therefore declared to be the policy of the Village Board of Trustees (VBOT) to act effectively to prevent unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise. It is also the policy of the Village Board of Trustees to reduce the noise level within the Village so as to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare and to foster convenience, peace and quiet within the Village by the inhabitants and transients within the Village of Ocean Beach.
It is further found by the Village BOT that the installation, use and operation of fans, blowers, compressors, pumps used for hot tubs and swimming pools, air conditioning or air handling and circulation devices have proliferated in the VOB, and, in many cases, these devices generate unacceptable and unreasonable noise levels in neighboring properties and public areas, in violation of the policy noted above. It is further found and declared by the VBOT that the use of machinery, equipment, fans, or similar mechanical or electrically powered devices which generate noise capable of being heard outside the perimeters of the parcel of land on which the devices are used may similarly disturb the peace and quiet of neighboring inhabitants and the public.
The Village Board finds that every person is entitled to have maintained noise levels that are not detrimental to life, health and enjoyment of property and that excessive and unnecessary noise within the Village of Ocean Beach affects, and is a menace to, public health, safety and welfare and the comfort and quiet repose of the people of the Village of Ocean Beach. This code shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purpose described in this section.
All terminology defined herein which relates to the nature of sound and the mechanical detection and recordation of sound is in conformance with the terminology of the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT NOISE
- The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources, near and far.[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- AUXILIARY CIRCULATION DEVICE
- Any circulation device that directs airflow outside the building perimeter and is not required to meet the needs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning of an entire residential building. Auxiliary circulation devices include circulation devices used to heat and pump water into swimming pools, hot tubs, etc. Auxiliary circulation devices include built-in portable window air-conditioning units and other ventilation units.[Added 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL DB(A)
- The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighted network. The level so read is designated "dB(A)."
- BOARD OF VILLAGE TRUSTEES
- Shall be comprised of the following body of elected officials from the Village of Ocean Beach: the Mayor and four Village Trustees, and shall be referred to as the "Board," the "Village Board" or the "VBOT."[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- CIRCULATION DEVICE
- Any device which circulates a gas or fluid, including, but not limited to, any air conditioner, heat pump, pump, pump used to circulate water in a hot tub or swimming pool, cooling tower, fan or blower. A circulation device shall be deemed an accessory structure for purposes of this code.[Added 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- Those areas designated "C" on the Village of Ocean Beach Zoning Map adopted October 7, 1978, and the waters of the Great South Bay within the jurisdiction of the Village.
- CONTINUOUS SOUND
- Any sound that is not impulse sound.
- The hours of 8:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m.[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- DECIBEL (dB)
- A unit for measuring the pressure level of sound and is a logarithm of a ratio of two values of power. For the purpose of this chapter, a decibel is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, said reference pressure is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).
- DISCRETE (PURE) TONE
- Any sound which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or a set of single pitches.
- Any occurrence or circumstance involving actual or imminent physical or property damage which demands immediate action.
- IMPULSE SOUND
- Sound characterized by brief duration of sound pressure which exceeds the ambient sound, including but not limited to the sound caused by the base of a sound reproduction device.
- MUFFLER OR SOUND DISSIPATIVE DEVICE
- A device for abating the sound emanating from a sound source, and effective in reducing noise.
- The hours of 10:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m.[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983; 8-10-1996 by L.L. No. 9-1996; 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
- PEAK SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The maximum absolute value of the instantaneous sound pressure level during a specified time interval.
- Any individual, association, partnership, corporation or other entity and includes any officer, employee, department or agency of the above.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, sidewalk or alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by the Village of Ocean Beach, including but not limited to walks, no matter how designated.
- PUBLIC SPACE
- Any real property or structure thereon which is owned, controlled or leased by the Village of Ocean Beach, including but not limited to the beaches of the Village.
- REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person or from any public right-of-way or from any public space.[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
- Those areas designated R-4 and D-D on the Village of Ocean Beach Zoning Map adopted October 7, 1978, and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean within the jurisdiction of the Village.
- An oscillation in pressure, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that cause compression and rarefaction of the medium.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The quantity in decibels, measured by a sound level meter satisfying the requirements of American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument used to measure sound pressure levels and can include a microphone, amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting network.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the root mean squared sound pressure to the reference pressure, said reference pressure being 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).
- SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICE
- Any device that is designed to be used or is actually used for the production or reproduction of sound, including but not limited to any amplified musical instrument, radio, television, tape recorder, phonograph, loudspeaker, public-address system or any other sound-amplifying device.[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
- UNREASONABLE NOISE
- Any sound which is defined in § 112-5 or 112-6 as unreasonable.[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
- Any land or amphibian conveyance propelled by either an internal source or self-propelled.
- Includes every description of watercraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation in, on or upon water, including but not limited to nondisplacement craft and seaplanes.
- An oscillatory motion of solid bodies of deterministic or random natures described by displacement, velocity or acceleration with respect to a given reference point.
- WITHIN THE COMMERCIAL AREA
- Sound emanating from a source within the commercial area. Sound shall not be considered to be within the commercial area if it is projected into, heard or felt in a residential area, and such sound shall be considered to be within the residential area and governed by the rules relating thereto.[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "evening," as amended, which immediately followed this definition, repealed 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010.
No person shall make, cause or permit to be made any unreasonable noise within the geographical boundaries of the Village or within those areas over which the Village has jurisdiction, including the waters adjacent to the Village, the beaches or those areas to the east and west of the Village.
[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983; 4-11-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
Any of the following acts and causes thereof which either annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensibilities is declared to be in violation of this chapter and to constitute unreasonable noise:
The use of any sound reproduction device outside a structure, either on private property or on a public right-of-way or public space, at any time within the residential areas or within the commercial areas; or inside a structure in such a manner as to result in the sound or any part thereof from such apparatus to be projected therefrom outside of the structure or out of doors at any time within the residential areas or during night hours in the commercial areas. Sound which crosses any real property boundary shall be deemed to be projected within the meaning of this chapter. Nothing within this subsection shall be construed to prevent the operation of any such apparatus by any person within any building or structure, provided that the sound therefrom or any part thereof is not projected outside of any building or out of doors or to prohibit the use of any apparatus with a personal earphone so that the sound therefrom or any part thereof is not audible to persons other than the user of the earphone.
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing noise, shall annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities. It shall be considered unreasonable if the disturbance can be heard in a neighboring property for five minutes or the disturbance occurs repeatedly at a frequency of three or more times per day and for more than one day a week.
[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
The erection, alteration or repair of any building or structure between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. at any time, and at any time on Sunday, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety as determined by applicable laws in the Code of the Village of Ocean Beach.
The shouting, crying or bellowing of peddlers, hawkers and vendors.
The use of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any business.
Yelling, shouting or hooting at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort and repose of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device on or in any vehicle or vessel except to serve as a danger warning.
The operation of any engine-powered motorboat at any time, at any speed or under any condition of load, acceleration or deceleration or in any manner whatsoever as to exceed a sound level of 80 dB(A) at any shoreline.
The operation of any sound reproduction device on a vessel so that the sound therefrom is audible on land.
Any excessive or unusually loud sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
Any excessive or unusually loud sound or conversation from the use of outdoor swimming pools or hot tubs. It shall be considered unreasonable if the conversation can be heard and understood by a person of normal sensitivities inside the house of any neighboring property.
[Added 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
[Amended 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983; 8-10-1996 by L.L. No. 9-1996; 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
In addition to those specific prohibitions set forth in § 112-5 hereof, the following general prohibitions shall apply in determining unreasonable noise:
Residential. No person shall make or cause, permit, or allow any sound or vibration which crosses the real property boundary of either commercial or residential property into any residential area or public right-of-way or public space within a residential area in excess of the following:
For continuous sound and vibration during the day, as defined: 50 dB(A).
