Borough of Caldwell, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Barking dogs — See Ch. 60, Art. I.
Crying of wares by junk dealers — See Ch. 134.
Noise associated with swimming pool use — See Ch. 214, § 214-14.
Nuisances — See Ch. 261.
[Adopted 11-16-1964 by Ord. No. 452 as Sec. 17-17 of the 1964 Code]
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the Borough. The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this section, but such enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any street or public place in the city, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
B. 
Radios, phonographs, etc. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person which is in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who is voluntarily a listener thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
C. 
Loudspeakers or amplifiers for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
D. 
Yelling, shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence or of any person in the vicinity.
E. 
Animals, birds, etc. The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity.
F. 
Steam whistles. The blowing of any locomotive steam whistle or steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of fire or danger, or upon request of proper Borough authorities.
G. 
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motorboat or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other vehicle which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
H. 
Defect in vehicle or load. The use of any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
I. 
Loading, unloading or opening boxes, etc. The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading of freight or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
J. 
Construction or repairing of buildings. The erection (including excavating), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays except those Saturdays which are designated as any of the following holidays: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Day; Lincoln's Birthday; Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day and Christmas, except in case of emergency requiring such activity in the interest of public health, safety and welfare, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days or less while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for periods of three days or less while the emergency continues. If the Building Inspector should determine that the public health, safety and welfare will not be impaired by the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., and if he shall further determine that loss or inconvenience would result to any party in interest, he may grant permission for such work to be done between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. upon application being made at the time the permit for the work is awarded or during the progress of the work.
[Amended 9-23-1986 by Ord. No. 780-86]
K. 
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital or court street.
L. 
Hawkers, peddlers, etc. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
M. 
Drums. The use of any drum or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by creation of noise to any performance, show or sale.
N. 
Metal rails, pillars and columns, transportation thereof. The transportation of rails, pillars or columns of iron, steel or other material over and along streets and other public places upon carts, drays, cars, trucks or in any other manner so loaded as to cause loud noises or as to disturb the peace and quiet of such streets or other public places.
O. 
Refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. The operation and use of any refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment or apparatus or any mechanical device particularly during the hours between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. creating an audible noise which annoys or disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling or other type of residence. Audible noise shall mean a sound level in excess of 45 decibels on the A-weighted sound level measured in the center of a room or place wherein the annoyance exists by a sound level meter conforming to the standard of the American Standard Association Inc. of New York.
[Amended 2-10-1970 by Ord. No. 509-70]
P. 
Pile drivers, hammers, etc. The operation between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist or other appliance, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.
Q. 
Blowers. The operation of any noise-creating blower or power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, unless the noise from such blower or fan is muffled and such engine is equipped with a muffler device sufficient to deaden such noise.
R. 
Lawn mowers/blowers.
[Added 8-13-1996 by Ord. No. 1015-96; amended 9-24-1996 by Ord. No. 1022-96; 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1024-96]
(1) 
The use of powered lawn movers and/or blowers between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday; 10:00 p.m. Friday to 8:00 a.m. Saturday; 10:00 p.m. Saturday through 9:00 a.m. Sunday; Sunday 10:00 p.m. through Monday 7:00 a.m.
(2) 
Snowblowers are exempted from this section.
[Added 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99; amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 1187-08]
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or a combination thereof.
[Adopted 12-11-1984 by Ord. No. 742-84]
A. 
Findings.
(1) 
Excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life.
(2) 
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated.
(3) 
The people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound.
(4) 
The Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell declares excessive noise a nuisance.
(5) 
It is the policy of the Borough of Caldwell to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
B. 
This article shall apply to the control of sound originating from stationary sources within the limits of the Borough of Caldwell.
A. 
Definitions regarding commercial, residential, multifamily, professional and industrial uses, whether conforming or nonconforming, are to be interpreted as defined in Chapter 250, Zoning.
B. 
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONTINUOUS AIRBORNE SOUND
Sound that is measured by slow response setting of sound level meter.
dBA
The measured sound level expressed in dB when using the A-weighted network of sound level meter.
DECIBEL
A unit for measuring the volume of sound, equal to the logarithm of the ratio of the sound pressure of the sound, to the sound pressure of a standard sound (.0002 microbars), abbreviated "dB."
EMERGENCY ENERGY RELEASE DEVICE
Emergency safety devices expressly used to release excess energy which do not have regularly scheduled operation. Process control devices are not to be considered emergency devices.
FREQUENCY
The number of oscillations per sound, expressed in hertz (abbreviation Hz).
IEC
International Electrotechnic Commission.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
Either a single pressure peak or a single burst (multiple pressure peaks) for a duration less than one second.
IMPULSIVE SOUND LEVEL
The maximum instantaneous sound pressure level measured by an impulse sound level meter meeting IEC - Publication 179 or the latest revision thereof.
OCTAVE BAND SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Sound pressure level measured in standard octave bands with sound level meter and octave band analyzer that meet ANSI S 1.4 and 1.11 or the latest revision thereof.
PERSON
Any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, governmental agency, department or bureau of the state, municipality, industry, copartnership, association, nonprofit or charitable organization; educational institution or fraternal society.
SOUND LEVEL
The measured level of a sound, expressed in dB re 0.0002 microbar, obtained using a sound level meter. Sound levels include all frequency response, amplifier characteristics meter damping, observer effects and weighting networks.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
The sound pressure level, in decibels, of a sound is 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound to the reference sound pressure. Sound pressure level is measured with a sound level meter ANSI - S 1.4 or the latest revision thereof.
