Town of Boonton, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Boonton by Ord. No. 13-91. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Whereas excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety, and the quality of life; and, a substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated; and, the people have a right to, and should be ensured an environment free from excessive sound, therefore, it is the policy of the Town of Boonton 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 stationary sources within the limits of the Town of Boonton.
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMERCIAL AREA
A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY
Any premises, property, or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
A. 
Banking and other financial institutions.
B. 
Dining establishments.
C. 
Establishments for providing retail services.
D. 
Establishments for providing wholesale services.
E. 
Establishments for recreation and entertainment.
F. 
Office buildings.
G. 
Transportation.
H. 
Warehouses.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
DECIBEL (dB)
The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level; the number of decibels of a measured sound is equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound (20 micropascals); abbreviated dB.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, intentional destruction, or removal of buildings or structures.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary to 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, or abating life-threatening conditions.
INDUSTRIAL FACILITY
Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities, or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture, or production of durable or nondurable goods.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER
A sound dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gasses of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING
Any building wherein there are two or more dwelling units.
NOISE
Any sounds of such level and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, or which would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property throughout the state or in any portions thereof, but excludes all aspects of the employer-employee relationship concerning health and safety hazards within the confines of a place of employment.
A. 
Shall mean sounds which are prohibited at any level and do not require the measurement of sound levels for the determination of a violation of this chapter.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An officially designated employee of the municipality, of a group of municipalities or of the county, trained in the measurement of sound and empowered to issue a summons for violations of this chapter.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound that:
A. 
Endangers the safety or health of any person;
B. 
Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
C. 
Endangers personal or real property.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint-stock company, the state or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley that is leased, owned 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 imaginary line including its vertical extension that separates one parcel of real property from another; or
B. 
The vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
A group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Property used for human habitation, including but not limited to:
A. 
Private property used for human habitation;
B. 
Commercial living accommodations and commercial property used for human habitation;
C. 
Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation;
D. 
Community service property used for human habitation.
SOUND LEVEL
The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound level meter set for A-weighting; sound level is expressed in dBA.
SOUND LEVEL METER
An instrument used to measure sound level and conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI specification S1.4-1971.
WEEKDAY
Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a federal holiday.
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Noise Control Officers.
B. 
The Noise Control Officer shall have the power to:
(1) 
Coordinate the noise control activities of all municipal departments and cooperate with all other public bodies and agencies to the extent practicable.
(2) 
Review the actions of other municipal departments and advise such departments of the effect, if any, of such actions on noise control.
(3) 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this chapter.
(4) 
Grant permits for variances according to the provisions of § 194-8, provided the variances are consistent with regulations concerning noise control promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, N.J.A.C. 7:29.C.
C. 
The Noise Control Officer shall consult with the airport proprietor to recommend changes in airport operations to minimize any noise which the airport owner may have the authority to control in its capacity as proprietor. The Noise Control Officer shall report on his/her efforts to the governing body.
D. 
A person shall be qualified to be a Noise Control Officer if the person has satisfactorily completed any of the following:
(1) 
"Community Noise - A Short Course" offered by the Department of Environmental Science of Cook College, Rutgers, the State University;
(2) 
A program of tutoring and on-the-job training offered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Noise Control to its employees; or
(3) 
Education or experience or a combination thereof certified by the above Department as equivalent to the provisions of Subsection D(1) or (2) of this section.
E. 
Noise measurements made by Noise Control Officers shall be taken according to procedures specified by N.J.A.C. 7:29B, except as provided in § 194-5B.
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
A. 
All departments and agencies of the Town of Boonton shall carry out their programs according to law and shall cooperate with the Noise Control Officer in the implementation and enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
All departments charged with new projects or changes to existing projects that may result in the production of noise shall consult with the Noise Control Officer prior to the approval of such projects to insure that such activities comply with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on a particular category of property or any public space or right-of-way in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits set forth in Table I when measured at or within the real property line of the receiving property except as provided in § 194-5B.
B. 
When measuring noise within a dwelling unit of a multi-dwelling-unit building, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room.
C. 
The following are exempt from the sound level limits of Table I:
(1) 
Noise from domestic power tools, lawn mowers, and agricultural equipment when operated with a muffler between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays.
TABLE I. Maximum Permissible Sound Levels
by Receiving Property Category, in dBA
Receiving Property Category
Sound Source Property Category
Another Dwelling-Within a Multi-Dwelling- Unit Building
Residential
Commercial
Industrial
7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
All times
All times
Any location within a multi- dwelling- unit building
45
40
55
50
65
75
Residential
55
50
65
75
Commercial or public spaces or rights-of- way
65
50
65
75
Industrial
65
50
65
75
(2) 
Sound from church bells and church chimes when a part of a religious observance or service.
(3) 
Noise from construction activity provided all motorized equipment used in such activity is equipped with functioning mufflers, except as provided in § 194-6B(6).
(4) 
Noise from snowblowers, snow throwers, and snow plows when operated with a muffler for the purpose of snow removal.
(5) 
Noise from stationary emergency signaling devices that conforms with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:29.
(6) 
Noise from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle provided such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after it has been activated.
[Amended by Ord. No. 17-93; Ord. No. 4-99]
Acts which are prohibited and do not require the measurement of sound levels for the determination of a violation.
A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit to be made verbally or mechanically any noise disturbance. Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities conducted on any public space or public right-of-way shall be exempt from the operation of this subsection.
