Town of Southington, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Southington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fine Schedule — See Ch. 37, Art. II.
[Adopted 9-14-1993[1] (Ch. 9, Art. III, of the 1989 Code)]
[1]
Editor's Note: Ordinance (of 9-14-1993) not certified by Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection - unenforceable.
The making, creation or maintenance of unreasonably loud or disturbing noises, as proscribed in this article, affects and is a detriment to the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, peace and quiet of persons within the Town of Southington. The purpose of this article is to protect, preserve and promote the public health, safety and welfare insofar as they are affected by the creation and maintenance of excessive, unnecessary or unreasonably loud noise, as defined by this article. The article prescribes a minimum and uniform standard governing the creation and maintenance of noise levels in the community in certain areas and by regulation of certain types of activities as specifically described herein.
This article is adopted pursuant to the provisions of Section 22a-73 of the Connecticut General Statutes. This article is intended to conform to Section 22a-69 of the Connecticut General Statutes, except that this article may prescribe a more stringent noise standard as permitted in Section 22a-73(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes. In the event decibel levels conflict with state statute, the state statute shall prevail.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article. Where terms are not defined under the provisions of this article and are defined in the noise regulations of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (C.G.S. §§ 22a-69-1.1 and 22a-69-1.2), they shall have the same meanings ascribed to them in those regulations. Otherwise, they shall have ascribed to them their ordinarily accepted meanings or such as the context herein may imply.
DAYTIME HOURS
The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (local time).
[Amended 10-9-2012]
EXCESSIVE NOISE
Emitter noise zone levels from noise sources exceeding the standards set forth in § 300-5A of this article beyond the boundary of the emitter's noise zones.
MOBILE SOURCES OF NOISE
Mobile sources of noise shall include, but are not limited to, such sources as automobiles, trucks and other vehicles used to transport individuals or items along public rights-of-way.
NIGHTTIME HOURS
The hours between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. each Monday through Friday, and the hours between 9:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. the following Sunday (local time).
[Amended 10-9-2012]
NOISE ZONE
An individual unit of land or a group of contiguous parcels under the same ownership as indicated by public land records and, as relates to noise emitters, includes contiguous publicly dedicated street and highway rights-of-way, railroad rights-of-way, water bodies, and waters of the state.
SITE
The area bounded by the property line on or in which a source of noise exists.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter, and frequency-weighting networks for the measurement of sound levels. The sound level meter shall conform to ANSI specifications for sound level meters S1.4-1971.
A. 
General. Noise zone classifications shall be based on the actual use of any parcel or tract under single ownership or, in the case of vacant lands, based on the zoning district in which a parcel is located as detailed herein and described on the Zoning Map and in the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Southington.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Town Zoning Regulations are on file and available in the Planning Office and on the Town's website.
B. 
Class A noise zone/uses. Lands designated class A shall generally be residential areas where human beings sleep or areas where serenity and tranquility are essential to the intended use of the land. The land uses in this category shall include, but not be limited to, single- and multiple-family homes, hotels, motels, religious facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, cultural activities, forest preserves and vacant land zoned for residential or related uses requiring such protection. This article references the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Southington for such designation.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: The Town Zoning Regulations are on file and available in the Planning Office and on the Town's website.
C. 
Class B noise zone/uses. Lands designated class B shall generally be commercial in nature. The land uses in this category shall include, but not be limited to, retail trade, professional offices, personal, business and legal services, educational institutions, government services, amusements, agricultural activities, and vacant lands zoned for such commercial or institutional uses. This article references the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Southington for such designation.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: The Town Zoning Regulations are on file and available in the Planning Office and on the Town's website.
A. 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of excessive noise as defined herein beyond the boundaries of his/her noise zone as measured at any point on a receptor's tract or parcel of land, so as to exceed the levels stated herein. The source of noise measured shall be the responsibility of the owner or operator of the premises from which the noise commences. The term "emitter" is used to refer to this entity or individual.
[Amended 10-9-2012]
Receptor Noise Zone Class
B
A-Day
A-Night
Class B Emitter to
55 dBA
55 dBA
45 dBA
Class A Emitter to
55 dBA
55 dBA
45 dBA
Sound levels determined by the Police Department through measurement to be in excess of these values shall constitute proof of excessive noise and violation of this article.
B. 
Mufflers. No person shall discharge into the open air the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, air compressor equipment, motorboat, motor vehicle, or other power device which is not equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any unnecessary noise, and no such muffler or exhaust system shall be modified or used with a cutoff, bypass or similar device.
C. 
Trucks, other vehicles or mobile sources of noise. No braking device or dynamic braking device shall operate or be operated so as to squeal, screech or otherwise create a noise which would cause discomfort or annoyance to a reasonable person of normal sensitiveness. This subsection shall be in effect all hours and applies to all motor vehicles, trucks or otherwise.
D. 
Impulse noise.
(1) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 80 dB peak sound pressure level during nighttime hours.
(2) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 100 dB peak sound pressure level at anytime.
E. 
Noise excursions. In measuring compliance with noise zone standards of § 300-5A, the following short-term noise level excursions over the noise level standards established by this article shall be allowed, and measurements within these ranges of established standards shall constitute compliance therewith.
Allowable Levels Above Standards
(dBA)
Time Period of Such Levels
(minutes per hour)
3
15
6
7.5
8
5
This article shall not apply to:
A. 
Sound generated by natural phenomena.
B. 
The unamplified sounding of the human voice.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original subsection (3), pertaining to the unamplified sound made by any wild or domestic animal, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 10-9-2012.
C. 
