Town of Woodbridge, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Woodbridge 9-12-2002, effective 11-12-2002 (Ch. 6, Art. XI, of the 1983 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Citation hearing procedure — See Ch. 15.
Alarm systems — See Ch. 150.
Fireworks — See Ch. 242.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 375.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 397.

§ 315-1 Findings.

The Board of Selectmen finds and declares that:
A. 
Excessive sound and vibration are a serious hazard to the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of the residents of the Town of Woodbridge;
B. 
Each person has a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound and vibration that may jeopardize such person's health, safety, or welfare, degrade the quality of life, or cause economic damage;
C. 
There exists a substantial body of science and technology by which excessive sound and vibrations may be substantially monitored and abated; and
D. 
The health, safety, welfare and quality of life of Woodbridge residents shall be enhanced by the reduction, control and prevention of noise through an ordinance that regulates activities causing excessive noise within the territorial limits of the Town of Woodbridge.

§ 315-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter. Where terms are not defined under the provisions of this chapter and are defined in the noise regulations of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, they shall have the same meanings ascribed to them in those regulations. Otherwise, they shall have ascribed to them their ordinarily accepted meanings or such meaning as the context herein may imply.
ANSI
The American National Standards Institute or its successor body. Any ANSI standard referred to in this chapter shall be deemed to incorporate further revisions by reference.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the Town of Woodbridge or a duly authorized officer subject to his or her orders.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration, or similar action, but excluding demolition or blasting, for or of public or private structures, utilities, rights-of-way or similar property.
DAYTIME HOURS
The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., weekdays and Saturday, and the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.
DECIBEL
A unit of measurement of the sound level, the symbol of which is dB.
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical danger to persons or property damage that demands immediate action.
EMERGENCY SOUND SIGNAL
An audible electronic or mechanical siren or signal device attached to an authorized emergency vehicle or within or attached to a building pole or other structure for the purpose of sounding or testing an alarm relating to fire or emergency management.
EMITTER
A person who is the owner or occupant of the premises from which noise emanates.
EXCESSIVE NOISE
Emitter noise levels from noise sources exceeding the standards set forth in § 315-4 of this chapter beyond the boundary of the emitter's premises.
IMPULSE NOISE
Noise of short duration (generally less than one second), especially of high intensity, abrupt onset and rapid decay, and often rapidly changing spectral composition.
MOBILE SOURCES OF NOISE
Mobile sources of noise shall include, but are not limited to, such sources as automobiles, trucks and other vehicles used to transport individuals or items along public or private rights-of-way and/or over other land.
NIGHTTIME HOURS
The hours between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. weekdays through Saturday morning, except that "nighttime" shall mean the hours between 8:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. Sunday and 7:00 p.m. Sunday and 7:00 a.m. Monday.
NOISE LEVEL
A frequency weighted sound pressure as measured with a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated by dBA.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, municipality, agency or political or administrative subdivision of the State of Connecticut or other legal entity of any kind.
PREMISES
An individual unit of land or a group of contiguous parcels under the same ownership as indicated by public land records, including any building or structure thereon or portion thereof, and, as relates to emitters, includes contiguous publicly dedicated streets and highway rights-of-way, railroad rights-of-way, water bodies and waters of the State of Connecticut.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT
All engine- or motor-powered garden, lawn and maintenance tools and equipment intended for repetitive use in the repair and upkeep of exterior property and including, but not limited to, lawn mowers, riding tractors, blowers and including equipment intended for infrequent service work, including, but not limited to, chain saws, log chippers or paving rollers.
PUBLIC FACILITY MAINTENANCE
All activity related to the clearing, cleaning, repair and upkeep of public roads, sidewalks, sewers, water mains, utilities, and publicly owned property.
RECEPTOR
A person who is the owner or occupant of premises affected by or receiving noise.
SITE
The area bounded by a property line on or in which a source of noise exists.
SOUND
A transmission of energy through solid, liquid or gaseous media in the form of vibrations, which constitute alterations in pressure or position of the particles in the medium and which, in air, evoke physiological sensations, including, but not limited to, an auditory response when impinging on the ear.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of sound levels. The sound level meter shall conform to ANSI Specifications for Sound Level Meters S1.4-1984 (1997).

