[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Waterford 8-12-1986 by L.L. No. 5-1986. Section 106-5 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
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 provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of preserving, protecting and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Town of Waterford and its inhabitants.
This chapter shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes described in this section. 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. Nothing herein shall abridge the powers and responsibilities of any Police Department or law enforcement agency to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
This chapter shall not apply to the operation or use of any organ, radio, bell, chimes or other instrument, apparatus or device by any church, synagogue or school.
The creation of any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise is prohibited. Said noise shall be prohibited when it is of such character, intensity and duration or of any type or volume that a reasonable person would not tolerate under the circumstances and that is detrimental to the life, health or welfare of any individual or would cause or create a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.
The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but the enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
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.
Noisy vehicles. No person shall:
Use 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;
Operate 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
Modify or cause to be modified the muffler, exhaust system or other noise-control device of any vehicle in a manner that will increase the noise emitted by such vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle when newly manufactured, regardless of the date of manufacture. The noise control devices of any vehicle operated in the city shall be maintained and in good working order. No person shall operate or permit to be operated a vehicle where the muffler, exhaust system or other noise control device has been so modified or has not been maintained.
Recreational vehicles, including snowmobiles: No person shall operate or permit to be operated any motor-powered recreational vehicle not licensed for operation on public streets pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law:
On private property of another without the express prior written consent of the owner and the occupancy of said property. Such consent may be revoked at any time by the grantor thereof. Where such express prior written consent has been obtained, the operator or person at the site responsible for such operation shall keep said consent on his person and available for immediate display at all times during the period of such operation. Excepted from the operation of this subsection are any private clubs or other organizations that permit the operation of recreational motor vehicles on their property in connection with the principal use of said property by the members of any such club or organization.
On any public grounds or property, including town- or school-owned land, which shall include but not be limited to parks, ballparks and recreation areas.
In such a manner as to create unnecessary noise so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with persons in the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their property.
In a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the safety or property of any person.
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.
Construction, demolition and excavation: the erection, including excavating, demolition, alteration or repair, of any building other than between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., except in case of an urgent necessity in the interest of public safety.
Noise near schools 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 workings of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital, church or court street.
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.
Hawking and peddling: the shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood and is unreasonable under the circumstances.
Drums, loudspeakers and similar devices: the use of a drum, loudspeaker or any other sound-producing instrument device for the purpose of attracting public attention by the creation of noise, except where authorized by special permit to be issued by the Commissioner of Public Safety, who shall make reasonable rules and regulations therefor.
Sound reproduction: no person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound so 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.
Animals: no person shall keep, permit or maintain any animal under his control that causes unnecessary noise by continued barking, howling or other animal noises.
Shouting: no person shall shout, yell, call, hoot, whistle or sing on public streets or in public places in such a manner and for a period of time as to be unreasonable under the circumstances.
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 shall be prohibited if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
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 chapter), including but not limited to excavating, blasting, grinding, breaking, crushing or processing of any substance (where permitted).
The operation of restaurants, taverns, bars and discos.
No restaurant, tavern, bar, nightclub, disco or other similar use, whether public or private, shall be conducted so that unreasonable or unnecessary music or other noise is caused by and/or emanates from said use.
Any owner, operator or proprietor of such a business use or the owner licensee or person in control of any private premises shall so limit the level of noise emanating from the premises.
Further, it shall be the duty of any such person to disperse any assembly of persons loitering, drinking alcoholic beverages or otherwise engaging in lewd or disorderly conduct adjacent to or near the premises or to immediately notify the police of such conduct.
Fraternities and sororities, dormitories, private clubs, meeting halls and private residences: No noise from parties, entertainment, music or social gatherings of any kind, whether public or private, shall be such that noise caused by and/or emanating from said use can be heard between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day inside any residence, regardless of whether the windows of such residence are open, or at any other time if said noise is unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances.
In those cases of unreasonable noise, other than violations of § 106-3B(1), (2), (3) and (4), 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 chapter. After such warning, if any party shall continue or repeat said conduct or similar conduct, he shall be in violation of this chapter.
It shall be sufficient if said warning is oral and/or in person or over the telephone.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
If any party shall knowingly violate the provisions of this chapter or engage in conduct in violation of this chapter, he shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each incidence of any violation of a provision herein shall constitute a separate offense.
It shall be the duty of the Waterford Police Department to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
If a violation of this chapter shall occur in the presence of a Waterford police officer, he shall issue an appearance ticket, as set forth in §§ 150.10 to 150.75 of the Criminal Procedure Law, based upon a written statement by the complainant.
If any violation for which a complaint is received does not occur in said officer's presence, the complainant shall have the right to sign an accusatory instrument for submission to the Town Court for appropriate action.
[Amended 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]