[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Hudson 12-15-1987 by L.L. No. 8-1987 (Ch. 73 of the 1973 Code); amended in its entirety 10-17-2006 by L.L. No. 14-2006. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "City of Hudson Noise Control Code."
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the City of Hudson to maintain and reduce, whenever necessary, the ambient noise level in the City so as to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare and the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the City; foster the convenience and comfort of its inhabitants; and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural, cultural and historic attractions of the City. It is the public policy of the City that every person is entitled to ambient noise levels that are not detrimental to life, health, welfare, and the enjoyment of his or her property. It is hereby declared that the making, creation or maintenance of unreasonable noises, as further defined herein, within the City boundaries affects and is a menace to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and the prosperity of the inhabitants of the City.
This chapter shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the legislative intent of this section but is not intended to be construed as to discourage the enjoyment by residents of normal, reasonable and usual activities.
Nothing herein shall abridge the powers and responsibilities of the City Police Department to enforce the provisions of this code or provisions of § 240.20 of the New York State Penal Law related to disorderly conduct, or any other applicable provision of state or federal law, including but not limited to § 375 or 386 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
All terminology defined herein which relates to the nature of sound and the mechanical detection and recording of sound shall be interpreted to be in conformance with the terminology of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- "A" LEVEL (an abbreviation for the "A-weighted sound level")
- The unit of measure of the sound level of all noise as measured with a sound level meter using the "A" weighting network of the meter. The A-weighting scale corresponds to the approximate frequency sensitivity of the human ear. The units of measurement are decibels (dB). As an abbreviation indicating the sound level has been A-weighted, the units may be expressed as "dB(A)." All references to "decibel" shall be presumed to mean "dB(A)" unless otherwise specified.
- AMBIENT NOISE
- All-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources near and far, but excluding unreasonable noise, as the term "unreasonable noise" is defined herein.
- AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE
- Every ambulance and vehicle operated by the City of Hudson Police or Fire Department, County Sheriff's Department, other police agency or fire department, or authorized public utility company when on an emergency call.
- AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY AIRCRAFT
- Every aircraft, including helicopters, operated by or on behalf of the City of Hudson Police or Fire Department, County Sheriff's Department or other police agency or fire department.
- BUILDING APERTURE
- Any designated opening in a building to which a person may reasonably have access, including but not limited to any door, gate, window, skylight or hatch.
- Any activity necessary or incidental to the erection, demolition, assembling, altering, installing or equipping of buildings, public or private highways, roads, premises, parks, utility lanes or other property, including but not limited to related activities such as land clearing, grading, earthmoving, excavating, blasting, filling and landscaping.
- The measurement units of sound level: 1/10 of a bel; a unit of measure used to express either: (1) The absolute sound pressure level as the logarithm of the sound power or intensity to a reference sound pressure of 20 micronewtons per square meter; or (2) The relative difference in sound pressure level, in sound power or intensity, between two acoustic signals, equal to 10 times the common logarithm of the ratio of the two sound powers or intensities, or the arithmetic difference in absolute sound pressure levels.
- EMERGENCY SIGNAL DEVICE
- Any gong, horn, whistle or siren, the use of which is permitted on emergency vehicles pursuant to § 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
- The number of sound pressure oscillations per second, expressed in hertz, abbreviated as "Hz."
- IMPULSIVE SOUND
- Either a single pressure peak or a burst of repetitive peaks (multiple pressure peaks) that has a duration of less than one second.
- Any individual, partnership or company, corporation, association, firm, organization, governmental agency or any other group of individuals or officer or employee thereof.
- REAL PROPERTY LINE
- An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristics of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound-level meter and frequency weighting network, such as A, B or C, as specified in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications for sound-level meters. If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- Any instrument, including a microphone, amplifier, an output meter and frequency reading networks, for the measurement of noise and sound levels in a specified manner and which complies with standards established by the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) specifications for sound-level meters, ANSI S1.4-1983 (R2006), as amended. A meter meeting ANSI Type 2 specifications or better shall be used. The sound-level meter shall be used on the "slow" meter setting unless impulsive sources are being measured, in which case the "fast" setting shall be used.
- SOUND SOURCE
- Any person, animal, device, operation, process, activity, or phenomenon which emits or causes sound.
- SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICE
- A device intended primarily for the production or reproduction of sound, including but not limited to any musical instrument, radio receiver, television receiver, phonograph, tape player, tape deck, compact disc player or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound.
- TONAL SOUND
- Any sound in which one or more discrete frequency tones are clearly audible.
- UNREASONABLE NOISE
- Any excessive, unusually loud or offensive sound which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
No person shall make, continue, cause or permit to be made or continued any unreasonable noise as defined in § 210-3.
The following acts are declared to be prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter:
Any unreasonable noise from any source, unless otherwise specifically exempted from this section or § 210-7, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day.
Noise from a dog or other domestic animal that is continuous and exceeds 15 minutes.
Noise from a burglar alarm or other alarm system of any building, motor vehicle, or boat which is continuous and exceeds 15 minutes.
The erection, including excavation, demolition, alteration or repair of any building between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except in the case of an urgent necessity in the interest of public safety or by permit issued by the Building Inspector of the City.
The operation of gasoline or electric power equipment in residential zones outdoors between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day, except snowblowers, snow throwers, or snowplows as provided for in § 210-7G.
