Town of Windsor, CT
Hartford County
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[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article:
AMBIENT NOISE or BACKGROUND NOISE
Noise of a measurable intensity which exists at a point as a result of a combination of many distant sources individually indistinguishable. In statistical terms, it is the level which is exceeded 90% of the time (L90) in which the measurement is taken.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the Town of Windsor or a duly authorized officer subject to his orders.
COMMERCIAL ZONE
All business zones (B-1, B-2, B-3) and professional zone, as defined in the zoning regulations of the Town of Windsor, and all uses associated therewith, either permitted as a right or as a special use.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, substantial repair, alteration, or similar action, but excluding demolition, for or of public or private rights-of-way, structures, utilities, or similar property.
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT
Any equipment or device operated by fuel or electric power, used in construction or demolition work.
DAY
The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and the hours 9:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.
DECIBEL
A logarithmic unit of measure used in measuring magnitudes of sound. The symbol is dB.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of structures, utilities, public or private right-of-way surfaces or similar property.
DOMESTIC POWER EQUIPMENT
But not be limited to, power saws, drills, grinders, lawn and garden tools and other domestic power equipment intended for use in residential areas by a homeowner.
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage, which demands immediate action.
EMERGENCY VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle authorized by the Town of Windsor to have sound warning devices, such as sirens and bells, which can lawfully be used when responding to an emergency.
EMERGENCY WORK
Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following an emergency, or work required to protect persons or property from exposure to imminent danger.
IMPULSE NOISE
Sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay.
INDUSTRIAL ZONE
All industrial (I-1 and I-2), wholesale and storage, and restricted commercial zones, as defined in the zoning regulations of the Town of Windsor, and all uses associated therewith, either permitted as a right or as a special use.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Defined as per Section 14-1(26) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
MUFFLER
A device for abating sounds such as escaping gases.
NIGHT
The hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Sunday evening through Saturday morning, except, that night shall mean the hours between 10:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. Sunday.
NOISE
Any sound, the intensity of which exceeds the standards set forth in Section 9-32 of this article.
NOISE LEVEL
The sound pressure level as measured with a sound level meter using the A-weighting network. The level so read is designated dB(A) or dBA.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, association, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, municipality, agency, or political or administrative subdivision of the state or other legal entity of any kind.
PREMISE
Any building, structure, land, or portion thereof, including all appurtenances, and shall include yards, lots, courts, inner yards, and real properties without buildings or improvements, owned or controlled by a person. The emitter's premise includes contiguous publicly dedicated street and highway rights-of-way, all road rights-of-way and waters of the state.
PROPERTY LINE
That real or imaginary line along the ground surface and its vertical extension which:
(a) 
Separates real property owned or controlled by any person from contiguous real property owned or controlled by another person; and
(b) 
Separates real property from the public right-of-way.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley, park, waterway, railroad or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Any internal combustion engine powered vehicle which is being used for recreational purposes.
RESIDENTIAL ZONE
All residential (AA, A, R-13, R-11, R-10, and R-8), NZ (public and quasi-public), PUD (planned urban development), and agricultural zones, as defined in the zoning regulations of the Town of Windsor, and all uses associated therewith, either permitted as a right or as a special use.
SOUND
A transmission of energy through solid, liquid, or gaseous media in the form of vibrations which constitute alterations in pressure or position of the particles in the medium and which, in air, evoke physiological sensations, including, but not limited to, an auditory response when impinging on the ear.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument used to take sound level measurements and which should conform, as a minimum, to the operational specifications of the American National Standards Institute for Sound Level Meters S1.4-1971 (Type S2A).
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of a sound to the reference pressure of 20 micronewtons per square meter (20 by 10-6 Newtons/meter2), and is expressed in decibels (dB).
