Borough of Northvale, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale 11-8-1972 as Ord. No. 380 (Ch. 52 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 61.
Animals — See Ch. 72.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 140.

§ 127-1 Legislative findings and intent.

It is found and declared that:
A. 
The making and creation of loud, unnecessary or unusual noises within the limits of the Borough of Northvale is a condition which has existed for some time and the extent and volume of such noises is increasing.
B. 
The making, creation or maintenance of such loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, comfort, morals, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the Borough of Northvale.
C. 
The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, morals, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Borough of Northvale and its inhabitants.

§ 127-2 Definitions.

A. 
For the purposes of this chapter, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
"A" BAND LEVEL
The total sound level of all noise as measured with a sound level meter using the A-weighing network. The unit of measurement is the dB(A).
AMBIENT NOISE
The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources, near and far.
BAND PRESSURE LEVEL OF SOUND FOR A SPECIFIED FREQUENCY BAND
The sound pressure level for the sound contained within the restricted band. The reference pressure must be specified.
BEL
A unit of level when the base of a logarithm is 10. Use of the "bel" is restricted to levels of quantities proportional to power.
CYCLE
The complete sequence of values of a periodic quantity that occurs during a period.
DECIBEL
One-tenth (1/10) of a bel, and is a unit of level when the base of the logarithm is the tenth root of 10 and the quantities concerned are proportional to power.
EMERGENCY WORK
Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity or work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger.
FREQUENCY OF A FUNCTION PERIODIC IN TIME
The reciprocal of the primitive period. The unit is the cycle per unit time and must be specified.
MICROBAR
A unit of pressure commonly used in acoustics and equal to one dyne per square centimeter.
PERIODIC QUANTITY
An oscillating quantity, the values of which recur for equal increments of time.
PERIOD OF A PERIODIC QUANTITY
The smallest increment of time for which the function repeats itself.
PERSON
Any person, persons, firm, association, copartnership, joint venture, corporation or any entity public or private in nature.
SOUND ANALYZER
A device for measuring the band pressure level or pressure spectrum level of a sound as a function of frequency.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting networks, for the measurement of noise and sound levels in a specified manner.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL, IN DECIBELS, OF SOUND
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of this sound to the reference pressure, which reference pressure must be explicitly stated.
SPECTRUM
A function of time and a description of its resolution into components, each of different frequency and usually of different amplitude and phase, also used to signify a continuous range of components each of different frequency and usually of different amplitude and phase and also used to signify a continuous range of components usually wide in extent within which waves have some specified characteristics, such as audio-frequency spectrum, and also applied to functions of variables other than time.
B. 
All technical definitions and test procedures shall be in substantial conformity with ANSI Standards S-1.4 of 1961, SI-11-1966 and SI-12-1967, as the same may be amended and supplemented.

§ 127-3 Loud and unnecessary noises prohibited.

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, morals, peace or safety of others within the limits of the borough.

§ 127-4 Enumeration of prohibited noises.

A. 
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
(1) 
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, truck or other vehicle on any street or public place of the borough, except as a danger warning or for the normal celebrations for weddings, football games and similar events; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time.
(2) 
Radios, phonographs, etc. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio, television 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 or persons who are in the room, vehicle, chamber or yard in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. Sunday through 8:00 a.m. Monday morning and the same thereafter on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and between 11:00 p.m. Friday and 8:00 a.m. Saturday and 11:00 p.m. Saturday and 8:00 a.m. Sunday, in such a manner as to be plainly audible to persons with normal hearing at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure, vehicle or yard in which it is located, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
(3) 
Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio set, television 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.
(4) 
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 persons in the vicinity.
(5) 
The uttering of any loud, offensive, violent, indecent or profane language.
(6) 
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.
(7) 
Whistles. The blowing of any whistle 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 authority or as may be required by general law or ordinance.
(8) 
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 device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
(9) 
Defect in vehicle or load. The use of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
(10) 
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 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Construction Official, 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 Construction Official should determine that the public health and safety will not be impaired by the erection, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways within the hours of 7:00 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 within the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 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; provided, however, that an individual performing work on his own home by himself or with members of his family, as opposed to contract personnel, may work at later hours or on Sundays, provided that the hours of work or the intensity of noise level is not such as to offend adjacent residential property owners or tenants.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
(11) 
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning or church while the same is in use or adjacent to any hospital or nursing home which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital or nursing home, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school or hospital street.
(12) 
Hawkers, peddlers. Shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood even though licensed according to law.
(13) 
Air conditioners. All sounds or noises emanating from air conditioners which exceed by 10 decibels or more between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or five decibels or more between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the sound levels prevailing at the same point when the air conditioner is not operating or emitting such sound. For the purpose of this section, all sound pressure levels shall be measured by a sound level meter manufactured according to American Standards S-1.4, dated 1961, published by the United States of America Standards Institute, New York, New York, as the same has been amended and supplemented, and shall be measured by such sound level meter operated by representatives of the Board of Health of the Borough of Northvale, which measurement shall be determined by the final average of no less than three readings of the meter taken at the same distance from the source of the offending noise at not less than two-minute intervals. The place of measurement shall be as close to the source as possible or, in lieu thereof, measurement may be made in the vicinity of the house or establishment where the complaint is originated in reasonable relationship to the offending noise source using the A scale of the meter with the slowest meter response in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer; in the event that there is not direct access to the noise source, the reading may be taken at the center of the room where the complainant resides with one window open in the room in which the measurement is taken, and it shall be a violation if the noise level at this source exceeds the noise differential heretofore provided of 10 or five decibels difference, depending upon the hours during which the measurement is taken.
(14) 
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.
(15) 
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. No blower located within 200 feet of a residential district shall be operated except during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays unless the noise level of said blower is no more than five decibels above the ambient noise level.
(16) 
Body shops, auto repair shops and gasoline service stations. The operation of the aforesaid uses other than for filling station services such as the pumping of gas, oil, etc., is deemed to be a nuisance, and such work on vehicles concerning body repair, wrecking, demolition and other heavy repairs or body work shall be conducted:
(a) 
Only with the confines of a building, which building shall have a door capable of being closed to assist in muffling the sound level.
(b) 
Only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
(c) 
Any and all unnecessary, unusual or disturbing acts as shall be determined by the Municipal Court not enumerated herein.
B. 
Vehicle repairs. It shall be unlawful for any person within any residential area of the borough to repair, rebuild or test any motor vehicle (between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the next day) in such a manner that a reasonable person of normal sensitiveness residing in that area is caused discomfort or annoyance.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor of a motor vehicle of a weight in excess of four tons (8,000 pounds) for a consecutive period longer than two minutes while such vehicle is standing on private property and located within 150 feet of property zoned and used for residential purposes except where such vehicle is standing within a completely enclosed structure. This section shall not apply to buses operated for the transportation of passengers while standing in established bus turnarounds, bus terminals, bus parking lots and bus storage yards.

