Town of Ossining, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ossining 1-25-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Cabarets — See Ch. 68.
Barking dogs — See Ch. 74, Art. I.
Explosives — See Ch. 89.
Firearms — See Ch. 94.
Parks — See Ch. 138.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 130, Noise, adopted 6-23-1981 by L.L. No. 4-1981.
The Town of Ossining recognizes that excessive noise is detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and is inimical to the predominantly residential character of the Town. The purpose of this enactment is to prohibit the creation of unreasonably loud or disturbing noise.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AFFECTED PERSON
Any person who has registered a noise complaint with an authorized enforcement agency that he or she is the receptor of noise on a property which is in a protected property category, and said affected person has an interest in the protected property as an owner, tenant, or employee.
A.N.S.I.
The American National Standards Institute or its successor body.
DECIBEL (dB)
A unit for measuring the loudness of sounds.
HOLIDAYS
Those days recognized as holidays by New York State.
MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING
Any building comprising two or more dwelling units, including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, co-ops, multiple-family houses, townhouses, and attached residences.
MULTI-USE PROPERTY
Any distinct parcel of land that is used for more than one category of activity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
A. 
A commercial, residential, industrial or public service property having boilers, incinerators, elevators, automatic garage doors, air conditioners, laundry rooms, utility provisions, or health and recreational facilities, or other similar devices or areas, either in the interior or on the exterior of the building, which may be a source of elevated sound levels at another location on the same distinct parcel of land which is in a different category; or
B. 
A building which is both commercial (usually on the ground floor) and residential (located above, behind, below or adjacent).
NOISE-SENSITIVE
Activities which should be conducted under conditions of exceptional quiet, including, but not limited to, operation of schools, libraries open to the public, houses of worship, and outpatient medical facilities.
REAL PROPERTY LINE
Either:
A. 
The imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one parcel of real property from another;
B. 
The vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is part of a multi-dwelling unit building; or
C. 
On a multi-use property, the interface between the two portions of the property on which different categories of activity are being performed (e.g., if the multi-use property is a building which is residential upstairs and commercial downstairs, then the real property line would be the interface between the residential area and the commercial area).
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
A receiving land use classification in this Code, which refers to 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, such as a hotel or apartment house.
C. 
Hospitals, long-term medical or residential care facilities.
SOUND LEVEL
The weighted sound-pressure level obtained by the use of a sound-level meter utilizing the A-weighting network, as specified in ANSI specifications for sound-level meters (ANSI Standard 1.4-1971, or the latest approved revision thereof).
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument for the measurement of sound levels which conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards under ANSI Specifications S1.4-1971 or the latest approved revision thereof.
SOUND-PRODUCTION DEVICE
Any device that is used for the production of sound, including, but not limited to, any musical instrument, loudspeaker, radio, television, tape recorder, phonograph, or any other sound-producing or sound-amplifying equipment.
ZONING DISTRICT
Any zone as defined in Chapter 200, Zoning, of this Code.
This chapter shall be applied only to facilities and operations about which an affected person has lodged a complaint with an authorized enforcement agent or agency. Unless otherwise specified, compliance determinations shall be conducted only on the property of the affected person regardless of whether there are other receptors in closer proximity to the source under investigation. The requirement of a complaint does not apply to portable or vehicular sound sources operated in a public space or public right-of-way.
A. 
No person shall operate or permit to be operated in the Town of Ossining any sound source that produces a sound level exceeding the limitations in this section. The measurement of any sound or noise shall be made with a sound-level meter using the A-weighted scale and slow response, except for sounds or noises that occur in single or multiple bursts with a duration of less than one second for which fast response shall be used. Compliance determinations for plainly audible sound shall be made with the unaided hearing faculties.
B. 
Customary residential activities. Customary residential activities on properties within any residential zoning district, including social gatherings (between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.), and deliveries of home heating oil shall not be regulated by this chapter except for specific activities or noise sources that are subject to and governed by §§ 130-5 and 130-6. The pick-up of residential waste and recyclable materials, while the vehicle is on a public right-of-way, shall not be regulated by this chapter. This exemption does not extend to the collection of commercial waste and recyclable materials, or the operations on the property of a facility serving as a base of operations for such hauling.
C. 
Maximum permissible sound levels by use occupancy.
(1) 
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any source of sound from any use occupancy in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the limits set forth in the use occupancy category in Table I. These limits may not be exceeded by incidents representing the normal, usual operation of the sound source, during any three sampling intervals, the duration of which shall be no less than 1/2 minute, within any one-hour period. If the total duration of the sound under investigation is less than 1 1/2 minutes, the requirement for three measurements shall be waived.
Table I
Maximum Permissible Sound-Level Limits by Receiving Land Use
dB(A)
Measurement
Residential
7:00 a.m. to
10:00 p.m.
Noise-Sensitive
24 hours
Residential
10:00 p.m. to
7:00 a.m.
Commercial
24 hours
Industrial
24 hours
Outdoors
60
50
65
75
Indoors
50
35
55
65
(2) 
Indoor measurements shall be taken only if the sound source is on or within the same property as the receiving property, as in the case of a multi-dwelling-unit building or a multi-use property (e.g., sound generated within a commercial unit of a multi-use property building and received within a residential unit of the same building). In addition, indoor measurements shall be taken if the property line between the receiving property and the source property is a common wall, floor or ceiling.
(3) 
If the residential or noise-sensitive receptor is within a commercial or industrial zone, or within 200 feet of such a zone, the permissible sound-level limit between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. is increased by five dB(A).