§ 315-3 Classification of noise districts.

A. 
Noise district classifications hereunder shall be based on the designated use of any premises, based on the zoning district in which such premises is located as described on the Zoning Map and in the Zoning Regulations for the Town of Woodbridge, as amended from time to time, provided that any premises whose use is lawfully nonconforming to its district shall be classified for noise standard purposes according to the district appropriate for the nonconforming use. The current designation shall be the determining factor and any change in the Zoning Map or Zoning Regulations will also represent a change in the noise district.
B. 
Noise districts.
(1) 
Residential Noise District. Premises contained within Residential Districts by the Zoning Regulations for the Town of Woodbridge shall be designated as Residential Noise Districts and shall be subject to the noise standards prescribed therefor or defined by this chapter.
(2) 
Business Noise District. Premises contained within General Business Districts by the Zoning Regulations for the Town of Woodbridge shall be designated as Business Noise Districts and shall be subject to the noise standards prescribed therefor or defined by this chapter. Such premises are comparable in nature to those described in Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, Section 22a-69-2.4, Class B Noise Zone.
(3) 
Business and Industrial Noise District. Premises contained within Business and Industrial Districts by the Zoning Regulations for the Town of Woodbridge shall be designated as Business and Industrial Noise Districts and shall be subject to the noise standards prescribed therefor or defined by this chapter. Such premises are comparable in nature to those described in Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, Section 22a-69-2.5, Class C Noise Zone.
(4) 
Development District 1 and Development District 2 (referred to as "Development Districts"). Premises contained within Development Districts by the Zoning Regulations for the Town of Woodbridge shall be designated as Development Districts for purposes of this chapter and shall be subject to the noise standards prescribed therefor or defined by this chapter. Such premises are comparable in nature to those designated in Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, Section 22a-69-2.5, Class C Noise Zone.

§ 315-4 Noise standards.

A. 
No person shall cause or allow or permit the creation, continuance or maintenance of any noise beyond the property lines of such person's premises in excess of the noise levels established by these regulations.
B. 
Impulse noise.
(1) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 80 dB peak sound pressure level during the nighttime.
(2) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 100 dB peak sound pressure at any time in any noise district or from or on any premises.
C. 
Noise district standards.
(1) 
No person in a Business and Industrial Noise District shall emit noise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to the receptor's noise district and premises:
Receptor
Residential
Business/ Industrial Development
(dBA)
Business
(dBA)
Day
(dBA)
Night
(dBA)
Business and industrial emitter to
70
66
61
51
Levels emitted in excess of the values listed above shall be considered excessive and unnecessary noise
(2) 
No person in a Business Noise District shall emit noise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to the receptor's noise district and premises:
Receptor
Residential
Business/ Industrial Development
(dBA)
Business
(dBA)
Day
(dBA)
Night
(dBA)
Business emitter to
62
62
55
45
Levels emitted in excess of the values listed above shall be considered excessive and unnecessary noise.
(3) 
No person in a Development District shall emit noise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to the receptor's noise district and premises:
Receptor
Residential
Business/ Industrial Development
(dBA)
Business
(dBA)
Day
(dBA)
Night
(dBA)
Development emitter to
70
66
61
51
Levels emitted in excess of the values listed above shall be considered excessive and unnecessary noise.
(4) 
No person in a Residential Noise District shall emit noise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to the receptor's noise district and premises:
Receptor
Residential
Business/ Industrial Development
(dBA)
Business
(dBA)
Day
(dBA)
Night
(dBA)
Residential emitter to
62
55
55
45
Levels emitted in excess of the values listed above shall be considered excessive and unnecessary noise.
D. 
Vehicle noise.
(1) 
Motor vehicles. All motor vehicles operated within the limits of the Town of Woodbridge shall be subject to the noise standards and decibel levels as set forth in the Regulations of the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Title 14, Section 14-80a-1 et seq., as amended from time to time. No sound amplifying devices on or within motor vehicles shall emit noise in excess of the noise levels as specified in Subsection C of this section.
(2) 
Recreational motorized vehicles. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any recreational motorized vehicle off a public right-of-way in such a manner that the sound level emitted therefrom exceeds the limits set forth in Subsection C for the noise district in which the recreational motorized vehicle is operated. Recreational motorized vehicles shall also be in violation of this chapter if operated within premises within 100 feet of any property line. This section shall apply to all recreational motorized vehicles, whether or not duly licensed and registered, including but not limited to commercial or noncommercial racing vehicles, motorcycles, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft, campers, dune buggies, and so-called all-terrain (ATV) vehicles.

