[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 8-6-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee hereby finds and declares that:
The making and creation of loud, unnecessary or unusual noises within the limits of the Township is a condition which has existed for some time, and the extent and volume of such noises is increasing.
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, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the Township.
The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained in this chapter are necessary in the public interest, embody the public policy of this Township and are for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Township and its inhabitants.
No person shall 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, peace or safety of others within the limits of the Township.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this section, but such enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
Horns, audible signalling devices and the like.
The sounding of any horn or audible signalling device on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any street or public place of the Township, except as a danger warning.
The creation by means of any audible signalling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound and the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary period of time.
The use of any audible signalling device, except one operated by hand or electricity.
The use of any horn, whistle or other audible device operated by engine exhaust.
The use of any such audible signalling device when traffic is held up for any reason.
Radios, television, phonographs and the like.
The using, operating or permitting to be placed, used or operated any radio receiving set, television, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quite 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 or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto.
The aforesaid operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. in such manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this subsection.
Loudspeakers; amplifiers for advertising. The using of, operating of or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound or emitting of loud and raucous noises which are cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising.
Yelling, shouting and the like. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. for at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office, dwelling, hotel, motel or other type of residence or of any person in the vicinity.
Birds, dogs or other animals. The keeping, harboring or maintaining of any bird, dog or other animal which, by frequent, habitual or long continued noise, shall annoy or disturb the peace, comfort or repose of any person in the neighborhood or of any persons passing upon the streets or highways.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, boat, motor vehicle, motorcycle, dirt bike, off-road vehicle, all-terrain vehicle or the like, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Defect in vehicle or load. The use or operation of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair or so loaded with iron or steel or other material in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise, or so as to cause loud noises to the disturbance of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Loading, unloading; opening boxes. The creation of loud or excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading of any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates or containers.
Construction or repairing of buildings. The erection (including excavation), demolition, exterior alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety and then only after obtaining a permit from the Township Engineer, 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 a period of three days or less while the emergency continues. If the Township Engineer 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 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., and if (s)he shall further determine that loss or inconvenience would result to any party or interest, (s)he may grant permission for such work to be done within the hours of 9:00 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.
Schools, courts, houses of worship, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, house of worship or judicial court, while the same are in use, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, house of worship or court street.
Drums, bells and the like. The use of any drum, bell, horn or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale by any creation of noise.
Hawkers, peddlers and vendors. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Railroad cars and buses. The causing, permitting or continuing of any excessive, unnecessary or avoidable noise in the operation of railroad cars, locomotives and buses.
Pile drivers, hammers and the like. The operation, other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, of any pile driver, steam shovel, bulldozer or other earth-moving machinery, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist or any other appliance, equipment or machinery, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.
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 noises.
Convoys of vehicles. The intentional congregation and procession of vehicles, so spaced that the cumulative effects of the noise of each individual vehicle becomes cumulatively excessive, causing disturbance to the peace and quiet of the residents of the Township.
Bands, concerts. Use of amplifiers, playing of music by a live group or band, or sound reproduction upon amplifier or loudspeaker or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound, particularly between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. so as to annoy or disturb the comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling or other type residence or of any person in the vicinity.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to:
The use of bells, chimes or sound amplifiers by churches engaged in church activities.
Activities of Township departments in the performance of their duties, drills or public demonstrations.
Activities in public parks, playgrounds or public buildings under permission or authority of the Mayor and Township Committee or their agents.
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer or the New Jersey State Police.
Violations and penalties.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of not more than $500 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, for each offense.
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.
Other remedies. No provision 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.