Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hamilton 10-6-1986 by Ord. No. 930-86. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 99.
Animals — See Ch. 105.
Outdoor assemblies — See Ch. 108.
Curfew — See Ch. 150.
Excavations — See Ch. 163.
Nuisances — See Ch. 217.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 228.
Processions, parades and public assemblies — See Ch. 235.
Recreation areas and amusement centers — See Ch. 243.
Outdoor sporting events — See Ch. 261.

§ 214-1 Title.

This article may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance for Stationary Sources."

§ 214-2 Findings and policy; scope.

A. 
Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety and the 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 Township of Hamilton to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health and 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 township.

§ 214-3 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Any facility or property used for activities involving the furnishing or handling of goods or services, including but not limited to:
A. 
Commercial dining.
B. 
Off-road vehicle operations, such as repair, maintenance and terminalling.
C. 
Retail services.
D. 
Wholesale services.
E. 
Banking and office activities.
F. 
Recreation and entertainment.
G. 
Community services.
H. 
Public services.
I. 
Other commercial activities.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition, of buildings or structures.
dBA
The abbreviation designating both the unit of measured sound level (the decibel) and the mode of measurement that uses the A-weighting of a sound-level meter.
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 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.
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
Any facility or property used for activities involving the production or fabrication of goods, including but not limited to:
A. 
Storage, warehouse or distribution.
B. 
Other activities carried out on the property.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
NOISE
Any sounds of such level 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 OFFICER
An officially designated employee of the appropriate local authority trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue citations of violations of this article.
PERSON
Any corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership and jointstock company, as well as individuals, and shall also include the state and all its political subdivisions and any agencies or instrumentalities thereof.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk or alley or similar place that is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
The imaginary line, including its planar extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property used for human habitation.
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 as specified in N.J.A.C. 7:29B.
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.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, which is not a legal holiday.

§ 214-4 Powers and duties of noise control officer.

A. 
The provisions of this article shall be administered by the appropriate local authority.
B. 
In order to implement and enforce this article and for the general purpose of sound abatement and control, the noise control officer shall have, in addition to his enforcement power, 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, for compliance with this article.
C. 
A person shall be considered 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;
(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 C(l) and (2) above.
D. 
Noise measurements made by the noise control officer must be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B.

§ 214-5 Duties and responsibilities of other departments.

A. 
All departments and agencies of the township shall, to the fullest extent consistent with other law, carry out their programs in such a manner as to further the policy of this article and shall cooperate with the noise control officer in the implementation and enforcement of this article.
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 officer prior to the approval of such projects to ensure that such activities comply with the provisions of this article.

§ 214-6 Maximum permissible sound levels.

A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property 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 the real property line of the receiving property.
Table I. Maximum Permissible Sound Levels byR eceiving Property Category
                      Receiving Property Category
      Residential
Commercial
Industrial
Sound Source Property Category
7:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m.
All Times
All Times
Residential
55
50
65
75
Commercial
65
50
65
75
Industrial
65
50
65
75
B. 
Exemptions. The following sources will be exempted:
(1) 
Domestic power tools, lawn mowers and agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, if not exceeding 85 decibels.
(2) 
Sound from church bells and church chimes.
(3) 
Noise from construction activity, except as provided in § 214-7B(7).
(4) 
Noise from air-conditioning and air-handling devices, except as provided in § 214-7B(13).
(5) 
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal.
(6) 
Assigned activity of municipal employees performing employment tasks or approved municipal public events.

§ 214-7 Prohibited acts.

