[HISTORY: Adopted by the Representative Town Meeting of the Town of Fairfield 6-25-1985. Amendments noted were applicable.]
Government is instituted to protect life, liberty and property. Loud, excessive and unreasonable noise during the nighttime hours is an interference with a person's right to the use and enjoyment of his property, especially in residential areas where human beings sleep or areas where serenity and tranquillity are essential to the intended use of the land. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an objective standard and procedure for enforcing property rights.
As used in this chapter, the following items shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT NOISE or BACKGROUND NOISE
- Noise of a measurable intensity which exists at a point as a result of a combination of many distant sources individually indistinguishable.
- BUSINESS DISTRICT
- Any business district, including Business District No. 1, Business District No. 2, Business District No. 3, Designed Business District No. 1, Designed Business District No. 2, Designed Business District No. 3 and Designed Business District No. 4, as defined in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Fairfield.
- A logarithmic unit of measure in measuring magnitudes of sound. The symbol is "dB."
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical or property damage which demands immediate action.
- A person who creates, causes to be created or allows the noise.
- IMPULSE NOISE
- Sound of short duration (generally less than one second) with an abrupt onset and rapid decay.
- INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
- Any industrial district, including Industrial District No. 1, Industrial District No. 2, Designed Industrial District No. 1, Designed Industrial District No. 2 and Designed Research District, as defined in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Fairfield.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Shall be defined as per Section 14-1(26) of the Connecticut General Statutes (Revision of 1958, as amended).
- A. The hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Sunday night through Friday morning (weekday schedule); and the hours between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., Friday night through Sunday morning (weekend schedule).
- B. During any state or national holiday, the weekend schedule will be in effect the night before the holiday through the morning of the holiday.
- NOISE LEVEL
- The sound pressure level, as measured with a sound level meter.
- Any individual, including the singular and plural, firm, partnership, association, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, municipality, agency or political administrative subdivision of the state or on other legal entity of any kind.
- Any building structure, land or portion thereof, including all appurtenances, and shall include yards, lots, courts, inner yards and real properties without buildings or improvements, owned or controlled by a person. The emitter's premises includes contiguous publicly dedicated street and highway rights-of-way and waters of the state.
- PROPERTY LINE
- That real or imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension which:
- The person who receives the noise impact.
- RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT
- Any residential district, including Residential Districts AAA, AA, R-3, R-2, A, B, C, Designed Residence District No. 1 and Designed Residence District No. 2, as defined in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Fairfield, and all uses permitted therewith either as a right or as a special use.
- The transmission of energy through solid, liquid or gaseous media in the form of vibrations which constitute alterations in pressure or position of the particles in the medium and which, in the air, evoke physiological sensations, including but not limited to an auditory response when impinging on the ear.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument used to take sound level measurements and which should conform, as a minimum, to the operational specifications of the American National Standards Institute for sound level meters (TYPE s2A).
Editor's Note: See now C.G.S. § 14-1(54).
It shall be unlawful for any person to emit or cause to be emitted any noise from such person's property beyond the boundaries of his property lines in excess of the noise levels set forth in § 78-5 during the nighttime hours as defined in § 78-2, except in those incidences provided for in §§ 78-8 and 78-9.
For the purpose of determining noise levels as set forth in this chapter, the following guidelines shall be applicable:
Instruments used to determine noise levels shall conform, as a minimum, to the operational specifications of the American National Standards Institute for sound level meters (Type s2A), maintained in calibration and good working order, and instrument manufacturer's instructions for use of the instruments shall be followed.
All personnel conducting sound measurements shall be trained in the current techniques and principles of sound-measuring equipment and instrumentation.
Measurements shall be taken at a point that is located at least one foot beyond the boundary of the emitter's property line within the premises of the complaining receptor. The emitter's premises includes his/her individual unit of land or group of contiguous parcels under the same ownership as indicated by public land records.
Background noise and impulse noise. In those individual cases where the ambient or background noise levels caused by sources not subject to this chapter exceed the standards contained herein, a source (impulse or sustained) shall be considered to cause excessive noise if the noise emitted by such source exceeds the background noise levels by five dBA, provided that no source subject to this chapter shall emit in excess of 80 dBA at any time, with the exceptions of those sources referenced in Subsection C, and provided that this subsection shall not be interpreted as decreasing the noise level standards of § 78-5 of this chapter.
All motor vehicles operated within the limits of the Town of Fairfield shall be subject to the noise standards and decibel levels as set forth in the regulations of the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Sections 14-80a-la through 14-80a-10a, Maximum Permissible Noise Levels for Vehicles.
Editor's Note: See now C.G.S. § 14-80a, Maximum noise levels.
The Chief of Police shall be responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter upon the complaint of any person and shall, upon such complaint, carry out the intent of this chapter as specified in § 78-3. Upon receiving the first complaint, the police shall make the required sound level reading. If the sound level exceeds the standards enumerated in § 78-5, a verbal warning shall be given to the emitter. If such noise does not cease, and upon receiving a second complaint, the police shall follow the procedures as set forth in § 78-7. Notwithstanding that enforcement of this chapter shall be initiated by such complaint, no signed complaint shall be required by the Police Department to enforce or administer any of the provisions of this chapter.
Any person found in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be given an infraction notice which incorporates a fine of $50 for the first offense and $90 for each additional offense within a twenty-four-hour period. Failure to pay the fine in the time prescribed in the infraction notice will result in the issuance of a summons to appear in Superior Court.
The noise level standards defined in § 78-5 shall not apply to any noise emitted by or related to:
Any bell or chime from any building clock, school or church.
Warning devices required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or other state or federal safety regulations.
The following shall be exempt from these regulations, subject to special conditions as spelled out:
Noise created as a result of or relating to an emergency.
Noise created by snow-removal equipment.
Noise created by certificated aircraft operating under the control of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Noise created as a result of or relating to maintenance and repairs conducted by public utilities.
Noise generated from swimming pool pumps, air-conditioning systems and heating systems which are in good working order and which meet the specifications accepted by federal, state and Town agencies designated to govern their installation and standards of performance.
Noise created by public celebrations and on-site recreational or sporting activities which are sanctioned by the State of Connecticut or the Town of Fairfield.
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source granted a variance pursuant to Section 22a-69-7.1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies shall be exempt from provisions of this chapter by said variance. Any person seeking a variance pursuant to Section 22a-69-7.1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter while the variance application is pending.
Existing noise sources pursuant to Section 22a-69-3.7 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies shall be entitled to the allowances contained in said section.