Town of Manchester, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Town of Manchester 9-3-2002 (Secs. 10-91 to 10-98 of the 1996 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 103.
Disorderly conduct — See Ch. 161.
CHARTER REFERENCES
Authority to prevent disturbing noise — See § 1-3(12) and (44).
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Authority to prevent disturbing noise — See C.G.S. 7-148(c)(7)(H)(viii).
Noise pollution control — See C.G.S. 22a-67 et seq.

§ 223-1 Declaration of policy.

Excessive noise must be controlled by the Town to protect, preserve, and promote the public health, safety and welfare. The Board of Directors recognizes the fact that people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound that may jeopardize their health, safety, or welfare.

§ 223-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings given herein, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
BACKGROUND NOISE
Noise which exists at a point as a result of the combination of many distant sources, individually indistinguishable. In statistical terms, it is the level which is exceeded 90% of the time (L90) during the time period in which the measurement is taken. The measurement time period used to determine background noise shall have a minimum duration of 15 minutes. During the measurement of background noise, the noise from a potential emitter of excessive noise under investigation shall not be present.
BUSINESS ZONE
Those areas so designated under Article II, Sections b 14, 15, and 17 of the zoning regulations of the Town.
CONSTRUCTION
The assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration, demolition, or site preparation for or of public or private rights-of-way, buildings or other structures, utilities or property.
DAYTIME HOURS
The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
DECIBEL
A unit of measurement of the sound level, the symbol for which is "dB."
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
EXCESSIVE NOISE
Any sound, the intensity of which exceeds the standards set forth in § 223-6.
GENERAL MANAGER
The duly appointed General Manager of the Town of Manchester.
IMPULSIVE NOISE
Sound of short duration, usually less than a second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay.
INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Those areas so designated under Article II, Section 16 of the zoning regulations of the Town.
INTRUSION ALARM
A device with an audible signal which, when activated, indicates intrusion by an unauthorized person.
L90
The A-weighted noise level exceeded 90% of the time during the time period in which the measurement was made. The determination of L90 to ascertain background level requires a statistical analysis. Instruments that are designed to determine the cumulative distribution of noise levels are preferred, used either in the field or in the laboratory to analyze a tape recording. A graphic level chart recording and visual interpretation of the chart recording to determine the L90 level is also an acceptable method. Dynamic visual estimations from a sound-level meter are not an acceptable method for determining such levels.
MOTOR VEHICLE
A vehicle as defined in Subsection (26) of § 14-1 of the General Statutes.[1]
NIGHTTIME HOURS
The hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Sunday evening through Saturday morning, and between 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Saturday evening through Sunday morning.
NOISE LEVEL
A frequency weighted sound-pressure level as measured with a sound-level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated dBA.
PREMISES
Any building, structure, land, or portion thereof, including all appurtenances, owned or controlled by a person.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT
All engine or motor-powered tools and equipment used occasionally in the repair and upkeep of exterior property and including, but not limited to, lawn mowers, riding tractors, wood chippers, power saws, leaf blowers.
PUBLIC EMERGENCY SOUND SIGNAL
A device, either stationary or mobile, producing audible signal associated with a set of circumstances involving actual or imminent danger to persons or damage to property which demands immediate action.
PUBLIC FACILITY MAINTENANCE
All activity related to the clearing, cleaning, repair and upkeep of public roads, sidewalks, sewers, water mains, utilities, and publicly owned property.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Any internal-combustion engine-powered nonregistered vehicle which is being used for recreational purposes.
RESIDENTIAL ZONE
Those areas so designated under Article II, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 18 of the zoning regulations of the Town.
SOUND
A transmission of energy through solid, liquid or gaseous media in the form of alterations in pressure or position of the particles in the medium and which, in air, may evoke physiological sensations, including, but not limited to, an auditory response when impinging on the ear.
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument used to measure sound levels. A sound-level meter shall conform, as a minimum, to the requirements for a Type 2 instrument, given in the current edition of the American National Standards Institute's Operational Specifications for Sound Level Meters ANSI S1.4-1971 (Type S2A).
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of a sound to the reference pressure of 20 micropascals (20 uPa), and is expressed in decibels (dB).
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Subsection (47) of § 14-1 of the General Statutes.

§ 223-3 Exclusions.

This chapter shall not apply to noise emitted by or related to:
A. 
Natural phenomena;
B. 
The unamplified sound made by any wild animal;
C. 
A bell or chime from any building clock, school or church;
D. 
A public emergency sound signal;
E. 
Farming equipment or farming activity;
F. 
An emergency;
G. 
Snow removal.

