Dogs — See Ch. 49.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 84.
§ 73-1Short title.
§ 73-4Unreasonably intrusive noise; criteria.
§ 73-5Maximum sound levels.
§ 73-6Prohibited acts.
§ 73-7Sound devices.
§ 73-9Penalties for offenses.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Noise Control Law of the Town of Boston, New York."
It is hereby declared the policy of Town of Boston to prevent unreasonably loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noise and to reduce noise levels within the Town to preserve, protect, and promote the public health, safety and welfare and to foster convenience, peace and quiet within the Town by the inhabitants and transients thereof. The Town Board finds that every person is entitled to have maintained noise levels which are not detrimental to life, health, and the reasonable enjoyment of property and that excessive or unnecessary noise within the Town affects and is detrimental to public health, safety, welfare, and the comfort of the people of the Town of Boston. The provisions and prohibitions contained herein shall not be utilized or construed to deny or limit any right or privilege granted and recognized by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
As used in this chapter, the following terms are defined as follows:
- DECIBEL (dB)
- The practical unit of measurement of sound pressure level; the number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound (20 micropascals) and is generally abbreviated "dB."
- NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
- Any member of a police department having jurisdiction within the Town of Boston or any duly appointed enforcement officer of the Town of Boston empowered to issue a summons or administrative order for violations of this chapter, including but not limited to the Code Enforcement Officer and any Deputy Code Enforcement Officer.
- 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 building containing at least two dwelling units.
- Any pressure variation perceptible to the human ear.
- SOUND DEVICES OR APPARATUS
- Any apparatus or device for the making, reproduction, or amplification of the human voice or other sounds.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound pressure level, measured in decibels, with a sound-level meter set for A-weighting; expressed in dBA.
- SOUND LEVEL MEASURE
- An instrument for the measurement of noise and sound.
- The Town of Boston, New York.
- That which is not required by the usual circumstances.
- That which would annoy, disturb or irritate a reasonable person of normal sensitivities under the same circumstances.
- UNREASONABLY INTRUSIVE NOISE
- Any sound of such level and duration as to be, or tending to be, injurious to human health or welfare or that would unreasonably interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property of a person of normal sensitivities under the same circumstances; or exceeding the limits as set forth in this chapter.
- WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The sound level, expressed in decibels, reports as measured by a sound-level measuring instrument having an A-weighted network which discriminates against the lower frequencies according to a relationship approximating the auditory sensitivity of the human ear. The level so read is designated in dBA.
No person shall make, continue, cause, or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically, any unreasonably intrusive noise. Standards to be considered in determining whether an unreasonably intrusive noise exists include, but are not limited to, the following:
The volume of the noise.
The frequency of the noise.
The periodicity of the noise.
Whether the noise is unusual and incongruous with the surrounding environment.
The volume and frequency of the ambient noise, if any.
The proximity of the noise source to any residential, educational, medical, religious, or judicial facility.
The use, nature, and character of the immediate area where the noise source exists.
The time of day or night the noise occurs.
The duration of the noise.
No person shall cause, suffer or permit the operation of any source of sound in any zoning district in the Town of Boston, or any public space or right-of-way in such manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the sound level limits, when measured at the property line of the nearest adjoining property to the sound source, set forth as follows:
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the existence of unnecessary sound that tends to injure, alarm, annoy, harass, or disturb the peace or reasonable enjoyment of property of another.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter; however, the enumeration herein contained shall not be deemed exclusive:
The use or operation of any radio, television, phonograph, musical instrument or other machine or device for the production, reproduction or amplification of sound with louder volume than is necessary for the hearing of the person or persons who are voluntary listeners thereto. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this subsection if sound emanating from such machine or device is:
The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of any person residing in the vicinity.
A noise disturbance from a dog, created by barking continually for five minutes or intermittently for 10 minutes, unless provoked.
The use of any automobile, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, bus, or vehicle in any manner that creates an unreasonably loud and unnecessary noise.