For impulse sound during the day, as defined: 50 dB(A).
For continuous sound and vibration during the night, as defined: 45 dB(A).
For impulse sound during the night, as defined: 42 dB(A).
The noise code restricts the decibel level generated by music emanating from businesses in the commercial district and escaping into the streets and residences of an adjoining residential district. Sound levels may not exceed 42 dB(A) as measured from within a residence or may not exceed 7 dB(A) above the ambient level as measured from a street, walkway or public right-of-way 15 feet or more from the source during night hours.
Commercial. No person shall make or cause, permit, or allow any sound or vibration which crosses the real property boundary of any commercial property into any commercial area or public right-of-way or public space within said commercial area in excess of the following:
[Added 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
New circulation devices.
On and after the effective date of this section, all circulation devices intended to be installed on any residential parcel shall be sound attenuated, as described below, so as to eliminate unnecessary and unreasonable noise exceeding the standards promulgated in this chapter and shall require a permit to install, granted by the Building Inspector of the VOB. All permit applications will list the proposed location, size, dimensions and sound attenuation/mitigative measures. If multiple devices are intended to be installed on a given parcel, only one permit will be required as long as the location and specifications of each device, including any proposed sound attenuation or mitigative measures, are listed separately.
If the above installation is part of any construction project requiring a building permit, the permit to install a new circulation device or devices shall be included with the building permit application at no additional cost.
The installation or the operation of any circulation device shall be in compliance with the Code of the Village of Ocean Beach.
In granting a permit to install a circulation device, the Building Inspector or Code Enforcement Officer will examine the permit, the location of the devices to adjoining properties and whether the most highly impacted areas are recreational (deck), living space or sleeping quarters. The Building Inspector will also examine the mitigative measures being taken by the permit applicant and suggest changes in these measures including relocation of the device or additional mitigative measures.
It shall henceforth be the continued obligation of an owner of a parcel on which a circulation device is installed to comply with noise limitation standards provided for in this chapter. The issuance of a building permit shall not be deemed to be a finding by the Building Inspector that sound attenuation provisions described in the permit shall sufficiently attenuate sound in compliance with this chapter.
No person shall operate or permit to operate a circulation device in such a manner as to create a sound level in excess of 45 dB(A) when measured at any point inside a receiving property dwelling unit or at a point 10 feet from the property line, and at a height of six feet from the ground surface, whichever is closer. Measurements inside a dwelling unit shall be taken with a window or door open at a point three feet from the opening.
On and after the effective date of this section, when a new circulation device is installed on any building lot or an existing device on any building lot is replaced, the cumulative sound from all circulation devices on each building lot shall not exceed 45 dB(A) when measured at any point inside a receiving property dwelling unit, as described in § 112-6.1C(1), above.
Additionally, on and after the effective date of this section, no person shall operate or permit to operate circulation devices in such a manner that the sound of any one or several circulation devices cycling on and off is audible to a person of normal sensitivity at any point within 10 feet of the property line.
Owners of circulation devices installed prior to the effective date of this Subsection, that exceed 45 dB(A) from all devices shall have up to one year to achieve a reduction of at least 5 dB(A) in sound emanating from one or more of the devices and shall have two years to come into conformance with the requirement to install and operate devices under a revocable permit.
Regardless of the decibel limits, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
Sound and vibration emitted for the purpose of alerting people to an emergency.
Sound and vibration emitted in the performance of correcting an emergency.
Sounds created by church bells or chimes.
Sounds created by any government agency by the use of public warning devices.
Sounds created by lawnmowers with an operating muffler or sound-dissipating device, as designed by the manufacturer, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., prevailing time, weekdays and 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., prevailing time, Saturdays and Sundays.