§ 315-5 Exclusions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to noise or sound emitted by or related to:
A. 
Natural phenomena, including but not limited to wind, storms, insects, amphibious creatures, birds and water flowing in its natural course;
B. 
The unamplified sound of the human voice;
C. 
The unamplified sound made by any wild or domestic animal;
D. 
Bells, carillons, or chimes associated with specific religious observances and/or organizations;
E. 
A public emergency sound signal attached to an authorized emergency vehicle in the immediate act of responding to an emergency, or located within or attached to a building, pole or other structure for the purpose of sounding or testing an alarm relating to fire or emergency management;
F. 
Farming equipment or farming activity;
G. 
Noise created by the operation of property maintenance equipment and/or public facility maintenance equipment by the Town of Woodbridge or its duly authorized agent or independent contractor in carrying out any work on behalf of the Town of Woodbridge relating to construction and/or an emergency.

§ 315-6 Exemptions.

The following shall be exempt from this chapter, subject to the special conditions as specified:
A. 
Noise created by any construction activity which is conducted during daytime hours;
B. 
Noise created by recreational activities that are authorized by the Town, including, but not limited to, parades, fairs, carnivals, sporting events and organized sport activities, concerts, and fireworks displays;
C. 
Noise created by the operation of private property maintenance equipment during daytime hours;
D. 
Noise created by blasting and/or demolition, provided that the blasting or demolition is conducted between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and provided further that a permit for such blasting and/or demolition has been obtained from applicable governmental authorities.
E. 
Noise created by domestic power tools between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.
F. 
Refuse, solid waste or recyclable materials collection, provided that such activity is conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
G. 
Noise created by fire or intrusion alarm which, from time of activation of the audible signal, emits noise for a period of time not exceeding 10 minutes when such alarm is attached to a vehicle, or 30 minutes when attached to any building or structure, provided the repetition of activation of the audible signal of an intrusion alarm due to malfunction, lack of proper maintenance, or lack of reasonable care shall not be exempt.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 150, Alarm Systems.
H. 
Snow removal equipment, provided the equipment is maintained in good repair so as to minimize noise and that noise discharged from exhausts shall be adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.

§ 315-7 Equipment and measurement.

For the purpose of determining noise levels as set forth in this chapter, the following guidelines shall be applicable:
A. 
A person conducting sound measurements shall have been trained in the techniques and principles of sound measuring equipment and instrumentation.
B. 
Instruments used to determine noise levels shall be sound level meters as defined by this chapter of standard design, maintained in calibration and in good working order. Instrument manufacturer's instructions for use of the instruments shall be followed. When measurements are taken out of doors, a wind screen shall be placed over the microphone of the sound-level meter as per the manufacturer's instructions.
C. 
The sound level meter shall be placed at an angle to the sound source as specified by the manufacturer's instructions and at least four feet above the ground. It shall be placed so as not to be interfered with by individuals conducting the measurements.
D. 
Measurements taken to determine compliance with this chapter, in particular § 315-5C and D, shall be taken at any elevation and at any point beyond the boundary of the emitter's premises and within the receptor's premises.