A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made verbally or mechanically any unnecessary noise. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the operation of this section. Unnecessary shall mean noise which is unreasonably made in view of the attending circumstances.
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the following acts:
(1) 
Sound-reproduction systems. Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound:
(a) 
In such a manner as to create unnecessary noise at 50 feet (15 meters) from such device when operated in or on a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way or public space;
(b) 
In such a manner as to create unnecessary noise for any person other than the operator of the device; or
(c) 
In such a manner as to create a sound level across a real property line or through partitions common to two or more persons within a building that exceeds any applicable limit set forth in Table I.
(2) 
Loudspeakers/public address systems. Using or operating of any loudspeaker, public address system or similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day, such that the sound therefrom creates unnecessary noise across a residential real property line.
(3) 
Street sales. Offering for sale or selling anything by shouting or outcry within any residential or commercial area.
(4) 
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird that frequently or for continued duration makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line. For the purpose of this article, "noise disturbance" from a barking dog may be defined as that created by a dog barking continuously for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes.
(5) 
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans or similar objects:
(a) 
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to exceed any applicable limit set forth in Table I across a residential real property line.
(b) 
By persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day on weekends and holidays, except by permit.
(6) 
Motor vehicle repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle or motorboat in such a manner as to exceed any applicable limit in Table I across a residential real property line.
(7) 
Construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling 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 action, by special variance issued pursuant to § 214-8 or when the sound level does not exceed any applicable limit specified in Table 1.
(8) 
Places of public entertainment. Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device that produces, reproduces or amplifies sound in any place of public entertainment as to exceed any applicable limit specified in Table I.
(9) 
Stationary emergency signaling devices. Causing noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that is not in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29-13, which provisions are incorporated herein by reference.
(10) 
Domestic power tools. Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or similar device used outdoors in residential areas between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on weekends and legal holidays so as to cause unnecessary noise across a residential real property line.
(11) 
Burglar alarms. Sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar alarm on any building or motor vehicle unless such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes of its being activated.
(12) 
Refuse compacting vehicles. The operating or permitting to be operated of any motor vehicle that can compact refuse, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day in residential areas.
(13) 
Air-conditioning and air-handling devices. The operation of air-conditioning or air-handling devices, including heat pumps, that produce a sound level greater than 55 dBA at a real property line of a residential property, except when said operation produces less than an increase of five dBA in the sound level that exists in the absence of such sound.

§ 214-8 Exceptions; variances.

A. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to the emission of sound for the purpose of altering persons to the existence of an emergency or the emission of sound in the performance of emergency work or action.
B. 
The noise control officer shall have the authority to grant special variances, provided that they are consistent with N.J.A.C. 7:29.
C. 
The noise control officer shall establish regulations governing exceptions, variances and appeals; such regulations shall be subject to the approval of the appropriate local authority prior to promulgation thereof.
D. 
The noise control officer shall not enforce any noise regulations within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

§ 214-9 Notice of violations.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be cause for a notice of violation to be issued by the noise control officer.

§ 214-10 Abatement orders.

A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B, in lieu of issuing a notice of violation as provided in § 214-9, the noise control officer 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.
B. 
An abatement order shall not be issued for any violation covered by § 214-11B or when the noise control officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.

§ 214-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of not more than $200.
B. 
Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of a sum of not less than $50 and not more than $500.
C. 
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.

§ 214-12 Other remedies.

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.

§ 214-13 Title.

This article may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance for Mobile Sources."

§ 214-14 Findings and policy; scope.

A. 
Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare, safety and the 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 Township of Hamilton to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health and welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life.
B. 
This article shall apply to the control of sound originating from mobile sources within the limits of the township.

§ 214-15 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
dBA
The abbreviation designating both the unit of measured sound level, the decibel, and the mode of measurement that uses the A-weighting of a sound-level meter.
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 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."
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
The value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of a single motor vehicle. In cases where trailers and tractors are separable, the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) which is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of the combination vehicle, shall be used.
MOTOR CARRIER VEHICLE ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE
Any vehicle for which regulations apply pursuant to Section 18 of the Federal Noise Control Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-574), as amended, pertaining to motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce.
MOTORCYCLE
An unenclosed motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and two or three wheels in contact with the ground, including but not limited to motor scooters, mopeds and minibikes.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor, such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck trailers, semitrailers, campers, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles, but not including motorcycles.
MUFFLER
A sound-dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
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.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An officially designated employee of the Police Department trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue citations of violations of this article.
PERSON
Any corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership and joint-stock company as well as individuals, and shall also include the state and all its political subdivisions and any agencies or instrumentalities thereof.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk or alley or similar place that is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
The imaginary line, including its planar extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Any property used for human habitation.
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 as specified in N.J.A.C. 7:29B.
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.