The sounding of any horn or signaling device of an automobile, motorcycle, boat or other vehicle for any unnecessary or unreasonable period of time.
The making of improper noise or disturbance or operating of an automobile or motorcycle in such a manner to cause excessive squealing or other excessive noise of the tires.
Offering for sale anything by shouting or outcrying upon the public streets or sidewalks.
The operation or use of a steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler except to give notice of the time to start and stop work or as a sound to signal imminent danger.
Schools, hospitals and courts. No person shall cause or permit the creation of any unreasonable noise through the use of any device, or by any other means, on any street adjacent to any school or court while the same is in session or adjacent to any hospital. The standard for unreasonable noise in these areas shall be more stringent than other areas of the City.
Sound reproduction devices.
No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any sound reproduction device in such a manner as to create unreasonable noise.
No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any sound reproduction device for commercial or business advertising purposes or for the purpose of attracting attention to any performance, show or sale or display of merchandise in connection with any commercial or business enterprise, including those engaged in the sale of sound reproduction devices in front of or outside of any building, place or premises or through an aperture of such building, place or premises abutting on or adjacent to a public street, park or place, or from any vehicle operated or standing in or on any public street, park or place where the sound therefrom may be heard from any public street, park or place or from any stand, platform or other structure or from any airplane or other device used for flying over the City or from any boat within waters in the jurisdiction of the City or anywhere on the public streets, parks or places. Nothing in this subsection is intended to prohibit incidental sounds emanating from a public sporting, entertainment or public event not otherwise unlawful.
No person shall operate a sound reproduction device in any bus operated by the City in such a manner that the sound emanating from such sound reproduction device is audible to another person.
Animals. No person shall permit an animal, including a bird, under his or her control, to cause unreasonable noise.
Emergency signal device. No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated or used any emergency signal device except on an authorized emergency vehicle when such vehicle is in the act of responding to an emergency.
Motor vehicles. No person shall use or cause to be used any automobile, motorcycle or other machine propelled by an internal-combustion engine which creates unreasonable noise.
Commercial music. No person shall make or cause or permit to be made or caused any music originating from or in connection with the operation of any commercial establishment or enterprise when the level of sound of such music, as measured inside any residential unit, is in excess of 50 dB(A), as measured with a sound-level meter, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day.
Motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit to be operated any motor vehicle or motorcycle at any time or under any condition whatsoever in violation of maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels specified in § 386 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. No person shall operate or permit to be operated any sound reproduction device operated from inside such motor vehicle where the sound level due to such operation exceeds 65 dB(A).
No person shall operate any machinery, equipment, pump, fan, exhaust fan, attic fan, air-conditioning apparatus, air compressor or similar mechanical device in such a manner as to create any noise exceeding 65 dB(A) at a residential property line.
Base noise levels for land use zones.
Any sound which exceeds by five dB(A) the ambient noise level shall be deemed to be an unreasonable noise; however, in no event may any sound exceed the following sound noise levels in the specified general land use areas.
Where the sound alleged to be offending is of a type or character set forth below, the following adjustments shall be arithmetically added to the sound level of the alleged offending noise for purposes of comparison against the base level noise levels set forth in subsection D(1) of this section or § 210-5H:
Except for noise emanating from any electrical transformer or gas metering and pressure control equipment existing and installed prior to the effective date of the ordinance enacting this chapter, add five dB(A) to any steady tone with audible fundamental frequency or overtones over 200 Hz.
Add five dB(A) to any repeated impulsive noise consisting of sounds of repeated short-duration bursts, such as, but not limited to, pile drivers, jackhammers, and nailing guns.
All noise measurements shall be made at or within the property line of the property of the affected person and shall be taken in accordance with such sound measurement procedures and regulations as the Mayor shall adopt and update as necessary.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following acts:
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting a person to the existence of an emergency;
The emission of sound from any authorized emergency vehicle or authorized emergency aircraft while responding to an emergency;
Noise from municipally sponsored or cosponsored celebrations or events;
Noise from individually sponsored events where a permit for public assembly or other relevant permission has been obtained from the City Clerk or the Mayor;
The operation or use of any bell, chimes, or other instrument from any church, synagogue, temple, mosque or school licensed or chartered by the State of New York, provided such operation or use does not occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day;
Noise generated by the installation and maintenance of utilities.
The operation of snowblowers, snow throwers or snowplows, provided such operation does not occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day.
The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by any police officer of the Hudson City Police Department or City Code Enforcement Official. Where enforcement of this chapter is accomplished with the use of a sound-level meter, such Hudson City Police Officer or City Code Enforcement Officer must maintain and operate the sound-level meter in accordance with all manufacturer instructions and in conformity with regulations adopted pursuant to § 210-6D(3) of this chapter.
In making a determination that the noise or sound is unreasonable, the officer shall consider the time and location of the occurrence and the complaint of the person alleging violation of this code. The officer may cite the alleged violator for violations of this code and, in the case of sound reproduction devices, may confiscate the sound reproduction device to be used as evidence to demonstrate that the alleged violator had such device and that it was operable and to demonstrate the volume at which it was being played at the time and place of occurrence.
Any person committing any act in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 days or by a fine not exceeding $250, or by both such a fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.