[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Evans 4-19-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is entitled the "Town of Evans Noise Control Law."
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Evans to control excessive, unnecessary, unreasonable or unusually loud noise. This chapter is intended to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare. The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained are enacted generally pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law, § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)a(11), and specifically pursuant to Town Law § 130, Subdivision 11.
For the purposes of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- Any act or combination of acts which causes the production of sound.
- The American National Standards Institute or its successor bodies.
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND LEVEL
- The frequency-weighted sound pressure level (in decibels) measured on a sound-level meter with an A-weighted scale as specified in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications for sound-level meters (ANSI No. 4 1971).
- Any activity necessary or incidental to the erection, demolition, assembling, altering, installing or equipping of buildings, public or private highways, roads, premises, parks, utility lines or other property, including but not limited to related activities, such as land clearing, grading, earthmoving, excavating, blasting, filling and landscaping, but not including agriculture.
- The logarithm of the ratio of a quantity to a reference of the same kind. The base of logarithm is 10.
- Any person who has regular control of a device or site, including but not limited to the owner of a freehold of the premises, or any lesser estate therein, or an agent or lessee of such person.
- Any individual, partnership, company, public or private corporation, association, firm, organization, political subdivision, governmental agency, administration or department, municipality trust, estate, group of individuals or any other legal entity.
- REAL PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line exterior to any structure, along the ground surface, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, and the vertical extension of such line.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, that is designated for or capable of cross-country travel, such as a motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), trail bike, minibike or a snowmobile. A "recreational vehicle" is also classed as motor vehicle when such "recreational vehicle" is operated or driven upon a public highway.
- REFUSE-COMPACTING VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which is either designed to be used or is used to compact and transfer refuse, garbage or trash.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The quantity in decibels measured by a sound-level meter satisfying the requirements of American National Specification for Sound-Level Meters S1.4-1971. This publication is available from the American National Standards Institute, Inc., 1430 Broadway, New York, 10018. "Sound level" is the frequency-weighted sound-pressure level obtained with the standardized dynamic characteristic fast or slow and weighting A, B or C; unless indicated otherwise, the A-weighting with a slow response is understood.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument, including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency-weighing network for the measurement of sound levels. "Sound-level meters" shall conform to the requirements of ANSI specifications for sound-level meters S1.4-1971, Types 1, 2, S1A or S2A.
- SOUND-PRESSURE LEVEL
- Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the root mean squared pressure of a sound to a reference pressure of 20 micropascals. The unit applied to this measure shall be the decibel (dB).
Any act in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is deemed to be in violation of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall restrict any right which any person may have under any statute, including but not limited to the Environmental Conservation Law, the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the Labor Law and the Industrial Code, or common law, to seek enforcement of any noise-control requirement or to seek any other relief.
It shall be prima facie evidence that an activity is in violation of this chapter when a sound-level meter determines that the decibel level of a particular activity is in excess of the standards hereinafter set forth. All measurements will be made on the A-2 weighted sound level of a sound-level meter with a slow response, at a point or points no nearer the source of the activity than the measuring points hereinafter identified.
The following noise shall be prohibited:
Building construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tool or equipment used in construction, drilling or demolition work, including but not limited to the excavation, alteration, construction or repair of any building between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except in the case of an emergency or in the interest of the public safety and then only with the permit of the Building Inspector, which permit may be issued for a maximum period of three days during the continuance of such emergency.
Refuse compacting. The operation of a refuse-compacting vehicle in the process of compacting or collecting refuse contained in a dumpster or similar receptacle between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., or the operation of a refuse-compacting vehicle in the process of compacting or collecting refuse contained in individual garbage cans between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Certain power equipment. Operating or permitting to be operated a lawn mower, chainsaw, log splitter or similar power equipment between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Exceptions are granted for the emergency removal of trees and limbs from streets and highways and for any tree service contracted to by the Town of Evans.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated any recreational vehicle off a public highway at any time, at any speed or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or declaration or in any manner whatsoever as to exceed 85 dB(A) measured at a distance of no less than 50 feet from such recreational vehicle.
[Amended 4-1-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992; 12-15-1993 by L.L. No. 13-1993
No person shall operate or permit to be operated a sound system, band or other live entertainment, including but not limited to a stereo system or other amplified forms of sound reproduction, at, but not limited to, a restaurant, bar, cafe, arcade, discotheque, dance hall business or private residence from which the sound level is equal to or exceeds 65 db(A) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., or in which the sound level is equal to or exceeds 60 db(A) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. measured out-of-doors at any point on the property line of such residence, place of business, public entertainment or amusement.
[Amended 12-15-1993 by L.L. No. 13-1993]
Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined an amount of money not to exceed $250 or be imprisoned for not more than 15 days, or both for each offense. Each occurrence in violation of the provisions of this chapter constitutes a separate violation.
The purpose of this section is to provide for variances from this chapter in cases where the strict application thereof would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships inconsistent with the general purpose and objectives of this chapter.
Any variance to this chapter may be granted by the Town Board of the Town of Evans in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth herein. In granting a variance, the Board may impose conditions to protect the best interests of the inhabitants of the premises, surrounding property owners and occupants, the immediate neighborhood and the Town as a whole.
Variances may be instituted by filing an application with the Town Clerk using forms supplied by the Town Board, which shall include all information to be considered by the Town Board necessary to make its findings under Subsection D herein.
Any variance of the provisions of this chapter may be granted only in the event that at least one of the following circumstances is specifically found to exist by the Town Board, and is so stated in the Board's findings:
That the strict application of said provisions of this chapter would result in a specified unnecessary hardship to the applicant which arises because of exceptional or extraordinary circumstances to which the applicant is subject, and which do not generally apply to other property owners or occupants in similar circumstances or other circumstances over which the applicant has no control.
That the property in question cannot yield a reasonable financial return if used in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
That the variance would not be materially detrimental to the purposes of this chapter or to the owners or occupants of property in the district in which the property is located, and that the variance requested is the minimum variance which would alleviate the specific unnecessary found by the Board to affect the applicant.
Within 30 days of receipt by the Town Board of a completed application for a variance, the Board shall give notice by public advertisement in the official newspaper of a public hearing to be held on the application not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days after such notice. Within 30 days of the completion of the public hearing, the Board shall grant, grant with conditions or deny the variance for which application has been made. The decision of the Board shall be in writing and shall contain each of the findings specified in Subsection C and the factual basis for each finding from the record of the hearing which shall support the decision of the Board.