Town of Busti, NY
Chautauqua County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Busti as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 175.
Uniform construction codes — see Ch. 223.
Zoning — See Ch. 405.
[Adopted 7-10-1989 by L.L. No. 3-1989 (Art. 37 of the 1989 Code)]

§ 297-1 Purpose.

To promote the safety and general welfare of the public and to maintain the quality of neighborhoods by reducing continuous or frequent unreasonably loud noises associated with the operation of gas compressors, generators and equipment connected thereto. The conditions specified in this article are to be enforced for all gas compressors, generators and equipment connected thereto not already subject to New York State law and regulations.

§ 297-2 Administration.

A. 
Permit requirements. A special use permit shall be required for the placement of a gas compressor, generator and all equipment connected thereto.
B. 
Preexisting gas equipment. All gas compressors, generators and equipment connected thereto in place or being placed on real property at the time of the enactment of this article and for which a permit has not been issued by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Busti shall be subject to the following conditions: location, noise levels, certification of noise levels, buffers, identification signs and protective fencing. Notification to comply must be given within 10 days of enactment, and compliance shall take place within 60 days after notification. A longer compliance period may be granted by the permitting officer after appropriate public hearing if the cost of alterations are significantly high.

§ 297-3 Conditions.

All gas compressors, generators and equipment connected thereto shall be located and designed such that the noises associated with the use shall be mitigated to the standards set forth herein. It shall be unlawful for any person or firm owning or operating gas compressors, generators and related motorized equipment to make, continue, or cause to be made or continued, any noise in excess of the standards specified herein. The following specific conditions shall be met:
A. 
Location. The equipment and appropriate mechanical silencing apparatus shall be appropriately located with consideration given to predominant wind direction, topography, location of dwelling units and other relevant physical factors, including ambient noise levels and natural acoustical buffers. The equipment shall be located on land owned or leased by the operator of the equipment and placed no closer than 500 feet (as a safety factor only) from any dwelling unit which is present on the date the permit is granted and from all proposed residential construction for which a zoning permit has been received and substantial work has been completed within one year from the granting of the permit.
B. 
Noise levels:
(1) 
Decibel level (existing equipment). The compressors, generators and equipment connected thereto shall be designed, operated and maintained by the owner or operator so that the sound level produced by the equipment does not exceed 40 decibels (A-weighted) (expressed as 40 dBA) sound level at the exterior of any presently existing residence and all proposed residential construction for which a zoning permit has been received and substantial work has been completed within one year from the granting of the permit.
(2) 
Decibel level (proposed equipment). The compressor, generator and equipment connected thereto shall be designed, operated and maintained with good engineering practices and shall not emit noise at a level exceeding 40 dBA at the distance from the compressor predicted by the inverse square law and atmospheric attenuation at standard conditions to yield 40 dBA when the criteria [(52 plus 10 log HP) dBA at 50 feet on-axis to the heat-exchanger fans] is invoked.
(3) 
The compressor, generator and equipment connected thereto shall not be operated except for daytime testing until the owner or operator demonstrates that the compressor meets the performance standards expressed in Subsection B(1) and (2) above. It is the responsibility of the owner or operator of the equipment to satisfy these standards.
(4) 
The same standards of performance described in Subsection B(1), (2) and (3) above shall be required for any continuously operating power source, and meeting this requirement shall be the responsibility of the owner and/or operator of the source.
C. 
Certification of noise level. Prior to being granted a permit for the placement of equipment, the owner or operator of the equipment proposed to be placed shall be responsible for verifying that the equipment and quieting devices (silencer, low-speed fan, building, buffers, etc.) as proposed will meet the specified decibel level requirements. An ambient noise study conducted by a qualified expert in acoustical engineering must be submitted in writing with the permit application for the ambient noise level of the location and at occupied dwelling units located in proximity thereto. Additionally, after placement of the equipment is completed, along with specified quieting devices, the same noise consultant must verify that the decibel requirements are complied with.
D. 
Buffers. Where it is deemed necessary, either a natural or man-made acoustical buffer may be required for the purpose of minimizing the nuisance associated with the equipment. In extreme cases, where no alternative is available, a fully enclosed and muffled structure may be required.
E. 
Identification sign. Each piece of equipment shall be identified with a sign conspicuously placed at the intersection of the access road and the public highway, identifying the equipment, its location, and the name of the person/company responsible for the unit, and a twenty-four-hour emergency telephone number.

§ 297-4 Protective fencing.

All compressors, generators and related equipment not surrounded by a building constructed to bring the equipment in compliance with the decibel levels herein specified shall be surrounded by a protective fence of suitable construction as a safety factor.

§ 297-5 Penalties for offenses. [1]

Failure to comply with any provision of this article or the Uniform State Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable for a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both, and each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Adopted 5-1-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]

§ 297-6 Purpose.

A. 
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town to prevent excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises. It is further declared that the purpose of the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained is to preserve, protect and promote the public health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare, and the peace and quiet of the Town of Busti and its residents.
B. 
The following provisions shall be construed so as to effectuate the purposes described herein, but nothing herein shall be construed to abridge the emergency powers of any Town department or the right of such department to engage in any necessary or proper activities. Nor shall anything herein abridge the powers and responsibilities of any police department or law enforcement agency to enforce the provisions hereof.