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
For the purpose of determining noise levels as set forth in this article, the following guidelines shall be applicable:
(1) 
All personnel conducting sound measurements shall be trained in the current techniques and principles of sound-measuring equipment and instrumentation;
(2) 
Instruments used to determine sound level measurements shall conform to the sound level meters, as defined by this article;
(3) 
The general steps listed below shall be followed when preparing to take sound level measurements:
(a) 
The instrument manufacturer's specific instructions for the preparation and use of the instrument shall be followed;
(b) 
The sound level meter shall be calibrated before and after each set of measurements;
(c) 
When measurements are taken out-of-doors, a wind screen shall be placed over the microphone of the sound level meter, as per the manufacturer's instructions;
(d) 
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 so placed as not to be interfered with by individuals conducting the measurements;
(e) 
Measurements shall be taken at a point that is located about one foot beyond the boundary of the emitter's premise within the receptor's premise. The emitter's premise includes his/her individual unit of land or group of contiguous parcels under the same ownership as indicated by public land records;
(4) 
The recommended practices for determining statistical noise levels shall be those as outlined in the document entitled Connecticut Noise Survey Data Form No. 101.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
(a) 
Unlawful noise. It shall be unlawful for any person to emit or cause to be emitted any noise beyond the boundaries of his/her premise in excess of the noise levels established in these regulations.
(b) 
Noise level standards.
(1) 
No person in a residential zone shall emit noise beyond the boundaries of his/her premise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to adjacent residential, commercial or industrial zones:
Emitter's Zone: Residential
Receptor's Zone
Maximum Level
(dBA)
Industrial
62
Commercial
55
Residential/day
55
Residential/night
45
(2) 
No person in a commercial zone shall emit noise beyond the boundary of his/her premise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to adjacent residential, commercial or industrial zones:
Emitter's Zone: Commercial
Receptor's Zone
Maximum Level
(dBA)
Industrial
62
Commercial
62
Residential/day
55
Residential/night
45
(3) 
No person in an industrial zone shall emit noise beyond the boundary of his/her premise exceeding the levels stated herein and applicable to adjacent residential, commercial or industrial zones:
Emitter's Zone: Industrial
Receptor's Zone
Maximum Level
(dBA)
Industrial
70
Commercial
66
Residential/day
61
Residential/night
51
(c) 
High background noise levels and impulse noise.
(1) 
In those individual cases where the background noise levels caused by sources not subject to these regulations exceed the standards contained herein, a source shall be considered to cause excessive noise if the noise emitted by such source exceeds the background noise levels by five dBA, provided that no source subject to the provisions of this article shall emit noise in excess of 80 dBA at any time, and provided that this section, does not decrease the permissible levels of other sections of this article.
(2) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 80 dB peak sound pressure level during the nighttime to any residential noise zone.
(3) 
No person shall cause or allow the emission of impulse noise in excess of 100 dB peak sound pressure level at any time to any zone.
(d) 
Exclusions. These levels shall not apply to noise emitted by or related to:
(1) 
Natural phenomena;
(2) 
Any bell or chime from any building clock, school, or church;
(3) 
Any siren, whistle, or bell lawfully used by emergency vehicles or any other alarm systems used in an emergency situation; provided, however, that burglar alarms not terminating with 30 minutes after being activated shall be unlawful;
(4) 
Warning devices required by OSHA or other state or federal safety regulations;
(5) 
Farming equipment or farming activity.
(e) 
Exemptions. The following shall be exempt from these regulations, subject to special conditions as spelled out:
(1) 
Noise generated by any construction equipment which is operated between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., provided that the operation of construction equipment between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. shall not exceed the maximum noise levels as specified in Section 9-32(b);
(2) 
Noise created as a result of, or relating to an emergency;
(3) 
Noise from domestic power equipment such as, but not limited to, power saws, sanders, grinders, lawn and garden tools or similar devices operated between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Sundays;
(4) 
Noise from snow removal equipment;
(5) 
Noise from demolition work conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., provided that when considered emergency work, demolition shall be exempted at all times from the noise levels set in this regulation;
(6) 
Noise created by any aircraft flight operations which are specifically preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration;
(7) 
Noise created by any recreational activities which are permitted by law and for which a license or permit has been granted by the Town, including but not limited to parades, sporting events, concerts and firework displays;
(8) 
Noise created by blasting other than that conducted in connection with construction activities shall be exempted, provided that the blasting is conducted between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., local time, at specified hours previously announced to the local public, or provided that a permit for such blasting has been obtained from local authorities;
(9) 
Noise created by aircraft, or aircraft propulsion components designed for or utilized in the development of aircraft, under test conditions;
(10) 
Noise created by products undergoing tests, where one of the primary purposes of the test is evaluation of product noise characteristics and where practical noise control measures have been taken;
(11) 
Noise generated by transmission facilities, distribution facilities and substations of public utilities providing electrical power, telephone, cable television or other similar services and located on property which is not owned by the public utility and which may or may not be within utility easements.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
The following activities are prohibited:
(1) 
Vehicle horns. No person shall at any time sound any horn or other audible signal device of a motor vehicle, unless it is necessary as a warning to prevent or avoid a traffic accident;
(2) 
Truck idling. No person shall operate an engine of any standing motor vehicle with a weight in excess of 10,000 pounds manufacturer's gross vehicle weight (GVW) for a period in excess of 10 minutes, when such vehicle is parked on a residential premise or on a Town road next to a residential premise;
(3) 
Exhaust discharge. No person shall discharge into the ambient air the blow-down of any steam vent of the exhaust of any stationary internal combustion engine or air compressor equipment, unless such discharge be through a muffler as defined by Section 9-30 of this article or through an apparatus providing equal noise reduction.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
(a) 
All motor vehicles operated within the limits of the Town of Windsor shall be subject to the noise standards and decibel levels as found in Title 14, Section 14-80a-1 through 14-80a-18 of the Connecticut State Statutes.
