City of Hoboken, NJ
Hudson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken 2-16-2011 by Ord. No. Z-84.[1]Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Peace and good order — See Ch. 145.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 133, Noise Control, adopted 6-21-2000 by Ord. No. E-447, as amended.

§ 133-1 Declaration of findings and policy.

Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life; and
Whereas a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated; and
Whereas the people have a right to, and should be ensured of, an environment free from excessive sound;
Now, therefore, it is the policy of the City of Hoboken to prevent excessive sound that may jeopardize the health, welfare or safety of the citizens or degrade the quality of life. This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from sources within the City of Hoboken.

§ 133-2 Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Terms not defined in this chapter have the same meaning as those defined in N.J.A.C. 7:29.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action of buildings or structures.
dBC
The sound level as measured using the "C" weighting network with a sound level meter meeting the standards set forth in ANSI S1.4-1983 or its successors. The unit of reporting is dB(C). The "C" weighting network is more sensitive to low frequencies than is the "A" weighting network.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, destruction or removal of buildings, structures, or roadways.
DEPARTMENT
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary at the site of an emergency to restore or deliver essential services, including, but not limited to, repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone, sewer facilities or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way, dredging navigational waterways or abating life-threatening conditions or a state of emergency declared by a governing agency.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
Either a single pressure peak or a single burst (multiple pressure peaks) that has a duration of less than one second.
MINOR VIOLATION
A violation that is not the result of the purposeful, reckless or criminally negligent conduct of the alleged violator; and/or the activity or condition constituting the violation has not been the subject of an enforcement action by any authorized local, county or state enforcement agency against the violator within the immediately preceding 12 months for the same or substantially similar violation.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled by other than human or animal power on land.
MUFFLER
A properly functioning sound dissipative device or system for abating the sound on engines or equipment where such device is part of the normal configuration of the equipment.
MULTIDWELLING UNIT BUILDING
Any building comprising two or more dwelling units, including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, co-ops, multiple-family houses, townhouses and attached residences.
MULTIUSE PROPERTY
Any distinct parcel of land that is used for more than one category of activity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
A. 
A commercial, residential, industrial or public service property having boilers, incinerators, elevators, automatic garage doors, air conditioners, laundry rooms, utility provisions or health and recreational facilities, or other similar devices or areas, either in the interior or on the exterior of the building, which may be a source of elevated sound levels at another category on the same distinct parcel of land; or
B. 
A building, which is both commercial (usually on the ground floor) and residential property, located above, below or otherwise adjacent to.
NOISE CONTROL INVESTIGATOR (NCI)
An employee of a municipality, county or regional health commission that has a Department-approved model noise control ordinance, and the employee has not received noise enforcement training as specified by the Department in N.J.A.C. 7:29. However, he or she is knowledgeable about his or her model noise ordinance and enforcement procedures. A Noise Control Investigator may only enforce sections of this chapter that do not require the use of a sound level meter. The employee must be acting within his or her designated jurisdiction and must be authorized to issue a summons. For purposes of City of Hoboken municipal enforcement, the following officers and agents of the City shall have the power and authority to enforce this chapter: Building Code Official(s), Zoning Officer, Health Officer(s), Environmental Health Specialist(s), Public Health Nuisance Investigator(s), the Hoboken Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER (NCO)
An employee of a local, county or regional health agency which is certified pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act (N.J.S.A. 26:3A2-21 et seq.) to perform noise enforcement activities or an employee of a municipality with a Department-approved model noise control ordinance. All NCOs must receive noise enforcement training as specified by the Department in N.J.A.C. 7:29 and is currently certified in noise enforcement. The employee must be acting within his or her designated jurisdiction and must be authorized to issue a summons.
PLAINLY AUDIBLE
Any sound that can be detected by a NCO or NCI using his or her unaided hearing faculties of normal acuity. As an example, if the sound source under investigation is a portable or vehicular sound amplification or reproduction device, the detection of the rhythmic bass component of the music is sufficient to verify plainly audible sound. The NCO or NCI need not determine the title, specific words or the artist performing the song.
PRIVATE RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, 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 (a) the vertical boundary that separates one parcel of property (i.e., lot and block) from another residential or commercial property; (b) the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is part of a multidwelling-unit building; or (c) on a multiuse property as defined herein, the vertical or horizontal boundaries 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, or if there is an outdoor sound source such as an HVAC unit on the same parcel of property, the boundary line is the exterior wall of the receiving unit). Note: This definition shall not apply to a commercial source and a commercial receptor which are both located on the same parcel of property (e.g., a strip mall).
SOUND PRODUCTION DEVICE
Any device whose primary function is the production of sound, including, but not limited to, any musical instrument, loudspeaker, radio, television, digital or analog music player, public address system or sound-amplifying equipment.
SOUND REDUCTION DEVICE
Any device, such as a muffler, baffle, shroud, jacket, enclosure, isolator or dampener, provided by the manufacturer with the equipment or that is otherwise required that mitigates the sound emissions of the equipment.
WEEKDAY
Any day that is not a federal holiday, and beginning on Monday at 7:00 a.m. and ending on the following Friday at 6:00 p.m.
WEEKENDS
Beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and ending on the following Monday at 7:00 a.m.