§ 214-16 Powers and duties of noise control officer.

A. 
The noise control program established by this article shall be administered by the Police Department.
B. 
The Police Department shall be empowered to stop any motor vehicle or motorcycle operated on a public right-of-way or public space reasonably suspected of violating any provisions of this article.
C. 
The noise control officer must be qualified according to N.J.A.C. 7:29B-1.11.
D. 
Noise measurements made by the noise control officer must be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B.

§ 214-17 Maximum permissible sound levels.

A. 
Motor vehicles and motorcycles on public rights-of-way. No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of a public or private motor vehicle or motorcycle on a public right-of-way at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle exceeds the level set forth in Table I.
Table 1. Maximum Permissible Sound Levels
From Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
(Measured according to Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for enforcement of Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards, Title 49, CFR Chapter II, Part 325, 40FR42437)
Sound level in dBA at 50 ft. (15 meters) from center line of vehicle travel
Speed limit
Speed Limit
Vehicle Class
35 mph or Less
Over 35 mph
Stationary Run-Up
Motor carrier vehicle engaged in interstate commerce of GVWR or GCWR of 10,000 pounds or more
86
90
88
All other motor vehicles of GVWR or GCWR of 10,000 pounds or more
86
90
Any motorcycle
82
86
Any other motor vehicle or any combination of vehicles towed by any motor vehicle
76
82
Sound level in dBA at 15 feet from the edge of the lane of vehicle travel
Vehicle Class
Speed limit 35 mph or Less
Any motor vehicle or motorcycle with a GVWR less than 10,000 pounds
80
(1) 
Adequate mufflers.
(a) 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with an original muffler or equivalent replacement in good working order and in constant operation.
(b) 
No person shall remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.
(2) 
Motor vehicle horns and signaling devices. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this article:
(a) 
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device in any motor vehicle or motorcycle on any public right-of-way or public space, except as a warning of danger.
(b) 
The sounding of any horn or other auditory signaling device that produces a sound level in excess of 100 dBA at 25 feet (7.5 meters).
(3) 
Standing motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period longer than three minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion, on any private property or 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. the following day.
B. 
Recreational motorized vehicles operating off public rights-of-way.
(1) 
Except as permitted in Subsection B(2), no person shall operate or cause to be operated any recreational motorized vehicle in such a manner that the sound level emitted therefrom exceeds the limits set forth in Table II at either a distance of 50 feet (15 meters) or more from the path of the vehicle when operated on a public space or at or across a real property line when operated on private property. This section shall apply to all recreational motorized vehicles, whether or not duly licensed or registered.
(2) 
Permits for motor vehicle racing events may be obtained from the noise control officer according to procedures and criteria set forth in § 214-18.
Table II. Maximum Permissible Sound Levels for Recreational Motorized Vehicles
Vehicle Type
Sound Level
Motorcycle
Unit manufactured before 1975
86
Unit manufactured after 1975
84
Any other vehicle
Unit manufactured before 1975
84
Unit manufactured after 1975
80

§ 214-18 Exceptions; variances.

A. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to the emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.
B. 
The noise control officer shall have the authority to grant special variances which may be requested pursuant to § 214-17B(2).
C. 
The noise control officer shall establish regulations governing exceptions, variances and appeals; such regulations shall be subject to the approval of the appropriate local authority prior to promulgation thereof.

§ 214-19 Notice of violations.

Violation of any provision of this article shall be cause for a notice of violation to be issued by the noise control officer.

§ 214-20 Abatement orders.

A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B, in lieu of issuing a notice of violation as provided in § 214-19, the noise control officer 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.
B. 
An abatement order shall not be issued for any violation covered by § 214-21B or when the noise control officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.

§ 214-21 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of not more than $200.
B. 
Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of a sum of not less than $50 and not more than $500.

§ 214-22 Other remedies.

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.