(b) 
No sound amplifying devices on or within motor vehicles shall emit noise in excess of the noise levels as specified in Section 9-32(b).
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
(a) 
No person shall create or cause to be created any unreasonably loud or disturbing noise due to the operation of a recreational vehicle. A noise shall be deemed to be unreasonably loud and violation of this article under the following circumstances:
(1) 
When the noise so generated exceeds the noise level standards as set forth in Section 9-32; and
(2) 
Recreational vehicles shall also be in violation of this article if operated within a premise within 100 feet of the property line.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
(a) 
For the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of this article, the Chief of Police or his designated representative is hereby authorized to make inspections of all noise sources and to take measurements and make tests, whenever necessary, to determine the quantity and character of noise. In the event that any person refuses or restricts entry and free access to any part of a premise, or refuses inspection, testing or noise measurement of any activity, device, facility, or process where inspection is sought, the Chief of Police or his designated representative may seek from the appropriate court a warrant, without interference, restriction or obstruction, at a reasonable time, for the purpose of inspecting, testing or measuring noise.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to allow or permit the Chief of Police or his designated representative free access to any premise, when the Chief of Police or his designated representative is acting in compliance with a warrant for inspection and order issued by the appropriate court.
(c) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate the provisions of any warrant or court order requiring inspection, testing or measurement of noise sources.
(d) 
No person shall hinder, obstruct, delay, resist, prevent in any way, interfere or attempt to interfere with any authorized person while in the performance of his/her duties under this article.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
Any person in violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $25. Each day such violation continues after the time for correction of the violation has been given in an order, shall constitute a continuing violation and the amount of the fine shall be $50 for each day said violation continues.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
(a) 
Any person living or doing business in Windsor may apply to the Chief of Police for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this article, which are more stringent than the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regulations for the control of noise, providing that the applicant supplies all of the following information to the Chief of Police at least 20 days prior to the start of said activity:
(1) 
The location and nature of the activity;
(2) 
The time period and hours of operation of said activity;
(3) 
The nature and intensity of the noise that will be generated; and,
(4) 
Any other information required by the Chief of Police.
(b) 
No variance from these regulations shall be issued unless it has been demonstrated that:
(1) 
The proposed activity will not violate any provisions of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regulations;
(2) 
The noise levels generated by the proposed activity will not constitute a danger to the public health; and,
(3) 
Compliance with the regulations constitutes an unreasonable hardship on the applicant.
(c) 
The application for variance shall be reviewed and either approved or rejected at least five days prior to the proposed start of said activity. The approval or rejection shall be in writing and shall state the condition of approval, if any, or the reasons for rejection.
(d) 
Failure to rule on the application in the designated time shall constitute approval of the variance.
[Ord. No. 82-4, 6-21-1982]
Any written agreement, purchase order or contract, whereby the Town of Windsor is committed to an expenditure of funds in return for work, labor, services, supplies, equipment, materials or any combination thereof, shall not be entered into unless such agreement, purchase order or instrument contains provisions that any equipment or activities which are subject to the provisions of this article will be operated, constructed, conducted or manufactured without violating the provisions of this article.