§ 133-3 Applicability.

A. 
This chapter applies to sound from the following property categories:
(1) 
Industrial facilities;
(2) 
Commercial facilities;
(3) 
Public service facilities;
(4) 
Community service facilities;
(5) 
Residential properties;
(6) 
Multiuse properties;
(7) 
Public and private rights-of-way;
(8) 
Public spaces; and
(9) 
Multi-dwelling-unit buildings.
B. 
This chapter applies to sound received at the following property categories:
(1) 
Commercial facilities;
(2) 
Public service facilities;
(3) 
Community service facilities (i.e., nonprofits and/or religious facilities);
(4) 
Residential properties;
(5) 
Multiuse properties; and
(6) 
Multi-dwelling-unit buildings.
C. 
Sound from stationary emergency signaling devices shall be regulated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.4, except that the testing of the electromechanical functioning of a stationary emergency signaling device shall not meet or exceed 10 seconds.

§ 133-4 Exemptions.

A. 
Except as provided in §§ 133-9 and 133-10 below, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the exceptions listed at N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.5.
B. 
Sound production devices required or sanctioned under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),[1] FEMA or other government agencies to the extent that they comply with the noise requirement of the enabling legislation or regulation. Devices which are exempted under N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.5 shall continue to be exempted.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
C. 
Construction and demolition activities are exempt from the sound level limits set forth in Tables I and II and III, except as provided for in § 133-9 below.

§ 133-5 Enforcement officers.

A. 
Noise Control Officers shall have the authority within their designated jurisdiction to investigate suspected violations of any section of this chapter and pursue enforcement activities.
B. 
Noise Control Investigators shall have the authority within their designated jurisdiction to investigate suspected violations of any section of this chapter that do not require the use of a sound level meter (i.e., plainly audible, times of day and/or distance determinations) and pursue enforcement activities.
C. 
Noise Control Officers and Investigators may cooperate with NCOs and NCIs of an adjacent municipality in enforcing one another's municipal noise ordinances.

§ 133-6 Measurement protocols.

A. 
Sound measurements made by a Noise Control Officer shall conform to the procedures set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:29-2, except that interior sound level measurements shall also conform with the procedures set forth in § 133-6B of this chapter and with the definition of "real property line" as contained herein.
B. 
When conducting indoor sound level measurements across a real property line, the measurements shall be taken at least three feet from any wall, floor or ceiling and all exterior doors and windows may, at the discretion of the investigator, be closed. The neighborhood residual sound level shall be measured in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.9(b)2. When measuring total sound level, the configuration of the windows and doors shall be the same and all sound sources within the dwelling unit must be shut off (e.g., television, stereo). Measurements shall not be taken in areas which receive only casual use such as hallways, closets and bathrooms.

§ 133-7 Maximum permissible sound levels.

A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source of sound on any source property listed in § 133-3A above in such a manner as to create a sound level that equals or exceeds the sound level limits set forth in Tables I, II or III when measured at or within the real property line of any of the receiving properties listed in Tables I, II or III, except as specified in § 133-6B.
B. 
Impulsive sound. Between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., impulsive sound shall not equal or exceed 80 decibels. Between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., impulsive sound which occurs less than four times in any hour shall not equal or exceed 80 decibels. Impulsive sound which repeats four or more times in any hour shall be measured as continuous sound and shall meet the requirements as shown in Tables I and II.
Table I
Maximum Permissible A-Weighted Sound Levels When Measured Outdoors
Receiving Property Category
Residential property or residential portion of a multiuse property
Commercial facility, public service facility, nonresidential portion of a multiuse property or community service facility
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
Maximum A-Weighted Sound Level Standard
(dB)
65
50
65
Table II
Maximum Permissible A-Weighted Sound Levels When Measured Indoors
Receiving Property Category
Residential property or residential portion of a multiuse property
Commercial facility, or nonresidential portion of a multiuse property
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
Maximum A-Weighted Sound Level Standard
(dB)
55
40
55
Note: Table II shall only apply when the source and the receptor are separated by a real property line and they also share a common or abutting wall, floor or ceiling or are on the same parcel of property.
Table III
Maximum Permissible Octave Band Sound Pressure Levels in Decibels
Receiving Property Category
Residential property or residential portion of a multiuse property
Residential property or residential portion of a multiuse property
Commercial facility, public service facility, nonresidential portion of a multiuse property or community service facility
Commercial facility of nonresidential portion of a multiuse property
Outdoors
Indoors
Outdoors
Indoors
Octave Band Center Frequency
(Hz.)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level
(dB)
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
24 hours
31.5
96
86
86
76
96
86
63
82
71
72
61
82
72
125
74
61
64
51
74
64
250
67
53
57
43
67
57
500
63
48
53
38
63
53
1,000
60
45
50
35
60
50
2,000
57
42
47
32
57
47
4,000
55
40
45
30
55
45
8,000
53
38
42
28
53
43
Note: When octave measurements are made, the sound from the source must be constant in level and character. If octave band sound pressure level variations exceed plus or minus two dB in the bands containing the principal source frequencies, discontinue the measurement.

