[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Webster 11-3-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Dogs and other animals — See Ch. 101.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 158.
Zoning — See Ch. 225.
Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and quality of life; and whereas a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated; and whereas the people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound; now therefore it is the policy of the Town of Webster to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from stationary and certain mobile sources within the limits of the Town of Webster.
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:
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting, abbreviated "dBA."
- AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
- Enterprises or activities on at least five acres of land which enterprise or activity is carried out or operated principally for financial gain for the production and sale of agricultural, horticultural, forest or other products of the soil or water, including but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products, grain and grain products, honey, nuts, preserves, maple sap products, apple cider, fruit juice, wine, ornamental or vegetable plants, nursery products, flowers, firewood and Christmas trees.
- COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter located in, zoned or classified as LC Class I Neighborhood Commercial District, LC Class II Low-Intensity Commercial District, MC Medium-Intensity Commercial District, HC High-Intensity Commercial and CO Commercial Outdoor Storage District according to the Code of the Town of Webster, Chapter 225, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Webster.
- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, including demolition of buildings or structures.
- DECIBEL (DB)
- The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level. The number of "decibels" of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm of the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound [twenty (2) micropascals], abbreviated "dB."
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including but not limited to repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone and sewer facilities and public transportation, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way and abating life-threatening conditions.
- INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter located in, zoned or classified as I-N Industrial District according to the Code of the Town of Webster, Chapter 225, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Webster.
- LEGAL HOLIDAY
- The following are deemed "legal holidays" on the days observed: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4th), Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
- MULTIDWELLING STRUCTURE
- Any structure wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
- Any airborne sounds of such level, frequency and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare or that would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.
- NOISE CONTROL ADMINISTRATOR
- The Noise Control Administrator shall be the Town of Webster Commissioner of Public Works, his or her agent and/or designee, which shall include the Town of Webster's Building Inspector, Fire Marshal, Chief of Police, their assistants, deputies and/or officers.
- Any natural person or individual; partnership, limited or general; corporation, business, municipal, professional or not-for-profit; estate and/or trust; government, state or federal, including any of their agencies or subdivisions.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- A public or private way used to carry persons or vehicles from one point to another.
- REAL PROPERTY LINE
- The imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another.
- RECREATIONAL MOTOR VEHICLES
- Motorcycles, minibikes, trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles and other motorized two-, three- and four-wheeled vehicles and similar vehicles and devices designed for operation primarily on off-highway trails.[Added 11-16-2000]
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any property currently or hereinafter located in, zoned or classified as R-1 Single-Family Residential District, R-2 Single-Family Residential District, R-3 Single-Family Residential District, LL Large-Lot Single-Family Residential District, MHR Medium-High Residential District, LMR Low-Medium Residential District and WD Waterfront Development District according to the Code of the Town of Webster, Chapter 225, and the Zoning Map of the Town of Webster.
- 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 for the measurement of sound levels.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The level of a sound measured in decibel units with a sound level meter which has a uniform response over the band of frequencies measured.
- Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
All departments and agencies of the Town of Webster shall, to the fullest extent consistent with other laws, carry out their programs in such a manner as to further the policy of this chapter and shall cooperate with the Noise Control Administrator in the implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
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 ensure that such activities comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Exterior noise limits. Unless otherwise specifically indicated in this local law, no person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit at any location within the Town of Webster any noise that exceeds the applicable noise limit for more than 15 minutes in any continuous sixty-minute period when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property set forth as follows:
Exterior noise limit adjustments. The exterior noise limits set forth in Subsection A above shall be adjusted as follows:
Interior noise limits. It shall be prohibited for any person or tenant to cause, suffer, allow or permit any noise that, when measured in a neighboring dwelling unit, apartment, condominium or townhouse in the same building, exceeds 40 dBA for more than 15 minutes in any continuous sixty-minute period or to exceed 60 dBA, regardless of duration. When measuring noise within a dwelling unit, apartment, condominium or townhouse, all doors and windows shall be closed, and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
Maximum noise limit. It shall be prohibited for any person to cause, suffer, allow or permit any sound or noise under any circumstances that exceeds 120 dBA when measured at a distance of 50 feet from the source.
