Ventnor City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City 12-4-1986 by Ord. No. 8617.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Block parties — See Ch. 77.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 171.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 156, Noise, adopted 6-16-1969 by Ord. No. 17-1969, as amended.

§ 156-1 Definitions.

The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
COMMERCIAL AREA
A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Any premises, property or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
A. 
Banking and other financial institutions.
B. 
Dining establishments.
C. 
Establishments for providing retail services.
D. 
Establishments for providing wholesale services.
E. 
Establishments for recreation and entertainment.
F. 
Office buildings.
G. 
Transportation.
H. 
Warehouses.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
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.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including but not limited to repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone or sewer facilities or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way or abating life-threatening conditions.
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
The values 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.
INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture or production of durable or nondurable goods.
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.
MULTI-DWELLING UNIT BUILDING
Any building wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
NOISE
Any sounds of such level and/or 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, but excludes all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
NOISE CONTROL ADMINISTRATOR
The noise control officer designated as the official liaison with all municipal departments, empowered to grant permits for variances.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An officially designated employee of the municipality, of a group of municipalities or of the county, trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue a summons for violations of this chapter.
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, joint-stock company, the state or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk or alley that is leased, owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Either the imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
An imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another.
RECREATIONAL MOTORIZED VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle used off public roads for recreational purposes.
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.
D. 
Community service 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 used to measure sound level and which conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI Specification S1.4-1971.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.

§ 156-2 Noise Control Officers; Administrator.

A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Noise Control Officers. Section 156-4 of this chapter shall be enforced by the Noise Control Officer, a police officer or a Code Enforcement Officer.
[Amended 5-27-1999 by Ord. No. 9911]
B. 
The Noise Control Administrator shall have 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 or boards, for compliance with this chapter.
(4) 
Grant permits for variances according to the provisions of § 156-6, provided that the variances are consistent with regulations concerning noise control promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:29.
C. 
A person shall be 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.
(3) 
Education or experience or a combination thereof certified by the above Department as equivalent to the provisions of Subsection C(1) or (2) of this section.
D. 
Noise measurements made by Noise Control Officers shall be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B, except as provided in § 156-3A(1) below.

§ 156-3 Maximum permissible sound levels.

A. 
Stationary sources. No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property or any public space or right-of-way 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 or within the real property line of the receiving property, except as provided in § 156-3A(1).
(1) 
When measuring noise within a dwelling unit of a multi-dwelling-unit building, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
Table I
Maximum Permissible Sound Levels by Receiving Property Category
(dBA)
Another Dwelling Within a Multi-Dwelling-Unit Building
Receiving Property Category
Sound Source Property Category
7:00 a.m.  - 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Resi-dential
7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Resi-dential
10:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Commercial
All times
Industrial
All times
Any location within a multi- dwelling- unit building
45
40
55
50
65
75
Residential
55
50
65
75
Commercial or public spaces or rights-of-way
65
50
65
75
Industrial
65
50
65
75
(2) 
The following are exempt from the sound level limits of Table I:
(a) 
Noise from domestic power tools, lawn mowers or agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays, provided that they produce less than 85 dBA at or within any real property line of a residential property.
(b) 
Sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service.
(c) 
Noise from construction activity, provided that all motorized equipment used in such activity is equipped with functioning mufflers, except as provided in § 156-4B(5).
(d) 
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers and snow plows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal.
(e) 
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that conforms to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29.
(f) 
Noise from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after it has been activated.
B. 
Mobile sources.
(1) 
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 that level set forth in Table II.
Table II
Maximum Permissible Sound Levels From Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles*
[Sound level in dBA at 50 feet (15 meters) from center line of vehicle travel]
Vehicle Class
Speed Limit
35 mph or less
Speed Limit
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 of any combination of vehicles towed by any motor vehicle
76
82
Sound level on fast setting 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
NOTES:
* Measured according to Department of Transportation. Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for enforcement of Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 11, Part 325.
(2) 
Recreational motorized vehicles operating off public rights-of-way. 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.
Table III
Maximum Permissible Sound Level For Recreational Motorized Vehicles Operated Off Public Rights-Of-Way
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

§ 156-4 Prohibited acts.

