Borough of Berlin, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Berlin 10-7-1991 by Ord. No. 91-16; amended in its entirety 7-24-2002 by Ord. No. 2002:11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Board of Health — See Ch. 25.
Brush, weeds and obnoxious debris — See Ch. 101.
Dangerous and unfit buildings and structures — See Ch. 105.
Solid waste — See Ch. 278.
Sanitary Code — See Ch. 355.
A. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directive or permissive.
B. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning. All terminology used in this chapter, and not defined below, shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
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.
A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
The sound pressure level as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read shall be designated dB(A) or dBA.
COMMERCIAL AREA
A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Any premises, property, or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
(1) 
Banking and other financial institutions;
(2) 
Dining establishments;
(3) 
Establishments for providing retail services;
(4) 
Establishments for providing wholesale services;
(5) 
Establishments for recreation and entertainment;
(6) 
Office buildings;
(7) 
Transportation;
(8) 
Warehouses.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
CONTINUOUS NOISE
A steady, fluctuating or impact noise which exists essentially without interruption for a period of one hour or more.
CYCLICALLY VARYING NOISE
Steady, fluctuating or impulsive noise which may or may not contain a pure tone and which varies in sound pressure level such that the same level is obtained repetitively at reasonably uniform intervals of time.
DECIBEL (dB)
The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure levels; 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 standard sound (20 micropascals); abbreviated dB.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction, or removal of buildings or structures.
DEPARTMENT
The County Department of Health or any municipal agency related to the noise control programs such as the Board of Health, the Community Development Department and the Police Department.
DEVICE
Any mechanism which is intended to produce or which actually produces noise when operated or handled.
DIESEL-POWERED ENGINE
A mechanism for converting energy into mechanical force and motion by using a compression ignition type of internal combustion engine.
EMERGENCY VEHICLE
A motor vehicle used in response to a public calamity or to protect persons or property from imminent danger.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services including, but not limited to, repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone, sewer facilities, or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way, or abating life-threatening conditions.
ENFORCING OFFICIAL
Includes the official authorized by the Borough of Berlin to enforce this Code and chapter.
EXHAUST EMISSIONS
Substances emitted into the atmosphere from any opening downstream from the exhaust ports of a motor vehicle engine.
FLUCTUATING NOISE
When the sound pressure level of a fluctuating noise varies more than 6 dB(A) 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.
IDLE
A motor vehicle operating mode consisting of a nonloaded, throttled engine speed at the revolutions per minute specified by the manufacturer.
IMPULSIVE NOISE
A noise characterized by brief excursions of sound pressure whose peak levels exceed the ambience by 10 dB. The duration of a single impulse is usually less than one second and requires the use of a sound level meter specially adapted for its measurement.
INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities, or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture, or production of durable or nondurable goods.
MOTOR VEHICLE
As defined in the Motor Vehicle Code of the state or any vehicles which are 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 or racing vehicles.
MUFFLER
A sound-dissipating device or system for abating the sound of escaping gasses of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING - UNIT BUILDING
Any building wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
NOISE
Any sounds of such level and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, or which would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property through the Borough of Berlin or in any portions thereof, but excluding all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An officially designated employee of the Borough or of the County of Camden, trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue a summons for violations of this Ordinance.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound that endangers the safety or health of any person, or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, or endangers real or personal property.
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.
PERSON
Includes corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.
POWERED MODEL VEHICLES
Any powered vehicles, either airborne, waterborne or landborne, which are designed not to carry persons or property, such as, but not limited to, model airplanes, boats, cars, or 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
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, or alley that is owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC UTILITY WIRES
Wires used for transmission of telecommunications, such as, but not limited to, Verizon and Comcast, for cable TV, phone service or Internet service, or any other overhead utility wires connected to utility poles.
[Added 10-7-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-11]
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 one-third octave band sound-pressure level in the band with the tone exceeds the arithmetic average of the sound pressure levels of the two contiguous one-third octave bands by 5 dB for frequencies of 500 hertz and above by 8 dB for frequencies between 160 and 400 hertz and 15 dB for frequencies less than or equal to 125 hertz.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Either the imaginary line including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of real property from another, or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
REPETITIVE IMPULSIVE NOISE
Repetitive noise which is composed of impulsive noises that are repeated at sufficiently slow rates such that a sound level meter set at a fastmeter characteristic will show changes in sound pressure level greater than 2 dB(A).