The discharge into the air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine, or motor vehicle engine, except through a muffler or other device, which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noise therefrom.
The erection, including excavation, demolition, alteration, or repair, of any building or structure other than between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
The creation of any excessive noise on any street or property adjacent to any school, institution of learning, court or church while same is in session or adjacent to any hospital or nursing home that unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution.
The creation of any unreasonably loud or excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle, or the opening or destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers in such a manner as to create an unreasonable or unnecessary noise of unreasonable extent and duration.
The use of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any sale or display of merchandise by the creation of noise.
The sounding of any horn or signal device on any vehicle, motorcycle, bus or any other moving device except as a warning signal pursuant to the provisions of § 375 (1) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
The use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker, public address system or amplifier attached thereto in such a manner that the loudspeaker shall cause the sound from such device to exceed the level set forth in § 73-4 at the property line nearest the sound source, or, if said sound shall be directed toward any specific area, at any property line.
The creation of any noise that causes public inconvenience or alarm, or disturbs the public's peace, comfort, or tranquility.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use, operate, or cause to be used or operated, any sound device or apparatus in, on, near or adjacent to any public street, park, recreational area or place for commercial or business advertising purposes; or for any person to operate or drive any automobile, truck or other vehicle for commercial or business advertising by means of any sound device or apparatus. The use of any trade, business or corporate name or the name of any person, proprietor or vendor in such commercial or business advertising shall be presumptive evidence that such advertising was conducted by that person, business or corporation.
It shall be unlawful to operate any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker, amplifier or other sound-making device in any street, park, recreational area or public gathering place in such a fashion as to exceed a noise level of over 60 dBA's when measured at a distance of 20 feet from the sound-producing device.
The following sounds shall not be deemed a violation of this chapter:
Sounds created by church bells, chimes, or recordings of church bells or chimes.
Sounds created by any government agency, ambulance, or fire company, by the use of horns, sirens or public alarm or warning devices.
Sounds created by lawn mowers, snow blowers, or other real property maintenance equipment when used for its intended purpose.
Sounds created by public utilities or authorities in carrying out the operation of their business.
Sounds connected with sporting events of any organized league, public or private school, carnival, fair, exhibition, or parade authorized or sponsored by the Town of Boston or other superior municipal entity.
Sounds on private property that do not carry beyond the boundary lines of the property on which they are created.
Sounds created in the exercise of any trade, industry, business, or employment, provided that it is not conducted in violation of § 73-4 of this chapter and is not conducted in such a manner as to create any unreasonable or unnecessary noise of any unreasonable extent or duration. Any noise created by operation of any trade, industry, business or employment outside of any building between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. shall not be entitled to the benefit of this exception.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
The Noise Enforcement Officer shall have the power to issue administrative orders to cease, desist or abate a violation of this chapter, which said order shall be subject to an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals as provided in Chapter 123 of the Boston Town Code.
Upon application of the Town Attorney and court order, any person violating any provision of this chapter may be enjoined from continuing such violation.
The measurement of any sound or noise shall be made with a sound-level meter, as defined herein, using the slow response setting and the A-weighted decibel scale.
The sound-level meter will be calibrated according to the manufacturer's instructions. A record of maintenance and calibration shall be maintained.
Unless otherwise provided for herein, the sound-level measurement shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or within 10 feet of the property line of the property on which any noise is generated.
When a summons is issued for violation of this section, the noise enforcement officer shall record the time, the approximate location before and after calibration checks, and the sound-level reading(s) that were received.
When investigating a sound/noise complaint, the noise enforcement officer may take as many sound level readings as deemed necessary, and nothing shall prevent a noise enforcement officer, who has taken multiple readings, from citing only the highest recorded sound level reading as a violation.
Where a noise complaint alleges interference with the peaceful enjoyment of private property, sound-level readings may be taken from the nearest point of any adjacent landowner who consents to entry and grants access for the limited purpose of measuring compliance with this chapter.