§ 297-7 Enumeration of prohibited noises.

A. 
The creation of any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise is prohibited. Said noise shall be defined as sound:
(1) 
Of such character, intensity and duration that a reasonable person would not tolerate it under the circumstances;
(2) 
That is detrimental to the life, health or welfare of any individual; or
(3) 
That would cause or create a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.
B. 
The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this article, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
(1) 
Horns and signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or other signal device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or other vehicle while stationary, except as a danger signal when an approaching vehicle is apparently out of control, or, if in motion, only as a danger signal after or as brakes are being applied and deceleration of the vehicle is intended; the creation by means of any such signal device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound or the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary period of time.
(2) 
Noisy vehicles.
(a) 
The operation of an automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such a manner as to create loud, unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise;
(b) 
The operation of any vehicle in such a manner as to cause unnecessary noise by spinning or squealing the tires or revving the motor of such vehicle; or
(c) 
The operation of any vehicle whose muffler, exhaust system or other noise control device has been so modified to increase the noise emitted by such vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle when newly manufactured regardless of the date of the manufacture.
(3) 
Recreational vehicles, including snowmobiles. The operation or permitting the operation of any motor-powered recreational vehicle not licensed for operation on public streets pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law in such a manner as to create unnecessary noise that unreasonably disturbs or interferes with persons in the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their property.
(4) 
Discharge of exhaust. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal-combustion engine, motor vehicle or boat engine or motor, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom. See § 297-2 for special provisions applicable to natural gas compressors.
(5) 
Construction, demolition and excavation. The erection, including excavating, demolition, alteration or repair, of any building other than between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., except in case of an urgent necessity in the interest of public safety.
(6) 
Noise near schools, churches and other institutions. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court, while the same is in session, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the working of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such street indicating that the same is a school, hospital, church or court street.
(7) 
Loading and unloading. The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
(8) 
Drums, loudspeakers and similar devices. The use of a drum, loudspeaker or any other sound-producing instrument or device for the purpose of attracting public attention by the creation of noise, except where authorized by special permit to be issued by the Town Board, which shall make reasonable rules and regulations therefor.
(9) 
Sound reproduction. The operation, playing or permitting of the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound as to produce unreasonable or unnecessary noise at any time, except for activities open to the public or for the public benefit and for which permission has been granted by the Town.
(10) 
Animals. Keeping, permitting or maintaining any animal under one's control that causes unnecessary noise by continued barking, howling or other animal noises which can be heard beyond the boundary of the owner's or caretaker's property.
(11) 
Shouting. Shouting, yelling, calling, hooting, whistling or singing on public streets or in public places in such a manner and for a period of time as to be unreasonable under the circumstances.
(12) 
Noise from tools, machinery and heavy equipment in the construction, repair or alteration of property. The use of domestic or industrial tools, machinery and equipment of any kind in construction, repair or alteration of property, resulting in loud grinding, hammering, sawing and similar noise, if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
(13) 
Noise in the conduct of any business. The creation of unreasonable or unnecessary noise in the operation, conduct and/or maintenance of any business, factory, plant yard or manufacturing establishment (except as otherwise provided in this article), including but not limited to excavation, blasting, grinding, breaking, crushing or processing of any substance.

§ 297-8 Exceptions.

This article shall not apply to sound produced by the following:
A. 
Amplifying equipment used in connection with activities the Town authorizes, sponsors or permits, if the activity is conducted pursuant to the conditions of the license, permit or contract authorizing the activity.
B. 
Church bells or chimes or carillons.
C. 
School bells.
D. 
Antitheft devices.
E. 
Machines or devices producing sound on or in authorized emergency vehicles.
F. 
Snowblowers, snow throwers and snowplows, when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal.
G. 
Commercial racing tracks.
H. 
Shooting clubs.
I. 
Usual farm and agricultural operations and practices.

§ 297-9 Warning of violation.

A. 
When excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises, as defined herein, are reported and/or observed, the person or persons responsible shall be advised of any conduct prohibited herein by the police or any Town officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this article. After such warning, if any party shall continue or repeat said conduct or similar conduct, he shall be in violation of this article.
B. 
It shall be sufficient if said warning is oral and/or in person or over the telephone.

§ 297-10 Penalties for offenses.

Any property owner or other person, firm, corporation or other entity that shall commit an act in contravention of this article shall be:
A. 
Deemed to have committed a violation, as provided in the Penal Law, and shall be punished for each violation by a fine not to exceed $250, a term of imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each incident of violation of a provision hereof shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 a day for each day of continued violation in excess of one week, which penalty may be assessed against and recovered from the violator in a small claims proceeding instituted by the Town of Busti in the Town Justice Court pursuant to Article 18 of the Uniform Justice Court Act.
C. 
Subject to an action or proceeding by the Town of Busti in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain violation of any provision of this article by injunction or other equitable relief, such equitable remedy to be in addition to any other penalties prescribed in this or any other law.
D. 
Subject to injunctive relief in favor of the Town of Busti to cease any and all such actions which conflict with this article and, if necessary, to enjoin any act in violation of this article.

§ 297-11 Enforcement.

A violation of this article shall be enforceable by any peace officer, police officer or law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction in the Town of Busti, who shall have authority to issue appearance tickets for violations of any provision of this article.