§ 315-8 Enforcement; penalties for offenses.

[Amended 10-14-2009; effective 11-13-2009]
The Woodbridge Police Department shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Any person in violation of any section of any provision of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100. In lieu of arrest and issuance of a summons, the Woodbridge Police Department may serve upon a violator an infraction notice with a fine in the amount of $90 which shall be known as a "noise ticket." Payment of the fine prescribed by such noise ticket within the time limit and to the address specified thereon shall constitute a plea of nolo contendere and shall save the violator harmless from prosecution for the offense cited. Each day a violation continues after the time for correction of the violation has been given in a written order, or after the issuance of a summons or infraction notice, shall constitute a continuing, separate violation, and the amount of the fine shall be doubled for each day said violation continues, said fine not to exceed $250 per day. In the event payment of the fine is not made and an appeal has not been taken as provided herein, the violator shall be responsible for any and all costs of collection, including attorneys' fees. The imposition of any fine hereunder shall not prevent the enforced abatement of any unlawful condition by the Town and the Town shall have the right to pursue any remedy allowed under law.

§ 315-9 Appeals.

A. 
Whenever a fine is imposed under this chapter, the person fined may, within 10 days from the date of issuance of the noise ticket, appeal by filing a written notice of appeal with the Woodbridge Chief of Police The filing of an appeal shall stay any fine imposed until such time as a decision is rendered by a Town hearing officer in accordance with the procedure for hearings set forth in Chapter 15 of the Code of the Town of Woodbridge.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 15, Citation Hearing Procedure.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by citation and hearing as permitted by C.G.S. § 7-152c.
C. 
In the event a decision on an appeal is rendered in favor of the Town and, if permitted by law, the Town shall be entitled to recover its costs incurred in defending such matter, including attorneys' fees.

§ 315-10 Variances.

A. 
Any person living or doing business in Woodbridge may apply to the Chief of Police for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter, which are more stringent than the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regulations for the control of noise, provided the applicant supplies all of the following information to the Chief of Police at least 20 days before the start of such activity:
(1) 
The location and nature of the activity;
(2) 
The time period and hours of operation of such activity;
(3) 
The nature and intensity of the noise that will be generated; and
(4) 
Any other information required by the Chief of Police.
B. 
No variance from this chapter shall be issued unless it has been demonstrated that:
(1) 
The proposed activity will not violate any provision of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regulations, with the exception of the celebration of life cycle events (such as births, bat and bar mitzvahs, communions, confirmations and weddings), which celebrations may extend to midnight and which may exceed noise standards for a residential noise district.
[Amended 10-10-2012, effective 11-9-2012]
(2) 
The noise levels generated by the proposed activity will not constitute a danger to the public health; and
(3) 
Compliance with the regulations constitutes an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, with the exception of the celebration of life cycle events as detailed above.
[Amended 10-10-2012, effective 11-9-2012]
C. 
The application for variance shall be reviewed and either approved or rejected within 10 business days from the date of receipt of said application. The approval or rejection shall be in writing and shall state the condition of approval, if any, or the reasons for rejection.
[Amended 10-10-2012, effective 11-9-2012]
D. 
Failure to rule on the application in the designated time shall constitute approval of the variance.

§ 315-11 When effective.

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes, § 22a-73, this chapter shall not be effective until it has been approved by the Commissioner of the State Department of Environmental Protection.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was filed with the Town Clerk 10-8-2002 upon approval of the Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 315-12 Effect on other regulations; severability.

All provisions of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Woodbridge that are more stringent than those set forth herein shall remain in force. If, for any reason, any word, clause, paragraph or section of this chapter shall be held to make the same unconstitutional or superseded by any state law or regulation, this chapter shall not be invalidated and the remainder of the chapter shall continue in effect.