Recreational motor vehicles. In the case of noise emanating from a recreational motor vehicle, the decibel level limits set forth above in this section may not be exceeded at any time.
[Added 7-17-2003  ]
The following are prohibited activities:
Outdoor speaker systems in commercial or industrial uses.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former §§ 15A-6 through 151A-10 as 151A-7 through 151A-11, respectively.
The provisions of this chapter, except for the provisions of § 151A-5D, shall not apply to:
The emission of sound or noise for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency, including noise from stationary emergency signalling devices owned and operated by a public utility, or municipal corporation, fire department or ambulance corps when used in connection with an emergency or for testing purposes; and including noise from a burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such burglar alarm shall terminate its operations within 15 minutes after it has been activated and shall not be operated more than 30 minutes in any continuous sixty-minute period.
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work.
Public celebrations or events of municipal corporations.
Normal agricultural activities, provided that all powered agricultural and farm equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturers thereof.
Snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows when used in their usual and customary manner, and provided that the equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof.
The emission of sound or noise from lawn and garden power tools and/or lawn mowers when operated in their usual and customary manner between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided that the equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof.
The emission of sound or noise associated with construction, repair, remodeling, demolition or paving of any real property between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided that all powered equipment is equipped with intake and exhaust mufflers recommended by the manufacturer thereof, that pavement breakers and jackhammers shall also be equipped with acoustical attenuating shields or shrouds recommended by the manufacturers thereof.
The educational activities of public schools and parochial schools operated by nonprofit corporations under the Education Law of the State of New York as they apply to elementary or high schools; provided, however, that such activities are conducted on the property of such school conducting the activity.
The discharge of a firearm not otherwise prohibited pursuant to Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York.
[Added 3-18-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010]
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the Noise Control Administrator, on forms provided by the Noise Control Administrator, for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter, except the provision of § 151A-5D which shall be appealed to the Town Board. Applications for a variance shall provide information, including but not limited to:
The nature and location of the facility or process for which such application is made.
The reason for which the variance is requested.
The nature and intensity of noise, expressed in decibels, that will occur during the period of the variance.
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom.
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance.
Failure to supply the information required or requested by the Noise Control Administrator shall be cause for rejection of the application.
The fee for such application for variance shall be such fee as established by resolution of the Webster Town Board.
The maximum duration of a variance shall be 15 days. Any person holding or having held a variance may request an extension or may request a new variance. However, no person shall be entitled to variances totalling more than 30 days during any calendar year.
The variance will be deemed to be revoked if any of the terms or conditions of the variance are violated.
The Webster Town Board is hereby designated as the hearing board for appeals in connection with this chapter. This Board shall be responsible for hearing and rendering decisions regarding appeals to this chapter.
When a person seeks relief from a decision of the Noise Control Administrator enforcing provisions of this chapter, including the granting of variances, that person may request reconsideration of the Noise Control Administrator's decision by appealing to the Webster Town Board in writing within 15 days of the Noise Control Administrator's decision. The appeal shall state the reasons why relief is sought and what decision the person feels should be forthcoming. A copy of the appeal shall be transmitted to the Noise Control Administrator. Upon giving not less than five business days' notice to the persons interested, a hearing shall be held. The Board may, after such hearing, by a majority vote, affirm, annul or modify the action of the Noise Control Administrator. The decision of the Board shall be in writing and a copy mailed to the appellant within seven business days after the conclusion of the hearing.
Any violation of this chapter, or of any order, requirement, decision or determination issued by the Noise Control Administrator pursuant to this chapter, is hereby declared to be an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, upon conviction for a first offense, upon conviction for a second offense, both of which offenses were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon a conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which offenses were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine of not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter, or any order, requirement, decision or determination issued by the Noise Control Administrator pursuant to this chapter, shall be deemed misdemeanors, and for such purpose only all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each day (twenty-four-hour period) of violation shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.
In addition to the penalties provided above, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding to prevent, correct or restrain any violation of this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect immediately as provided by law.