A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made, verbally or mechanically, directly or indirectly, any noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the health, comfort, safety or welfare of others. It is specifically intended that an owner or landlord shall be responsible for the actions of his tenants or other persons residing within the leased/rented premises.
[Amended 10-28-1993 by Ord. No. 9320]
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 in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance for any person other than the operator of the device.
(2) 
Loudspeakers and 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. in the following day, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
(3) 
Animals and birds: owning, possessing or harboring any pet animal or pet 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 section, a "noise disturbance" from a barking dog shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked.)
(4) 
Loading and unloading: loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans, refuse or similar objects, gaseous, powder or pellet form, or the compacting of refuse by persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal during the hours as set in § 171-7.
[Amended 10-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-16]
(5) 
Construction and demolition: operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavating or demolition work during the hours as set in § 171-7.
[Amended 8-2-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-4; 10-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-16]
C. 
Adequate mufflers.
(1) 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or motorcycle not equipped with the original muffler and other components or equivalent replacement in good working order and in constant operation regardless of sound level produced.
(2) 
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 or other exhaust component on a motor vehicle or motorcycle.
D. 
Motor vehicle horns and signaling devices. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be in violation of this chapter.
(1) 
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.
(2) 
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).
E. 
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 or emergency work 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 9:00 a.m. the following day.
F. 
Mobile sound-reproduction device. No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operating or playing of any radio, tape player or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create noise at 50 feet (15 meters) from such device when operating in or on a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way or public space.

§ 156-5 Nonapplicability.

A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency, except as provided in § 156-3A(2)(e) and (f);
(2) 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; or
(3) 
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
B. 
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

§ 156-6 Conditions for variance.

A. 
Any person who owns or operates any noise source may apply to the Noise Control Administrator for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter. Applications for a permit of variance shall supply information, including but not limited to:
(1) 
The nature and location of the noise source for which such application is made.
(2) 
The reason for which the permit of variance is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant, his or her client or the public if the permit of variance is not granted.
(3) 
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance.
(4) 
The section or sections of this chapter for which the permit of variance shall apply.
(5) 
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance with this chapter within a reasonable time.
B. 
Failure to supply the information required by the Noise Control Administrator shall be cause for rejection of the application.
C. 
A copy of the permit of variance must be kept on file by the Municipal Clerk for public inspection.
D. 
The Noise Control Administrator may charge the applicant a fee of $20 to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit of variance application.
E. 
The Noise Control Administrator may, at his or her discretion, limit the duration of the permit of variance, which shall be no longer than one year. Any person holding a permit of variance and requesting an extension of time shall apply for a new permit of variance under the provisions of this section.
F. 
No variance shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health; and compliance with the chapter would impose no arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefits to the public.
G. 
In making the determination on granting a variance, the Noise Control Administrator shall consider:
(1) 
The character and degree of injury to or interference with the health and welfare or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
(2) 
The social and economic value of the activity for which the variance is sought.
(3) 
The ability of the applicant to apply best practical noise control measures.
H. 
The permit of variance may be revoked by the Noise Control Administrator if the term of the permit of variance are violated.
I. 
A variance may be revoked by the Noise Control Administrator if there is:
(1) 
A violation of one or more conditions of the variance;
(2) 
Material misrepresentation of fact in the variance application; or
(3) 
A material change in any of the circumstances relied upon by the Noise Control Administrator in granting the variance.

§ 156-7 Enforcement.

A. 
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause of a summons to be issued by the appropriate Noise Control Officer, police officer or Code Enforcement Officer.
[Amended 5-27-1999 by Ord. No. 9911]
B. 
Abatement orders.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), in lieu of issuing a summons as provided in Subsection A above, the Noise Control 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 and according to guidelines which the Noise Control Officer may prescribe.
(2) 
An abatement order shall not be issued if any person willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter, or if the Noise Control Officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
C. 
Revocation of summons. If a summons is given for violation of § 156-4C of this chapter, the summons may be revoked by the Police Department if the offending vehicle's exhaust system is repaired within five days. The vehicle must be brought to the police station for an inspection of the exhaust system.

§ 156-8 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 2-2-1989 by Ord. No. 8903; 1-9-1997 by Ord. No. 9616]
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense not more than $1,000.
B. 
Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of a sum of not less than $25 and not more than $1,000.
C. 
In addition to or as a substitute for the previously mentioned fine, the imposition of community service shall be authorized as an additional penalty, which community service shall not exceed 90 days.

§ 156-9 Effect on other legislation.

No provisions of this chapter 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 chapter or from other law.

§ 156-10 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this chapter shall not be invalidated.