STATIONARY EMERGENCY SIGNALING DEVICE
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.
A. 
Upon effective date of this chapter, no person shall cause, suffer or permit sound from any industrial or commercial operation or any other source which when measured at any residential property line is in excess of any of the following:
(1) 
From 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(a) 
Continuous airborne sound which has sound level in excess of 65 dBA;
(b) 
Continuous airborne sound which has an octave band sound pressure level in decibels which exceeds the values listed below in more octave bands; or
Octave Band Center Frequency
(Hz)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
31.5
96
63
82
125
74
250
67
500
63
1,000
60
2,000
57
4,000
55
8,000
53
(c) 
Impulsive sound in air which has an impulsive sound level in excess of 80 decibels.
(2) 
From 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
(a) 
Continuous airborne sound which has a sound level in excess of 50 dBA;
(b) 
Continuous airborne sound which has an octave band sound pressure level in decibels which exceeds the values listed below in one or more octave bands; or
Octave Band Center Frequency
(Hz)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
31.5
86
63
71
125
61
250
53
500
48
1,000
45
2,000
42
4,000
40
8,000
38
(c) 
Impulsive sound in air which has an impulsive sound level in excess of 80 decibels.
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit sound from any industrial or commercial operation which when measured at the property lines of any other commercial operation is in excess of any of the following:
(1) 
Continuous airborne sound which has a sound level in excess of 65 dBA;
(2) 
Continuous airborne sound which has an octave band sound pressure level in decibels which exceeds the values listed below in one or more octave bands; or
Octave Band
Center Frequency
(Hz)
Octave Band Sound
Pressure Level
(dB)
31.5
96
63
82
125
74
250
67
500
63
1,000
60
2,000
57
4,000
55
8,000
53
(3) 
Impulsive sound in air which has an impulsive sound level in excess of 80 decibels.
C. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit sound from any residential source which when measured at the property line exceeds the limits set forth in Table 1.
TABLE 1
Maximum Permissible Sound Levels From Residential Sources by
Receiving Land Use Category
Receiving Land Uses Category
Maximum dB 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Maximum dB 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Residential
55
50
Commercial
65
65
Industrial
75
75
D. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit sound from any industrial source which when measured at the property line of any other industrial operation exceeds 75 dB at any time.
E. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
[Amended 12-11-1984 by Ord. No. 742-84]
(1) 
The emission of sound for the purpose of altering persons to the existence of an emergency.
(2) 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work to include but not limited to any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, such as repairing water, gas, electricity, telephones, sewer facilities or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way or abating life-threatening conditions.
(3) 
Noise from municipality sponsored or approved public holiday celebrations.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by Noise Control Officers within the Board of Health, the Office of the Construction Code Official and the Police Department.
The Board of Health shall have the power to:
A. 
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable.
B. 
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of such actions on noise control.
C. 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments, for compliance with this article.
D. 
Grant permits for variances according to the provisions of § 150-9, provided that the variances are consistent with N.J.A.C. 71:29 1.1 et seq.
A. 
A Noise Control Officer shall not use this article in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
B. 
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 Cook College, Rutgers, the State University;
(2) 
A program of tutoring and 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 Subsection B(1) or (2).
C. 
Noise measurement made by the Noise Control Officer must be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B.
A. 
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the Department of Health for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this article. Applications for a variance shall supply information including, but not limited to:
(1) 
The nature and location of the facility or process for which such application is made.
(2) 
The reason for which the variance is requested.
(3) 
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance.
(4) 
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom.
(5) 
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance.
B. 
Failure to supply the information required by the Department of Health shall be cause for rejection of the application.
C. 
The Department of Health may charge the applicant a fee as set forth in Chapter A270, Fees, to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the variance application.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
D. 
The Department of Health may limit the duration of the variance, which shall never be longer than one year. Any person holding a variance and requesting an extension of time may apply for a new variance under the provisions of this section.
E. 
The variance shall operate as a stay of prosecution.
F. 
The variance may be revoked by the Department of Health if the terms of the variance are violated.
G. 
No variance shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that:
(1) 
Noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health.
(2) 
Compliance with this article would impose an arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefits to the public.
H. 
In making the determination on granting a variance, the Noise Control Administrator shall consider:
(1) 
The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, the health and welfare or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
(2) 
The social and economic value of the activity for which the variance is sought.
(3) 
The ability of the applicant to apply best practical noise control measures.
I. 
A variance may be revoked by the Noise Control Administrator if there is:
(1) 
Violation of one or more conditions of the variance;
(2) 
Material misrepresentation of fact in the variance application; or
(3) 
Material change in any of the circumstances relied upon by the Noise Control Administrator in granting the variance.
A. 
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this article shall be cause for a summons to be issued by a Noise Control Officer.
B. 
Abatement orders.
(1) 
Except as provided in B(2) below, in lieu of issuing a summons as provided in Subsection A, the Department of Health may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this article within a reasonable time period and according to guidelines which the Noise Control Officer may prescribe.
(2) 
An abatement order shall not be issued for any violation covered by § 150-11 or when a Noise Control Officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99; 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 1187-08]
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or a combination thereof.
No provision of this article shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of action, or legal remedy therefrom, of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this article or from other law.