Borough of Buena, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Buena as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dogs and other animals — See Ch. 99.
[Adopted 6-5-2000 by Ord. No. 469]

§ 163-1 Declaration of findings and policy.

The Council of the Borough of Buena, in consultation with the Borough of Buena Police Department, hereby finds that excessive noise or sounds is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and quality of life and that a number of citizens in the Borough of Buena have complained about various types of sounds and noises which are disturbing, recurring, and which intrude upon the peaceful use of property in the Borough of Buena. The Council further finds that citizens of the Borough of Buena have a right to and should be insured an environment free from excessive sound or noise. In an effort to meet the needs of its citizens, the Council of the Borough of Buena hereby determines that it is the policy of the Borough of Buena to prevent excessive sound, noise or other nuisances which may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens of the Borough, or degrade the quality of life.

§ 163-2 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of buildings or structures.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land or water by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER
A sound dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING
Any building wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
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 throughout the state or any portions thereof, but excludes all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound that endangers the safety or health of any person or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or endangers personal or real property.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, state, or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
PLAINLY AUDIBLE
Any sound that can be detected by a person using his or her unaided hearing facilities. As an example, if the sound source under investigation is a portable or personal vehicular sound amplification system or reproduction device, the detection of the rhythmic bass component of the music is sufficient to verify plainly audible sound. The enforcing officer need not determine title, specific words or the artist creating or performing the music, song or noise disturbance.
PRIVATE RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased or controlled by a nongovernmental entity.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon that are owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Either the imaginary line including its vertical extension that separates one parcel or real property from another; or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is part of a multidwelling unit building; or on a multiuse property, the interface between the two portions of the property on which different categories of activity are being performed (e.g., if the multiuse property is a building which is residential upstairs and commercial downstairs, then the real property line would be the interface between the residential area and the commercial area).
RESIDENTIAL AREA
A group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
A. 
Private property used for human habitation;
B. 
Commercial living accommodations and commercial property used for human habitation;
C. 
Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation; and
D. 
Community service property used for human habitation.

§ 163-3 Nuisances defined and prohibited.

The following matters, conditions or acts and each of them are hereby declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises and each of them are hereby declared to be a nuisance, injurious to the health of the inhabitants of this municipality, and therefore prohibited by this chapter:
A. 
The sounding of an exterior burglar alarm of a building or motor vehicle in such a manner that the burglar alarm does not terminate its operation within five minutes of continuous airborne sound, or within 15 minutes of impulsive sound after it has been activated;
B. 
Personal or commercial vehicular music amplification or reproduction equipment which is operated in such a manner that it is plainly audible at a residential property line between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;
C. 
Personal vehicular music amplification equipment which is operated in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or which is plainly audible by any person other than the operator between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;
D. 
Self-contained, portable, handheld music or sound amplification or reproduction equipment which is operated on a public space or public right-of-way in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or sound from such equipment which is plainly audible by any person other than the operator between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;
E. 
The operation of a motor vehicle or motorcycle, including a truck or the cooling system on a trailer, on any private property, private right-of-way, public right-of-way, or open space without a muffler, or with a defective muffler;
F. 
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing or the making of loud and disturbing noises by the use of clappers, bells, horns, musical instruments or similar devices on a public right-of-way, or in a vehicle upon a public right-of-way, or in and about a motel, hotel or other place of public accommodation, so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in adjacent or adjoining dwelling units or places of public accommodation, or of any person lawfully present;
G. 
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 of such animal or bird, or on adjacent or adjoining private property. It shall be a violation of this section if the disturbance of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood is caused by excessive, loud and continuous barking and howling or through the excessive, loud and continuous making of similar sounds or noises;
H. 
The disturbance of any lawful assembly of persons or any individual who is located on neighboring private property, by any loud or unnecessary noise or by shouting or by using profane, indecent or obscene language or by quarreling, assaulting or fighting or otherwise disturbing the peace and quiet of the municipality. Noises which shall be considered a disturbance of lawful assembly or of individuals shall include but not be limited to yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing or the making of loud and disturbing noises by the use of clappers, bells, horns, musical instruments or similar devices on the public streets or in a vehicle upon the public streets, on adjacent private property or in or about a motel, hotel or other place of public accommodation in such a way as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in neighboring dwellings or places of public accommodation, or lawfully using neighboring, adjacent or adjoining private property;
I. 
Operating any motor vehicle whose manufacturers' gross weight is in excess of 10,000 lbs., or any auxiliary equipment attached to such vehicle, for a period longer than 20 minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; and
J. 
The excessive or prolonged sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus, truck or other vehicle on any street, road or public place, except as a warning pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:3-69, as well as the use of whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust and the prolonged or excessive use of any such signaling device when traffic is stopped for any reason.

