[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clay 5-1-1978 as Ch. 68 of the 1978 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Noise Ordinance of the Town of Clay."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT NOISE
- The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment being usually a composite of sounds from many sources far and near.
- A unit of level when the base of a logarithm is 10. Use of the "bel" is restricted to levels of quantities proportional to power.
- A weighted sound pressure level in accordance with the requirements set forth in IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Recommendation Publication 179.
- A weighted sound pressure level in accordance with the requirements set forth in the draft secretariat revision, November 1967, of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Recommendation Publication 507.
- One-tenth of a bel and a unit of level when the base of the logarithm is the 10th root of 10, and the quantities concerned are proportional to power.
- The frequency of a function periodic in time is the reciprocal of the period. The unit is a cycle per unit time (C.P.S.) or hertz (Hz).
- A unit of pressure commonly used in acoustics and equal to one dyne per square centimeter.
- Any undesired sound or unwanted disturbance, such as a substantial increase in the ambient noise caused by the operation of any mechanism or device.
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- An instrument for the measurement of noise and sound levels in a specified manner; an instrument which includes a microphone, amplifier, output meter and frequency weighting meter-works.
- SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- The sound pressure level, in decibels, of a sound is 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of this sound to the reference pressure, which reference pressure must be explicitly stated.
- STEADY-STATE NOISE
- Any noise having a duration in excess of one minute; the limits of Table 1 of this chapter shall apply.
- TRANSIENT NOISE
- Any noise having the duration of one minute or less; the limits of Table 1 of this chapter shall apply.
- WEIGHTED SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
- A sound pressure level in decibels that is weighted as a function of a specific frequency response, as required by IEC 179 or ISO 507.
It is hereby declared to be a town policy to prevent any unreasonable noise detrimental to the public welfare. The prohibitory clauses of this chapter shall not apply to mechanisms or devices used in the home and real property maintenance, repair and improvement. The following examples are inclusive but not exclusive: lawn mowers, hedge clippers, power saws, snowblowers and rototillers, so long as such mechanisms or devices are used between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The following acts are prohibited:
Noise associated with the use and operation of motorcycles, snowmobiles and motor scooters in such a manner that noise in excess of normal sounds of operation are created, and in no event in excess of the noise level limits set forth in Table 1 hereof.
Noise caused by the acceleration and deceleration of automobiles, specifically including noise caused by screeching of tires on pavement.
Noise associated with the private rebuilding, tuning and testing of motor vehicles on private property and public streets, other than at duly established garages or race tracks designed for the building, tuning and testing of such vehicles.
Noise associated with the use or operation of any radio, phonograph or use of any musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume so as to disturb the repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or other residence, and in no event in excess of the noise level limits set forth in Table 1 hereof.
Noise associated with the keeping of any animal or bird, except livestock kept on operating farms, which shall disturb the comfort or repose or damage the business of persons residing or conducting business in the immediate vicinity thereof, or their guests or customers in excess of the ambient noise level, and in no event in excess of the noise level limits set forth in Table 1 hereof.
[Amended 8-20-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
Noise associated with the discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine or motor vehicle engine, except through a muffler or other device which will prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom by reason of its design and operation.
Noise originating from noise-making devices, explosives, or mechanisms designed to alarm or frighten birds and animals used between the hours of 1/2 hour after official local sundown time and 1/2 hour before official local sunrise time.
Noise associated with the erection, excavation, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or other construction, reconstruction, or demolition activity other than between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, or between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, except in the event that a finding of urgent necessity in the interest of public welfare or safety may be made by the Commissioner of Planning and Development who shall then issue a permit to allow such activity. Such permit may be requested for a period of three days or less while the emergency continues.
[Amended 8-15-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-01]
Noise on the streets adjacent to any school, institution of learning or court while the same is in session or adjacent to any hospital or nursing home, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, court, hospital or nursing home upon the complaint of a representative of such school, court, hospital or nursing home.
Noise caused by peddlers, hawkers and vendors in soliciting trade which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Except as hereinafter provided, noise associated with the use of any musical instrument, radio apparatus or talking machine with loudspeaker or amplifier attached thereto in such a manner that the same shall cause the sound from such musical instrument, radio apparatus or talking machine to be projected outside of any building or out-of-doors; or the use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker or amplifier which is in any way fastened to or connected with any outside wall or window. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the operation of a musical instrument, radio apparatus or talking machine used in a reasonable manner by any person within any building, structure or automobile, provided that the same shall not project the sound therefrom directly outside of any building or out-of-doors, nor is the projection of such sound out-of-doors prohibited provided it is confined to a private recreation area and does not exceed the noise level limits set forth in Table 1 hereof.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any mechanism, device, or equipment including any engine, motor, amplifier, speaker, bell, horn, drum, hoist, pump, exhaust fan, attic fan, air-conditioning apparatus or similar mechanical device, in such a manner as to create a noise at the offender's property line exceeding the level set forth in Table 1 hereof.
The Commissioner of Planning and Development may issue, at his or her discretion, a special permit to allow noise levels above the stated levels to permit a charitable activity or special event of unusual interest to be conducted by a not-for-profit or public service organization or by the town government. Such special permit shall be issued for a period of time of not more than 12 hours, nor for more than three consecutive days.
[Added 10-19-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-02]
Emergency equipment is not required to meet noise level (decibel) limitations during actual emergency use.
Any person or organization committing an offense against any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense for each day (24 hours) shall be deemed a distinct and separate offense.