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
(1) 
Private property used for human habitation;
(2) 
Commercial living accommodations and commercial property used for human habitation;
(3) 
Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation;
(4) 
Community service property used for human habitation.
RMS SOUND PRESSURE
The square root of the time-averaged square of the sound pressure denoted Prms.
SMOKE
Small gasborne and airborne particles, exclusive of water vapors, arising from the process of combustion in sufficient number to be observable.
SOUND
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 at finite speed to distant points.
SOUND LEVEL
The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting; sound level is expressed in dBA.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument used to measure sound level and conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI specification S1.4-1971.
SOUND PRESSURE
The instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a given point in space.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure to the reference pressure, which shall be 20 micropascals, denoted Lp or SPL.
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 or 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.
VIBRATION
A temporal spatial oscillation of displacement, velocity or acceleration in a solid material.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
The following matters, things, conditions or acts, are hereby declared to be a nuisance and injurious to the health of the inhabitants of this municipality. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to commit, maintain or allow any nuisance as declared and described in this section:
A. 
Any matter, thing, condition or act which is or may become detrimental or a menace to the health of the inhabitants of this municipality.
B. 
Any matter, thing, condition or act, which is or may become an annoyance or interfere with the comfort or general well-being of the inhabitants of this municipality.
C. 
Pollution or existence of conditions which cause or threaten pollution of any waters in this municipality in such manner as to cause or threaten injury to any of the inhabitants of this municipality either in their health, comfort or property.
D. 
The escape into the open air from any stack, vent, chimney or any entrance to the open air, or from any fire into the open air or from any motor vehicle as defined herein, of such quantities of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists, gases, or emissions as to cause injury, detriment, or annoyance to the inhabitants of this municipality or interfere with or endanger their comfort, repose, health or safety.
E. 
The existence or presence of any accumulation of garbage, refuse, manure, or animal or vegetable matter, which may attract flies and to which flies may have access, or in which fly larvae or pupae breed or exist.
F. 
Depositing, accumulating or maintaining any matter or thing which serves as food for insects or rodents and to which they may have access or which serves or constitutes a breeding place or harborage for insects or rodents in or on any land, premises, building or other place.
G. 
Standing motor vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle whose manufacturer's gross weight is in excess of 10,000 pounds, or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period of longer than five minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet (46 meters) of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day.
H. 
Construction and demolition. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating, or demolition work between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays or at any time on weekends or legal holidays, except for emergency work or when the sound level does not exceed any applicable limit specified in Table I in § 226-7 hereof.
[Amended 5-28-2003 by Ord. No. 2003:7]
I. 
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 the Vehicle Code of the State of New Jersey.
J. 
Street sales. Selling anything by shouting or by outcry within any area of the Borough zoned primarily for residential uses, except by permit.
K. 
Impulsive sources. The use of explosives or the firing of guns or other explosive devices without first obtaining a permit, as required by law.
L. 
Power equipment. 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 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day.
M. 
Nothing herein shall limit the Borough's ability to prohibit certain matters, things, conditions or acts as established pursuant to Chapter 188, Laws of 1950 (N.J.S.A. 26:3-69.1 et seq.), a copy of which is annexed hereto and made a part hereof without the inclusion of the text thereof herein.
N. 
Allowing overhead public utility wires to fall or hang loosely from utility poles, or to permit the wires to lie in public streets or sidewalks or to wind and secure utility wires to hang onto objects other than a utility pole.
[Added 10-7-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-11]
A. 
Whenever a nuisance as declared by this chapter is found on any plot of land, lot, right-of-way or any other private premises or place, notice in writing by registered and regular mail shall be given to the owner thereof to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein, but not less than five days from the date of service thereof. A duplicate of the notice shall be left with one or more of the tenants or occupants of the premises or place. If the owner resides out of the state or cannot be so notified immediately, such notice shall be left at that place or premises with the tenant or occupant thereof, or posted on the premises, and such action shall be considered proper notification to the owner, tenant or occupant thereof. Where addresses are available for out-of-state owners, the Borough shall also provide notice to that address indicated. Where an owner's whereabouts is unknown or not ascertainable, the notice shall be served by publishing it once in the Borough representative newspaper and posted on the premises.
B. 
Whenever a nuisance, as declared by this chapter, is found on any public property or on any highway or on any other public premises or place, notice in writing shall be given to the person in charge thereof to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein. If such person fails to comply with such notice within the time specified therein, the Borough may remove or abate such nuisance in the manner as hereinafter provided in the case of a right condition existing on a private premises or place.