§ 223-4 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempt from this chapter subject to the special conditions noted:
A. 
Noise created by the operation of property maintenance equipment during daytime hours.
B. 
Noise generated by any construction during daytime hours.
C. 
Noise created by any recreational activities which are sanctioned by the Town, including but not limited to parades, sporting events, concerts, and firework displays.
D. 
Noise created by blasting, provided that the blasting is conducted between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time and provided that a permit for such blasting has been obtained from state or local authorities.
E. 
Noise created by refuse and solid waste collection, provided that such activity is conducted between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
F. 
Noise created by fire or intrusion alarm which, from time of activation of the audible signal, emits noise for a period of time not exceeding 10 minutes when such alarm is attached to a vehicle or 30 minutes when attached to any building or structure. However, the repetition of activation of the audible signal of an intrusion alarm due to malfunction, lack of proper maintenance, or lack of reasonable care shall be considered excessive noise.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 103, Alarm Systems.
G. 
Noise created by public facility maintenance, provided that any equipment used shall be maintained in good repair so as to minimize noise, and noise discharged from exhausts is adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.

§ 223-5 Noise level measurement procedures.

For the purpose of determining noise levels as set forth in this chapter, the following guidelines shall be applicable:
A. 
A person conducting sound measurements shall have been trained in the techniques and principles of sound measuring equipment and instrumentation.
B. 
Instruments used to determine sound-level measurements shall be sound-level meters as defined by this chapter.
C. 
The following steps shall be taken when preparing to take sound-level measurements:
(1) 
The instrument manufacturer's specific instructions for the preparation and use of the instrument shall be followed.
(2) 
Measurements to determine compliance with § 223-6 shall be taken at a point that is located more or less one foot beyond the boundary of the emitter's premises and within the receptor's premises.

§ 223-6 Noise levels.

A. 
Noise levels. It shall be unlawful for any person to emit or cause to be emitted any noise beyond the boundaries of his/her premises in excess of the noise levels established in this chapter.
B. 
Noise level standards.
(1) 
No person shall emit noise exceeding the levels stated herein:
Zone in Which
Emitter is Located
Zone in Which
Receptor is Located
Industrial
(dBA)
Business
(dBA)
Residential
Daytime Hours
(dBA)
Residential
Nighttime Hours
(dBA)
Industrial
70
66
61
51
Business
62
62
55
45
Residential
62
55
55
45
C. 
Background noise and impulse noise.
(1) 
In those individual cases where the background noise levels caused by sources not subject to this chapter exceed the standards contained herein, a source 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 noise in excess of 80 dBA at any time, and provided that this section shall not be interpreted as decreasing the noise level standards of Subsection B of this section.
(2) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 80 dBA peak sound-pressure level during nighttime hours.
(3) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 100 dBA peak sound-pressure level at any time.
D. 
Motor vehicle noise.
(1) 
All motor vehicles operated within the limits of the Town shall be subject to the noise standards and decibel levels as set forth in the regulations of the State Department of Motor Vehicles (9CT CMV), C.G.S. § 14-80a, entitled "Maximum noise levels."
(2) 
No sound-amplifying devices, including but not limited to radios, tape and compact disc players, and other electronic devices on or within motor vehicles shall emit noise in excess of the noise levels as specified in Subsection B of this section as measured at a distance of 25 feet, or at the boundary of the nearest receptor's premises, whichever is less.
E. 
Recreational vehicle noise. No person shall create or cause to be created any unreasonably loud or disturbing noise due to the operation of a nonregistered recreational vehicle. A noise shall be deemed to be unreasonably loud and a violation of this chapter when the noise so generated exceeds the noise level standards in Subsection B of this section.
F. 
Noise from liquor permittees. All permit premises where alcoholic liquor is consumed on the premises operated within the limits of the Town shall be subject to the noise standards as set forth in the regulations of the State Department of Consumer Protection (CT DCP) C.G.S. § 30-55a, entitled "Suspension of permit for failure to pay unemployment compensation contributions; violation of noise standards by liquor permittees; penalties."

§ 223-7 Penalties for offenses; noise ticket.

Any person in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of an offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100. In lieu of arrest and issuance of a summons, a police officer may serve upon a violator an infraction notice which shall be known as a "noise ticket." Payment of the fine prescribed by such noise ticket within the time limit specified thereon shall constitute a plea of nolo contendere and shall save the violator harmless from prosecution for the offense cited.

§ 223-8 Variances.

A. 
Any person residing or doing business in the Town may apply to the General Manager for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter which are more stringent than the State Department of Environmental Protection's regulations for the control of noise, provided that the applicant supplies all of the following information to the General Manager at least 20 days prior to the start of such activity:
(1) 
The location and nature of activity;
(2) 
The time period and hours of operation of said activity;
(3) 
The nature and intensity of the noise that will be generated; and
(4) 
Any other information required by the General Manager.
B. 
No variance from these regulations shall be issued unless it has been demonstrated that:
(1) 
The proposed activity will not violate any provisions of the State Department of Environmental Protection regulations;
(2) 
The noise levels generated by the proposed activity will not constitute a danger to the public health; and
(3) 
Compliance with this chapter constitutes an unreasonable hardship on the applicant.
C. 
The application for variance shall be reviewed and either approved or rejected at least five days prior to the proposed start of said activity. The approval or rejection shall be in writing and shall state the condition of approval, if any, or the reasons for rejection.
D. 
Failure to rule on the application in the designated time shall constitute approval of the variance.