§ 127-5 Decibel regulations.

Notwithstanding the provisions in § 127-4 aforesaid, any noise created in the Borough of Northvale shall, in addition to the limitation of the hours of operation or restrictions, meet the following standards:
A. 
General provisions; tests for unlawful noise. The standards which shall be considered in determining whether a violation of § 127-3 aforesaid exists shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
The volume of the noise.
(2) 
The intensity of the noise.
(3) 
Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual.
(4) 
Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural.
(5) 
The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any.
(6) 
The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities.
(7) 
The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates.
(8) 
The density of inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates.
(9) 
The time of the day or night the noise occurs.
(10) 
The duration of the noise.
(11) 
Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant.
(12) 
Whether the noise is produced by a commercial or noncommercial activity.
B. 
Classification of use districts, residential, manufacturing and commercial. It shall be unlawful to project a sound or noise, excluding noise emanating from cars, trucks or motorcycles, from one property to another within the boundary of a use district which exceeds either the limiting noise spectra set forth in Table I below or exceeds the ambient noise level by more than three decibels.
(1) 
Sound or noise projecting from one use district into another use district with a different noise level limit shall not exceed the limits of the district into which the noise is projected.
(2) 
Measurement of noise.
(a) 
The measurement of sound or noise shall be made with a sound level meter and octave band analyzer meeting the standards prescribed by the American Standards Association. The instruments shall be maintained in calibration and good working order. Octave band corrections may be employed in meeting the response specification. A calibration check shall be made of the system at the time of any noise measurement. Measurements recorded shall be taken so as to provide a proper representation of the noise source. The microphone during the measurement shall be positioned so as not to create any unnatural enhancement or diminution of the measured noise. A windscreen for the microphone shall be used when required. Traffic, aircraft and other transportation noise sources and other background noises shall not be considered in taking measurements except where such background noise interferes with the primary noise being measured.
(b) 
The slow meter response of the sound level meter shall be used in order to best determine that the average amplitude has not exceeded the limiting noise spectra set forth in Table I below.
(c) 
The measurement shall be made at the property line of the property on which such noise is generated or perceived, as appropriate, five feet above ground.
(d) 
In the case of an elevated or directional sound or noise source, compliance with the noise limits is to be maintained at any elevation at the boundary.
(3) 
The limits hereinabove referred to shall be in accordance with the following table:
TABLE I
LIMITING NOISE LEVELS FOR USE DISTRICTS
Maximum Permissible Sound Pressure Level
(in decibels re 0.0002 microbars)
Use District
Octave Band Center Frequency
(cycles per second)
Residential
Commercial
Manufacturing
Below 75
65
79
80
75 to 150
60
74
75
150 to 300
55
66
70
300 to 600
55
59
64
600 to 1,200
45
53
58
1,200 to 2,400
45
47
53
2,400 to 4,800
40
41
49
Above 4,800
40
49
46
(4) 
If the noise is not smooth and continuous and is not radiated between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., one or more of the corrections in Table II below shall be added to or subtracted from each of the decibel levels given in Table I of Subsection B(3) of this section.
TABLE II
TYPE OF OPERATION IN
CHARACTER OF NOISE
Type of Noise
Correction
(in decibels)
Noise source operated less than 20 percent of any 1-hour period
Plus 5
Noise source operated less than 5 percent of any 1-hour period
Plus 10
Noise source operated less than 1 percent of any 1-hour period
Plus 15
Noise of impulsive character (hammering, etc.)
Minus 5
Noise of periodic character (hum, screech, etc.)
Minus 5
Noise present between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on Monday through Saturday or at any time on Sunday or holidays
Minus 7
(Apply one of these corrections only)
C. 
Enclosed places of public entertainment.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful to sustain in any enclosed place of public entertainment, including but not limited to a restaurant, bar, cafe, discotheque or dance hall, any amplitude equal to or in excess of 95 dB(A) sustained for more than 30 seconds.
(2) 
Measurement of noise. Such sound or noise is to be measured by a sound level meter approved by the American Standards Association from any area to which the public is invited within any enclosed place of public entertainment.
D. 
Exemptions. The following uses and activities shall be exempt from noise level regulations:
(1) 
Noises of safety signals, warning devices and emergency pressure relief valves.
(2) 
Noises resulting from any authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency.
(3) 
Noises resulting from emergency work as defined in § 127-2.
(4) 
Any other noise resulting from activities of a temporary duration permitted by law and for which a license or permit therefor has been granted by the borough in accordance with Subsection E below.
E. 
Application for special permit.
(1) 
Applications for a permit for relief from the noise level designated in this chapter on the basis of undue hardship may be made to the Mayor and Council or their duly authorized representative. Any permit granted by the Mayor and Council hereunder shall contain all conditions upon which said permit has been granted and shall specify a reasonable time that the permit shall be effective. The Mayor and Council or their duly authorized representative may grant the relief as applied for if they find that:
(a) 
Additional time is necessary for the applicant to alter or modify his activity or operation to comply with this chapter.
(b) 
The activity, operation or noise source will be of temporary duration and cannot be done in a manner that would comply with other subsections of this section.
(c) 
No other reasonable alternative is available to the applicant.
(2) 
The Mayor and Council may prescribe any conditions or requirements they deem necessary to minimize adverse effects upon the community or the surrounding neighborhood.