Sounds created by public utilities, including ferries licensed by the Village, in carrying out the operation of their franchises.
Sounds connected with sporting events of any public or private school, or authorized carnival, fair, exhibition or parade allowed by permit of the Village Board.
 The intermittent or occasional use of a homeowner’s light residential equipment or devices between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
[Added 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection H, excepting sounds on private property that did not carry beyond the property line, and former Subsection I, excepting use of loudspeakers in connection with voter registration projects, were repealed 3-5-1983 by L.L. No. 6-1983.
[Amended 3-27-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
The Village Board shall have the authority to grant special variances for limited times and purposes of this chapter. Any person seeking a special variance pursuant to this section shall file an application with the Board. The application shall consist of a letter signed by the applicant and shall contain a legal form of verification. Such letter shall contain information which demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the variance is sought into compliance with this chapter would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, on the community or on other persons. In addition, the following information shall be provided:
The plans, specifications and any other information pertinent to the source of sound and vibration.
The characteristics of the sound and vibration emitted by the source, including but not limited to the sound levels, the presence of impulse sounds or discrete (pure) tones, and the days and hours during which such vibration and sound is generated.
The noise abatement and control methods used to restrict the emission of the sound and vibration.
A time schedule for the installation of noise abatement and control devices, technology and procedures or process modifications that will be followed to restrict the emission of sounds and vibrations.
The name and address of the applicant and the applicant's agent, if any, and whether the applicant is the owner, lessee, licensee, etc., of the premises. If the applicant is not the owner, the application must contain the written consent of the owner.
The names and addresses of all owners of contiguous land within 500 feet of the premises. The applicant, in like manner, shall give notice of the application by certified mail, return receipt requested, to all property owners surrounding the sound source site within a radius of 500 feet from the borders of said site.
A filing fee representing no more than 5% of the estimated cost of the proposed work or $100, whichever is less. In no case will the filing fee be less than $25.
Upon prior reasonable public notice published in the official newspaper of the Village of Ocean Beach and upon a public notice board designated for that purpose by the Village Clerk in the Village Office or the general vicinity thereof for a minimum of 10 days, the Board of Trustees shall hold a public hearing on the special variance application. The Board, upon reviewing all input from the public hearing and obtaining any additional data or information as deemed necessary, shall then pass upon the application by resolution. The decision shall be transmitted to the Village Clerk, who will advise the applicant of such decision by transmitting a copy of the special variance application to the applicant, with the decision and conditions, if any, imposed by the Board of Trustees attached.
This chapter does not preclude the necessity of the applicant to obtain the approval or permit required by any other agency before proceeding with the action approved under the approved special variance. No action may be initiated by the applicant until such time that other permits, as may be required, are issued.
The applicant or his agent shall have readily available the approved special variance at the location or site for which the variance has been issued and shall show same to any agent of the Village of Ocean Beach whenever requested.
Activity conducted under the special variance shall be open to inspection at any time by any agent of the Village of Ocean Beach.
In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the Board shall balance the hardship to the applicant, the community and other persons of not granting the variance against the adverse impact on the health, safety and welfare of persons affected, the adverse impact on the property affected and any other adverse impacts of granting the special variance.
In connection with this section the Board shall cause the taking of sound level readings by an agency to be designated by the Board in the event that there shall be any dispute as to the sound levels prevailing or to prevail at the sound source site.
The Board shall have the power to impose restrictions, conditions and the recording of covenants upon any sound source site, including time limits on permitted activity in the event that it shall grant any variance hereunder.
[Amended 7-8-2000 by L.L. No. 7-2000; 7-13-2019 by L.L. No. 03-2019]
Any person found violating any provision of this chapter or any conditions imposed by the Board of Trustees upon an approved special variance shall be guilty of an offense and shall be adjudged a disorderly person and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine or imprisonment, or both. Fines for each offense shall be not less than $50 nor more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Fines for any subsequent offense shall be not less than $100.