§ 163-4 Exemptions.

The following activities, special events, or conduct shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter and therefore not subject to the prohibitions of § 163-3:
A. 
Parades authorized by the Borough of Buena or conducted pursuant to a parade permit issued by the Borough;
B. 
Sporting events conducted on the Borough's ballfields and playgrounds, or on school premises within the Borough of Buena, including spectators to such events;
C. 
Police and emergency vehicles which find it necessary to use sirens, flashing lights or other devices as notification to the general public that such vehicle is being used in a police or emergency situation; and
D. 
Any other special events conducted by the Borough, any of its agencies, or any private organization such as a church or club pursuant to a permit issued by a federal, state, county or municipal agency, including but not limited to fireworks, barbeques or any other legitimate fund-raising event or celebration conducted by the Borough or such organization.

§ 163-5 Inspection of premises and motor vehicles; abatement of nuisances.

All places, premises and motor vehicles in this municipality shall be subject to inspection by the Police Department or other person designated to enforce this chapter if the enforcing officer has reason to believe that any section of this chapter is being violated.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to hinder, obstruct, delay, resist or prevent a police officer or other person designated to enforce this chapter from having full access to any place or premise upon which a violation of this chapter is believed to exist.
B. 
Where a nuisance as declared by this chapter is found to exist within the Borough of Buena on any plot of land, residential property, lot, public or private right-of-way, or any other private premises or place, in any place of public accommodation, or in any motor vehicle, the enforcing officer may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period after the issuance of such abatement order. Where the person responsible for the source of sound alleged to be in violation of this article refuses to abate such sound, the enforcing officer shall issue a complaint charging the responsible person with a violation of this chapter.
C. 
An abatement order shall not be issued if any person willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter, or if the enforcing officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
D. 
To the extent applicable, the provisions of N.J.S.A. 26:3-59 shall apply to inspections performed under this chapter.

§ 163-6 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by members of the Borough of Buena Police Department, by officers of the New Jersey State Police, by a noise officer, if one should be appointed, or by such other Borough official who may be designated to enforce this chapter by the Mayor of the Borough of Buena.

§ 163-7 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-17-2012 by Ord. No. 599]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to fine for a first offense a minimum of $50 and not to exceed $100; for a second offense a minimum fine of $200 and not to exceed $500 and for third and subsequent offense a minimum fine of $500 and not to exceed $1,000 and/or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. Every day that a violation continues after due notice has been served in accordance with the terms and provisions hereof, shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Adopted 8-22-2005 by Ord. No. 523]

§ 163-8 Sound-generating devices prohibited.

No person shall, within the limits of the Borough of Buena, cause, suffer, allow or permit the use, playing or operation of any musical instrument, electrical or mechanical device or electronic sound system such as a radio, television, tape player, amplifier or similar device or engage Jake brakes® which generate sound that is audible by the human ear at a distance of at least 100 feet as measured in a straight line form the source of the sound in at least one direction. If the sound originates from within a structure, then it shall be a violation of this section if the sound is audible by the human ear within an adjacent structure or while on adjacent property.

§ 163-9 Exceptions.

Notwithstanding the foregoing prohibitions, nothing in this article shall be interpreted to prohibit public celebrations or entertainment organized as part of a general celebration or holiday such as the Fourth of July. This article shall also not be interpreted so as to prohibit normal emergency warning devices such as police, ambulance and fire sirens or other warning devices utilized in the interest of maintaining public safety.

§ 163-10 Violations and penalties. [1]

Persons convicted under this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 548, adopted 4-9-2007, provided as follows: "All penalty provisions of existing ordinances of the Borough of Buena are hereby repealed and superseded by these provisions, except that any provisions of any existing ordinance that imposes a mandatory minimum fine or other mandatory minimum penalty shall remain in full force and effect." See now Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article III, Enforcement.