§ 127-6 Exceptions.

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit:
A. 
The owner or occupant of a dwelling at a reasonable hour from mowing the lawn around such dwelling with a power mower or removing snow with a power blower or from making minor repairs necessary for normal maintenance of such dwelling at any time with any equipment other than with bulldozers, tractors, jackhammers or gasoline-powered saws, provided that the making of such minor repairs is not accompanied by any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise; provided, however, that any such activity between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. shall be deemed to be prima facie a violation of this chapter.
B. 
Bells, chimes or music between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. from any church, or music in keeping with the Christmas season during the Christmas season from any private or public source.
C. 
Playing by a band or orchestra in a hall, nonresidential building or in the public parks for regular concerts or dances or other events consistent with Chapter 200, Zoning, or by virtue of special permission of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale.
D. 
Parades approved by the Mayor and Council according to law.
E. 
The use of sound trucks by civic, charitable, religious, political and other nonprofit corporations when approved according to law or by special permission of the Mayor and Council, provided that no commercial or advertising material is programmed, and provided further that the use of the sound truck is limited to the hours and routes prescribed, which in no case shall be before 9:00 a.m. nor after 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and not at all on Sunday.
F. 
Police, fire, ambulance, air raid or other sirens which may be operated by the borough or civil defense or other governmental authorities.

§ 127-7 Manner of enforcement.

Violations of this chapter shall be prosecuted in the same manner as other violations of the ordinances of the Borough of Northvale; provided, however, that in the event of violation of § 127-5 of this chapter, a written notice of intention to prosecute will be given the alleged violator not fewer than five calendar days prior to the issuance of a summons. No complaint shall be issued in the event that the cause of the violation is removed and the condition abated or fully corrected within such five-day period. In the event that the alleged violator cannot be located in order to serve the notice of intention to prosecute, the notice as required herein shall be deemed to be given upon mailing such notice by registered or certified mail to the alleged violator at his last known address or at the place where the violation occurred, in which event the five-day period shall commence at the date of the day following the mailing of such notice.

§ 127-8 Additional remedy.

As an additional remedy, the operation or maintenance of any device, instrument, vehicle, machinery or business in violation of any provision hereof and which causes discomfort or annoyance to reasonable persons of normal sensitiveness or which endangers the comfort, repose, health or peace of residents in the area shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

§ 127-9 Stricter regulations to prevail. [1]

In the event that the State of New Jersey through the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy or any similar state agency promulgates stricter standards, then, in that event, all persons within the Borough of Northvale shall comply with the higher state regulations, notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.

§ 127-10 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person or persons, firm or corporation who or which violates any provision of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II General Penalties. Each and every day on which the violation takes place or continues shall be deemed to be a separate violation.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.