§ 133-8 Sound production devices.

No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any sound production device in such a manner that the sound crosses a property line and raises the total sound levels above the neighborhood residual sound level by more than the permissible sound level limits set forth in Table IV when measured within the residence of a complainant according to the measurement protocol in § 133-6B of this chapter. These sound level measurements shall be conducted with the sound level meter set for "C" weighting, "fast" response.
Table IV
Maximum Permissible Increase in Total Sound Levels Within A Residential Property
Weeknights 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Weekend nights 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
All other times
3 dB(C)
6 dB(C)

§ 133-9 Restricted uses and activities.

The following standards shall apply to the activities or sources of sound set forth below:
A. 
Power tools, home maintenance tools, landscaping and/or yard maintenance equipment used by a residential property owner or tenant shall not be operated between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless such activities can meet the applicable limits set forth in Tables I, II or III. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler and/or sound reduction device.
B. 
Power tools, landscaping and/or yard maintenance equipment used by nonresidential operators (e.g., commercial operators, public employees) shall not be operated on a residential, commercial, industrial or public (e.g., golf course, parks, athletic fields) property between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays or between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends or federal holidays, unless such activities can meet the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler and/or sound reduction device. Emergency work, as defined in this section, is excluded from the above restrictions.
C. 
No construction and demolition activity, excluding emergency work, shall be performed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays or at any time during weekends and federal holidays. Work crews may be on site between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to do preparatory work, but no motorized equipment, including but not limited to pile drivers, jackhammers, riveters, stone breakers, cranes, earthmoving equipment, compressors, saws and cutting equipment, and any other such equipment that is plainly audible beyond the real property line, shall be operated before 8:00 a.m. Work may take place after hours and on weekends only with express authorization from the approving board and only after a noise mitigation plan has been submitted to that board. However, any waiver granted by a board must be a condition of approval to complete the work applied for, and the applicant must agree to accept the conditions of the grant of the waiver as a condition of accepting the approval. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply. All motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a muffler and/or sound reduction device.
[Amended 8-2-2017 by Ord. No. Z-510]
(1) 
Upon receipt of a request for a waiver of some or all of the provisions of this section (where board approval as delineated above is not applicable), which request shall be outlined in an appropriate resolution for consideration at a City Council meeting, the Hoboken City Council may waive the provisions of this section; and
(2) 
In determining whether to grant the request for a waiver of the provisions of this section, the City Council may consider the date and/or time the waiver is being requested for; the location of the work to be performed; the character of the area where the work is to be performed; the nature of the work to be performed; any exigent circumstances; and any other factors it deems relevant, while considering and balancing the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City of Hoboken; and
(3) 
The Hoboken City Council may place limitations or requirements on the waiver as it deems appropriate that the waiver applicant must agree to accept as a condition of the grant of the waiver.
D. 
Alterations or repairs to existing owner-occupied or rental dwellings, community service facilities or schools may be performed on Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., subject to compliance with Tables I, II and III, as applicable.
E. 
Motorized snow removal equipment shall be operated with a muffler and/or a sound reduction device when being used for snow removal. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply.
F. 
All interior and exterior burglar alarms of a building or motor vehicle must be activated in such a manner that the burglar alarm terminates its operation within five minutes for continuous airborne sound and 15 minutes for intermittent sound after it has been activated. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I, II or III do not apply.
G. 
Self-contained, portable, nonvehicular music or sound production devices shall not be 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. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., sound, operated on a public space or public right-of-way, from such equipment, shall not be plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet in any direction from the operator.
H. 
All music or other unreasonable noise originating from a sound production device in connection with the operation of any commercial establishment or enterprise, when the level of sound attributable to such music or noise, as measured inside any receiving property dwelling unit is in excess of measures established in Table IV, shall be prohibited.
I. 
It shall be unlawful for any property owner or tenant to allow any domesticated or caged animal to create a sound across a real property line which unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace, comfort and repose of any resident or to refuse or intentionally fail to cease the unreasonable noise when ordered to do so by a Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator.
(1) 
Prima facie evidence of a violation of this section shall include but not be limited to:
(a) 
Vocalizing (howling, yelping, barking, squawking etc.) for five minutes without interruption, defined as an average of four or more vocalizations per minute in that period; or
(b) 
Vocalizing for 20 minutes intermittently, defined as an average of two vocalizations or more per minute in that period.
(2) 
It is an affirmative defense under this subsection that the dog or other animal was intentionally provoked to bark or make any other noise.