(4) 
If the sound source under investigation is a mechanical device and is, in the opinion of the investigating officer, emitting a sound with a steady tonal quality, the permissible sound-level limits in Table I shall be reduced by five dBA. The sound emissions must be comprised of a single frequency or a narrow cluster of frequencies, which may be referred to as a whine, hum or burr. The measured sound levels of such a source must not fluctuate by more than plus or minus three dB. Such sound sources include, but are not limited to, heating, ventilating or air-conditioning units; refrigeration units; and transformers. Notwithstanding, this provision shall not apply to residential HVAC equipment.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud and disturbing noises in violation of this chapter. Any enumeration herein shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
Sound-production devices. No person shall operate or use or cause to be operated loudspeakers, musical instruments or other sound production devices so as to produce sounds which are plainly audible inside a residence between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. At no time shall sound from these sources exceed the limitations set forth in Table I, which shall be reduced by five dBA for sound from sound-production devices. Sound-level measurements for compliance determination shall be conducted at or within the property line of an affected person. In addition, loudspeakers and other sound equipment must face into the geometric center of the property on which they are located.
B. 
Animals. The owner of any animal that barks, whines, howls or makes any other noise for a period of 10 minutes or more at a volume which can be heard anywhere at or within the property of a complainant shall be guilty of violating this chapter.
C. 
Honking of horns. The honking of horns on motor vehicles, for other than emergency purposes, is hereby prohibited between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.
D. 
Idling of vehicles. Diesel or gas powered engines on vehicles parked within the Town may not be idled between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. in such a manner that they are audible within a residence for more than five minutes.
A. 
Residential and commercial air-conditioning and air-handling equipment.
(1) 
Residential HVAC equipment shall not exceed 60 dBA between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the property of an affected residence when measured in an outdoor area that is regularly used by the affected person. An example of these areas may include a patio or deck, a picnic area, poolside areas, etc.
(2) 
Residential HVAC equipment shall not exceed 40 dBA between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. when measured within the sleeping quarters of the affected residential property.
(3) 
Commercial HVAC equipment must meet the permissible limits within Table I.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 130-4.
B. 
Loading of commercial vehicles. The loading or unloading of commercial vehicles is not permitted within a residential district or within 250 feet of a residential district between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.
C. 
Construction activities.
(1) 
All motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a properly functioning muffler. Any building or construction activity, including the clearing and removal of trees or other site preparation work, that is audible outside a building or structure is permitted only as follows in Subsection C(1)(a) and (b) below, during which time the limits set forth in Table I[2] do not apply:
(a) 
Monday through Friday, except holidays, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(b) 
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
[2]
Editor's Note: See § 130-4.
(2) 
Portable sound-production devices such as radios or tape players shall not be operated at a construction site in a manner that produces plainly audible sound within an adjacent occupied structure.
D. 
Domestic tools and equipment; exemptions.
(1) 
Noncommercial or nonindustrial power tools used for landscaping and yard maintenance shall not be operated between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays or between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends or holidays in such a manner that they are plainly audible within the residence of an affected person. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a properly functioning muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Table I shall not apply.
(2) 
Commercial or industrial power tools used for landscaping and yard maintenance, excluding emergency work, shall not be operated within 200 feet of a residential property line between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays or between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends or holidays in such a manner that they are plainly audible within the residence of an affected person. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a properly functioning muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Table I shall not apply.
(3) 
However, snowblowers, chain saws and other domestic tools and equipment are exempted from these limits when they are being used to clear driveways, streets or walkways during and within 24 hours after snowfalls, rainstorms, ice storms, windstorms or similar emergencies, so long as all internal combustion engines are properly muffled.
E. 
Garbage trucks shall have self-adjusting back-up beepers.
A. 
Noise emanating from the operation of motor vehicles on public highways is regulated by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. The maximum noise levels set forth in the Vehicle and Traffic Law for the operation of motor vehicles on public highways, as they may be amended from time to time, are hereby designated to be the maximum permissible noise levels for the operation of motor vehicles on all other property in the Town of Ossining.
B. 
Noise emanating from motor vehicles other than from their operation, including, but not limited to, the noise of radios, is regulated by this chapter and must not be audible more than 50 feet from the vehicle from which the noise emanates.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the production of music in connection with any military or civic parade, funeral procession or religious service.
B. 
This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the use of any organ, bell, chimes or any other similar instrument or device by any church, synagogue or school on or within its own premises in connection with religious rites or ceremonies of such church or synagogue or in connection with a school education program.
C. 
Sounds created by any governmental agency by the use of public warning devices are exempted from the limitations of this chapter.
Upon the trial of any person charged with creating unreasonably loud or disturbing noise in violation of this chapter, the court may admit evidence of sound-pressure levels in decibels as shown by a standard calibrated sound meter. For the purpose of this section, evidence that noise exceeding the maximum sound-pressure levels, in decibels, as provided in Table I hereof,[1] may be admitted as prima facie evidence that the noise was unreasonably loud and/or disturbing.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 130-4.
A. 
The owner of any instrumentality exceeding permissible noise levels, its operator, and/or the owner of the property from which the sound is being emitted may be deemed violators of this chapter.
B. 
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable as follows:
(1) 
First offense: by a fine of $100.
(2) 
Second offense: by a fine of $250.
(3) 
Third and subsequent offenses or two or more violations occurring within any six-month period: by a fine of $1,500 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
C. 
Any motor vehicle found in violation of § 130-7B of this chapter may be subject to towing and impoundment. If the vehicle is redeemed from the auto pound within 24 hours, the redemption fee shall be $75.