Sound created by bells, carillons or chimes associated with specific religious observances and/or organizations.
D. 
Sound created by a public emergency sound signal attached to an authorized emergency vehicle in the immediate act of responding to an emergency or located within or attached to a building, pole or other structure for the purpose of sounding or testing an alarm relating to fire or emergency management.
E. 
Sound created by safety and protective devices.
F. 
Farming equipment or farming activity.
G. 
Backup alarms require by OSHA or other state or federal safety regulations.
H. 
Sound created by the pickup of refuse, trash or recyclable materials except for defective or improperly maintained parts of a vehicle, which shall be a violation hereof if a vehicle exceeds noise levels herein.
I. 
Sound created by construction activities on or uses of state or federal facilities, lands or rights-of-ways.
J. 
Sound created by ski areas or nighttime maintenance activities at a commercial site.
K. 
Sound created by nonprofit or religious events which are activities otherwise permitted with the ordinances and Zoning Regulations of the Town of Southington.
Exempted from this article are:
A. 
Noise generated by engine-powered or motor-driven lawn care or maintenance equipment shall be exempted between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., provided that noise discharged from exhausts is adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.
B. 
Noises created by snow removal equipment at any time shall be exempted, provided that such equipment shall be maintained in good repair so as to minimize noise, and noise discharged from exhausts shall be adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.
C. 
Annual or semiannual events of nonprofit organizations or patriotic or public celebrations, such as parades, carnivals and fireworks displays, not extending beyond 11:00 p.m., are exempted, provided that a permit has been obtained in advance from the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals or Chief of Police, as applicable.
D. 
Noises created by emergency generators at any time when they are being used because of power outages, provided that such equipment shall be maintained in good repair so as to minimize noise, and noise discharged from exhausts shall be adequately muffled to prevent loud and/or explosive noises therefrom.
For the purpose of determining noise levels as set forth in this article, the following guidelines shall be applicable:
A. 
All personnel conducting sound measurements shall be trained in the current techniques and principles of sound measuring equipment and instrumentation.
B. 
Instruments used to determine sound level measurements shall conform to the sound level meters as defined by this article.
C. 
The general steps listed below shall be followed when preparing to take sound level measurements:
(1) 
The instrument manufacturer's specific instructions for the preparation and use of the instrument shall be followed.
(2) 
The sound level meter shall be calibrated before and after each set of measurements.
(3) 
The sound level meter shall be placed at an angle to the sound source as specified by the manufacturer's instructions and at least four feet above the ground. It shall be placed so as not to be interfered with by individuals conducting the measurements.
(4) 
Measurements shall be taken and documented at a point that is located approximately one foot beyond the boundary of the emitter's premises within the noise receptor's premises as measured by triangulation and/or public land records. The emitter's premises includes his/her individual unit of land or group of contiguous parcels under the same ownership as indicated by public land records.
A. 
Enforcement. The Southington Police Department shall be responsible for the enforcement of any prohibited activity listed in this article and for the conducting of any activity listed in this article outside of the hours during which these activities may be conducted. When it has been determined that a violation has occurred, it shall constitute an infraction of a local ordinance and shall be prosecuted as such.
B. 
Penalty for violation. Any person in violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be fined. Each day on which a violation occurs or continues after the time for correction of the violation given in the order has elapsed shall be considered a separate violation of this article. Fines are listed in the Fine Schedule, § 37-2 of this Code, and posted on the Town of Southington website.
[Amended 10-9-2012]
In the event a repetitive noise occurs, which noise causes the structure or any portion thereof of the reception site to vibrate or move, or creates a rumble, movement, shakings or bass vibrative sound which can be sensed by a police officer or other Town employee therein, there shall occur a violation of this article. This section applies to emitters covered by this article and not to all emitters of noise within the Town of Southington.
[Adopted 3-13-2006 (Ch. 9, Art. IV, of the 1989 Code)]
The intent of this article is to protect, preserve and promote the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Southington through the regulation of noise generated by construction activity, as defined herein.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
Any and all physical activity at a site necessary or incidental to the erection, placement, demolition, assembling, altering, blasting, cleaning, repairing, installing or equipping of buildings or other structures, roads, driveways, premises, parks, utility lines or other property, and shall include refuse, recyling and solid waste collection, excavating, mowing, landscaping, filling and paving, provided that any such activity is being performed by a person or entity for profit.
[Amended 10-11-2016]
[Amended 10-11-2016]
Construction activity, except refuse, recycling and solid waste collection, is hereby prohibited in the Town of Southington before 7:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and before 11:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and any legal holiday as set forth in C.G.S. § 1-4. Refuse, recycling and solid waste collection is prohibited in all residential zones before 5:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The prohibition for collection of refuse, recycling and solid waste shall be suspended for the weeks that a legal holiday, as defined by the state, occurs. This article shall also be suspended during the weeks that a National Weather Service-named storm affects Southington.
The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this article:
A. 
Snow removal.
B. 
[1]Farming activities.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection B, which listed refuse and solid waste collection as an exemption, was repealed 10-11-2016. This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection C as Subsection B.
The Chief of Police or any member of the Southington Police Department is charged with enforcing the provisions of this article.
Any person, corporation or entity violating this article shall be subject to a fine. All fines made pursuant to this article shall be payable to the Town of Southington. Fines are listed in the Fine Schedule, § 37-2 of this Code, and posted on the Town of Southington website.
Any person, corporation or entity fined pursuant to this article may appeal such fine to the Board of Police Commissioners or its designee within 30 days of issuance of such fine and then, if necessary, to the Superior Court.