§ 133-10 Motor vehicles.

A. 
No person shall remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative or less effective than originally equipped, other than for the purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, of any device or element of design incorporated in any motor vehicle for the purpose of noise control. No person shall operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle which has been so modified. A vehicle not meeting these requirements shall be deemed in violation of this provision if it is operated stationary or in motion in any public space or public right-of-way.
B. 
No motorcycle shall be operated stationary or in motion unless it has a muffler that complies with and is labeled in accordance with the federal noise regulations under 40 CFR Part 205.
C. 
Personal or commercial vehicular music amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated in such a manner that it is plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
D. 
Personal or commercial vehicular music amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated in such a manner that is 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. Ice cream and other food vending trucks, while in residential neighborhoods, are prohibited from the playing of jingles while stationary. Jingles may only be played when the vehicle is in motion.
E. 
Commercial vehicles shall not be permitted to idle for more than three minutes in any residential district.
F. 
The use of vehicle horns shall not be permitted except as a warning in situations of imminent danger.

§ 133-11 Enforcement documents; violations and penalties.

A. 
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for a notice of violation (NOV) or a notice of penalty assessment (NOPA) document to be issued to the violator by the Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator.
B. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty for each offense of not more than $2,000. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional separate and distinct offense.
[Amended 4-16-2014 by Ord. No. Z-281]
C. 
Upon identification of a violation of this chapter, the Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator shall issue an enforcement document to the violator. The enforcement document shall identify the condition or activity that constitutes the violation and the specific provision of this chapter that has been violated. It shall also indicate whether the violator has a period of time to correct the violation before a penalty is sought.
D. 
If the violation is deemed by the Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator to be a minor violation (as defined in § 133-2 of this chapter), a NOV shall be issued to the violator.
(1) 
The document shall indicate that the purpose of the NOV is intended to serve as a notice to warn the responsible party/violator of the violation conditions in order to provide him or her with an opportunity to voluntarily investigate the matter and voluntarily take corrective action to address the identified violation.
(2) 
The NOV shall identify the time period (up to 90 days), pursuant to the Grace Period Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-125 et seq., where the responsible party's/violator's voluntary action can prevent a formal enforcement action with penalties issued by the City of Hoboken or the Hudson Regional Health Commission. It shall be noted that the NOV does not constitute a formal enforcement action, a final agency action or a final legal determination that a violation has occurred. Therefore, the NOV may not be appealed or contested.
E. 
If the violation is deemed by the Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator to be a nonminor violation, the violator shall be notified that if the violation is not immediately corrected, a NOPA with a civil penalty of no more than $2,000 will be issued. If a nonminor violation is immediately corrected, a NOV without a civil penalty shall still be issued to document the violation. If the violation occurs again (within 12 months of the initial violation) a NOPA shall be issued regardless of whether the violation is immediately corrected or not.
[Amended 4-16-2014 by Ord. No. Z-281]
F. 
The violator may request from the Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator an extension of the compliance deadline in the enforcement action. The Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator shall have the option to approve any reasonable request for an extension (not to exceed 180 days) if the violator can demonstrate that a good faith effort has been made to achieve compliance. If an extension is not granted and the violation continues to exist after the grace period ends, a NOPA shall be issued.
G. 
The recipient of a NOPA shall be entitled to a hearing in a municipal court having jurisdiction to contest such action.
H. 
The Noise Control Officer or Noise Control Investigator may seek injunctive relief if the responsible party does not remediate the violation within the period of time specified in the NOPA issued.
I. 
Any claim for a civil penalty may be compromised and settled based on the following factors:
(1) 
Mitigating or any other extenuating circumstances;
(2) 
The timely implementation by the violator of measures which lead to compliance;
(3) 
The conduct of the violator; and
(4) 
The compliance history of the violator.
J. 
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.

§ 133-12 Severability; repealer.

A. 
If any provision or portion of a provision of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional, preempted by federal or state law, or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this chapter shall not be invalidated.
B. 
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed as to the extent of such inconsistencies.