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the following acts:
(1) 
Sound reproduction systems. Operating, playing, or permitting the operation of playing of any radio, television, phonograph, or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance for any person other than the operator of the device.
(2) 
Loudspeakers and public address systems. Using or operating of any loudspeaker, public address system, or similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. in the following day, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
(3) 
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing, or harboring any pet animal or pet bird that frequently or for continued duration, makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential real property line (for the purpose of this chapter, a noise disturbance from a barking dog shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked).
(4) 
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of doors, boxes, crates, containers, building materials, liquids, garbage cans, refuse or similar objects, or the pneumatic or pumped loading or unloading of bulk materials in liquid, gaseous, powder, or pellet form, or the compacting of refuse by persons engaged in the business of scavenging or garbage collection, whether private or municipal, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a weekday and between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day when the latter is a federal holiday or a weekend day, except by permit, when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
[Amended 12-7-2015 by Ord. No. 26-2015]
(5) 
Standing motor vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle whose manufacturer's gross weight is in excess of 10,000 pounds, or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period of longer than five minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, on a public right-of-way or public space within 150 feet (46 meters) of a residential area between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. of the following day.
(6) 
Construction and demolition. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, earth moving, excavating or demolition work between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays, between 6:00 p.m. Friday and 9:00 a.m. Saturday or between 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 7:00 a.m. the following Monday, or at any time on federal holidays, except for:
(a) 
Emergency work;
(b) 
By variance issued pursuant to § 194-8; or
(c) 
When the sound level does not exceed any applicable limits specified in Table I of § 194-5.
C. 
In addition to those construction activities prohibited by Subsection B(6) above, no person shall operate or permit the operation of any heavy equipment used in construction, drilling, earth moving, excavating or demolition work between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. For purposes of this chapter, "heavy equipment" shall include all track equipment such as bulldozers and track backhoes. Only wheel backhoes and other small construction equipment may be used on Saturdays. This restriction shall not apply to:
(1) 
Emergency work;
(2) 
Work authorized by variance issued pursuant to § 194-8; or
(3) 
When the sound level does not exceed any applicable limit specified in Table I of § 194-5.
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency except as provided in § 194-5C(5) or (6);
(2) 
The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; or
(3) 
The emission of sound in situations within the jurisdiction of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
B. 
Noise from municipally sponsored or approved celebrations or events shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Noise from work performed by the Town of Boonton Department of Public Works.
D. 
Noise from contracts entered into by the Town of Boonton, the Boonton Board of Education and the New Jersey Fireman's Home for sanitation.
[Added 12-7-2015 by Ord. No. 31-2015]
[Amended by Ord. No. 4-99]
A. 
Any person who owns or operates any noise source may apply to the Noise Control Officer for a variance from one or more of the provisions of this chapter. Applications for a permit of variance shall supply information including, but not limited to:
(1) 
The nature and location of the noise source for which such application is made;
(2) 
The reason for which the permit of variance is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant, his/her client, or the public if the permit of variance is not granted;
(3) 
The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance;
(4) 
The subsection or subsections of this chapter for which the permit of variance shall apply;
(5) 
A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impacts occurring therefrom;
(6) 
A specific schedule of the noise control measures which shall be taken to bring the source into compliance with this chapter within a reasonable time;
B. 
Failure to supply the information required by the Noise Control Officer shall be cause for rejection of the application.
C. 
A copy of the permit of variance must be kept on file by the Municipal Clerk for public inspection.
D. 
The Noise Control Officer may charge the applicant a fee of $25 to cover expenses resulting from the processing of the permit of variance application.
E. 
The Noise Control Officer may, at his/her discretion, limit the duration of the permit of variance, which shall be no longer than one year. Any person holding a permit of variance and requesting an extension of time shall apply for a new permit of variance under the provisions of this chapter.
F. 
No variance shall be approved unless the applicant presents adequate proof that:
(1) 
Noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health; and
(2) 
Compliance with the section would impose an arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefits to the public.
G. 
In making the determination on granting a variance, the Noise Control Officer shall consider:
(1) 
The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, the health and welfare or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
(2) 
The social and economic value of the activity for which the variance is sought.
(3) 
The ability of the applicant to apply best practical noise control measures.
H. 
The permit of variance may be revoked by the Noise Control Officer if the terms of the permit of variance are violated.
I. 
A variance may be revoked by the Noise Control Officer if there is:
(1) 
Violation of one or more conditions of the variance;
(2) 
Material misrepresentation of fact in the variance application; or
(3) 
Material change in any of the circumstances relied upon by the Noise Control Officer in granting the variance.
A. 
Issuance of summons. Violation of any provision of this chapter requiring the measurement of sound levels shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the Noise Control Officer according to procedures set forth in the Statutes of the State of New Jersey. Violation of any provision of this chapter not requiring the measurement of sound levels shall be cause for a summons to be issued by the Noise Control Officer or police officer according to the procedures set forth in the statutes of the state.
B. 
Abatement orders.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), in lieu of issuing a summons as provided in Subsection A, the Noise Control Officer may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter within a reasonable time period and according to guidelines which the noise control officer may prescribe.
(2) 
An abatement order shall not be issued:
(a) 
If any person willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter; or
(b) 
If the Noise Control Officer has reason to believe that there will not be compliance with the abatement order.
C. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense of not more than $500, except as provided in Subsection C(2).
(2) 
Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty for each offense a sum of not less than $25 and not more than $500.
(3) 
If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense.
D. 
Other remedies. 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.