[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Stillwater 10-3-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the policy of the Town of Stillwater to maintain the peace and quiet of the Town. Unnecessary noise is determined by the Town Board to be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and to the quality of life of the citizens of the Town.
Unnecessary noise degrades the environment and interferes with the enjoyment of life, property and recreation and with the conduct and operation of business and industry. Town Board declares that the provisions of this chapter are for the purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the public health, safety and welfare and the peace and quiet of the Town of Stillwater.
As used in this chapter, unless expressly stated to be otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AIRBORNE SOUND
- Sound that reaches the point of interest by propagation through the air.
- APPROVED SOUND MEASURING EQUIPMENT
- Equipment that meets ANSI S1.4 1971 standards as described under the definition of "dBA" below.
- COMMERCIAL SERVICE EQUIPMENT
- All engine or motor powered equipment intended for infrequent service work in inhabited areas, typically requiring commercial or skilled operators. Examples of commercial service equipment include chain saws, log chippers, and paving rollers.
- CONSTRUCTION DEVICE
- All powered devices or equipment designed and intended for use in construction. Examples of construction devices are air compressors, bulldozers, backhoes, trucks, shovels, derricks and cranes.
- The abbreviation for decibel.
- The A-weighed sound level in decibels, as measured by a general purpose sound level meter complying with the provisions of the American National Standard Institute Specifications for Sound Level Meters (ANSI S1.4 1971), properly calibrated and operated on the A-weighting network.
- A unit for measuring the volume of a sound, equal to the logarithm of the ratio of the sound pressure of the sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound (0.0002 microbar); abbreviated "dB."
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Work or activity that is necessary to prevent or recover from an emergency, including but not limited to work to repair electric, gas, water, sewage and telephone services.
- The number of oscillations or cycles per second, expressed in hertz (abbreviation "Hz").
- HOMEOWNER'S LIGHT RESIDENTIAL OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT
- All engine- or motor-powered garden or maintenance tools intended for repetitive use in residential areas, typically capable of being used by a homeowner. Examples of homeowner's light residential outdoor equipment include lawn mowers, garden tools, riding tractors, snowblowers, and snowplows.
- The abbreviation for hertz equivalent to cycles per second.
- Who is individual, association, firm, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, department, bureau or agency of any other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of sound levels. Sound level meters shall conform to the requirements of ANSI specifications for sound level meters S1.4 1971.
- UNNECESSARY NOISE
- Any excessively or unusually loud sound or any sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a person, or which causes injury to animal life or damages property or business. Standards which can be considered in determining whether unnecessary noise exists in a given situation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A. The intensity of the noise;
- B. Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual;
- C. Whether the origin of the noise is associated with nature or man-made activity;
- D. The intensity of the background noise, if any;
- E. The proximity of the noise to sleeping facilities;
- F. The nature of the zoning district of the area within which the noise emanates;
- G. The time of the day or night the noise occurs;
- H. The time duration of the noise;
- I. Whether the sound source is temporary;
- J. Whether the noise is continuous or impulsive;
- K. The presence of discrete tones;
- L. Whether alternate methods are available to achieve the objectives of the sound-producing activity.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing, injurious and unnecessary and unlawful noises in violation of this chapter, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive; namely:
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, singing or performing music on the public streets or from private property that is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet and annoys or disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in the vicinity of the area, building, structure or vehicle from which such noise emanates.
The using of, operating of, or permitting to be played, used or operated, any radio, receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, television set 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 and in such manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the area, building, structure or vehicle in which it is located.
Sounding horns, squealing tires, or other vehicular noises produced excessively or unnecessarily.
No person or persons owning, leasing or controlling the operation of any source or sources of noise shall permit the use of such source to produce unnecessary noise, as herein previously described.
No person shall create or cause to be emitted any airborne sound which, when measured by a sound level meter at any lot line in a residential district, exceeds the following standards:
This chapter shall apply to the use or occupancy of any lot or structure except the following:
The intermittent or occasional use between 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. of homeowner's light residential outdoor equipment or commercial service equipment, provided that the equipment and its use otherwise comply with this chapter, and the equipment is being operated for its intended use.
Construction activities between 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. and the associated use of construction devices, provided that such activities and the use of such equipment otherwise comply with this chapter.
The ringing of church bells or chimes used in conjunction with religious or education purposes.
The operation of sirens, horns or other alarms when used for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency and the passage of vehicles.
The emission of sound in performance of emergency work.
Temporary uses as may be granted by permit.
Official public celebrations.
Noise of lawful aircraft flight operations.
The lawful operation of any properly equipped motor vehicles on any public way, subject to the applicable sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law that refer to noise.
Audible exterior burglar alarms in operation for 10 minutes or less.
The exceptions to the standards provided for in this chapter shall not be construed to exempt any source of noise from the provisions of this chapter under the definitions of "unnecessary noise" or "person."
Persons committing any act prohibited by this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, as such, shall be punishable by a sentence of up to 15 days in jail, or a fine of up to $250, or both.