C. 
If the owner, tenant or occupant, upon being notified as provided by this section, shall not comply with such notice within the time specified therein and fails to remove or abate such nuisance, the Borough shall proceed to abate the nuisance or may file action to cause it to be removed or abated by such means as said Borough shall deem proper.
The Borough may initiate an action at law to recover costs incurred by it in the removal or abatement of any nuisance as declared by this chapter from any person who shall have caused or allowed such nuisance to exist, or from any owner, tenant or occupant of premises who, after notice and notification is herein provided, shall fail to remove and abate the same within the time specified in such notice. In addition, the Borough shall have the right to place a municipal lien against the premises for the cost of removal or abatement of such nuisance. A detailed statement of such costs shall be filed with the Tax Assessor and Collector and a copy forwarded to the owner of the premises by registered mail. Any owner or party in interest may, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the municipal lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or accuracy of the costs in said lien certificate.
A. 
The provisions of this Ordinance shall be enforced by the noise control officers.
B. 
The noise control administrator shall have the power to:
(1) 
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable;
(2) 
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of such actions on noise control;
(3) 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this Ordinance; and
(4) 
Grant permits for variances provided the variances are consistent with regulations concerning noise control promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:29.
[Amended 5-28-2003 by Ord. No. 2003:7]
C. 
The noise control administrator shall consult with the airport proprietor to recommend changes in airport operations to minimize any noise, which the airport owner may have the authority to control in its capacity as proprietor. The noise control administrator shall report on his/her efforts to the governing body.
D. 
A person shall be qualified to be a noise control officer if the person has satisfactorily completed any of the following:
(1) 
"Community Noise - A Short Course" offered by the Department of Environmental Science of Cook College, Rutgers, the State University; or
(2) 
A program of tutoring on-the-job training offered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Noise Control to its employees; or
(3) 
Education or experience or a combination thereof certified by the above Department as equivalent to the provisions of Subsections A or B of this section.
E. 
Noise measurements made by noise control officers shall be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B.[1]
[Amended 5-28-2003 by Ord. No. 2003:7]
[1]
Editor's Note: N.J.A.C. 7:29B, Noise Determination, is reserved. The rules in the chapter were adopted and recodified to N.J.A.C. 7:29-2 by R.1993, d.301, effective 6-21-1993.
A. 
All departments and agencies of the County of Camden shall carry out its programs according to law and shall cooperate with the noise control administrator in the implementation and enforcement of this ordinance.
B. 
All departments charged with new projects or changes to existing projects that may result in the production of noise shall consult with the noise control administrator prior to the approval of such projects to insure that such activities comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.
A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property or any public space or right-of-way in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in Table I when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property except as provided in § 226-7B.
B. 
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 (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 the different land use categories.
Table I
Receiving Land Use Category
Time
Sound Pressure Level Limit
[db (A)]
Residential, open space, agricultural, or institutional
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
65
50
Commercial or business
At all times
65
Industrial or manufacturing
At all times
75
A. 
Approval for commercial or industrial land use. No new commercial or industrial construction shall be approved unless it can be shown that the construction will meet § 47-7 of this chapter for land use categories existing at the time of construction.
B. 
Zoning changes; restrictions. No zoning change, adjustment, variance or exception, which affects the land use categories, will be permitted unless the use to be allowed will not violate the provisions of this chapter.
The provisions of this Ordinance shall not apply to:
A. 
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 a public calamity shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this section 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 stationary emergency signaling devices shall be for emergency use only.
B. 
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
C. 
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events shall be exempt from the provisions of this Ordinance.
A. 
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall be cause for a summons and complaint to be issued by the noise control officer or any other individual authorized by law, in accordance with procedures set forth herein.
B. 
Abatement orders.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), in lieu of issuing a summons and complaint as provided herein, the noise control officer may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this Ordinance within a reasonable time period (ten days) and according to guidelines which the noise control officer may prescribe.
(2) 
An abatement order shall not be issued if any person willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this Ordinance, or if the noise control officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
C. 
Violations and penalties.
[Amended 5-28-2003 by Ord. No. 2003:7]
(1) 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense in a sum not less than $100 and not more than $3,000 as provided in Subsection C(3).
(2) 
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional separate and distinct offense.
(3) 
A person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $100 to $500 for a first offense, $500 to $1,000 for a second offense, $1,000 to $3,000 for a third offense, and $3,000 for each offense thereafter.