[HISTORY: Adopted by the Adjourned Session of the 4-26-1993 Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Blackstone 6-7-1993 by Art. 24. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Blackstone to establish standards, enforcement procedures and penalties in order to prevent and/or limit noise which may jeopardize the well-being, public health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare of its citizens and the peace and quiet of its inhabitants and to safeguard the right of its residents within the privacy of their homes to be free from intrusive unwanted sounds.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section.
All terminology defined herein which relates to the nature of sound and the mechanical detection and recordation of sound is in conformance with the terminology of the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.
- A-WEIGHTED SOUND-PRESSURE LEVEL
- The sound-pressure level measured in decibels with a sound meter set for A-weighting, abbreviated "dBA."
- 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 of 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."
- Any airborne sounds of such level and duration as to be or tend to be injurious to human health or welfare or that would interfere with the enjoyment of life or property.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound that endangers the safety or health or any person; disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or endangers personal or real property.
- Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint-stock company, the state or any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the state.
- SOUND LEVEL
- The sound level measured in decibels with a sound-level meter set for A-weighting. Sound level is expressed in dBA.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument for the measurement of sound levels.
- SOUND-PRESSURE LEVEL
- The level of a sound measured in decibel units with a sound-level meter which has a uniform response over the band of frequencies measured.
This chapter shall apply to the control of all sound originating within the limits of the Town of Blackstone, except as follows.
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency or the emission of sound in the performance of emergency work in training exercises related to emergency activities.
Noncommercial public speaking and public assembly activities as guaranteed by state and federal constitutions.
Devices used in conjunction with places of worship.
All municipal public works activities.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Blackstone Police Department or other public officials acting within the scope of their duties upon receipt of a complaint of a possible violation.
For the purposes of this chapter, the noise control regulations will be in effect between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the operation of any source on a particular category of property or any public land or right-of-way in such a manner as to create a sound level that exceeds the particular sound level limits as set forth in this chapter.
No person shall operate or permit to be operated in the Town of Blackstone any sound source that produces a sound level exceeding the limitations in this chapter.
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 which occur in single or multiple bursts with a duration of less than one second, for which fast response shall be used. The sound-level determination or measurement shall be conducted at the boundary/property line of the premise from which the noise is originating.
Noise produced by any act or activities within any zone within the Town of Blackstone shall not exceed 55 dBA 100 feet from the boundary or property line.
The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the Board of Selectmen for permission for one or more of the provisions of this chapter and may be granted a license after a public hearing with the Board of Selectmen.
The following penalties will apply to this chapter.
A first offense will result in a written citation by the Blackstone Police Department.
A second offense within six months of the first offense will result in the issuance of a fine of $50 fine.
A third offense within six months of the second offense will result in the issuance of a fine of $100.
A fourth and subsequent offense within six months of the third offense will result in the issuance of a fine of $250.
The Board of Selectmen will receive a copy of all citations from the Blackstone Police Department after the second offense and will then conduct a meeting with the offender and if necessary hold a public hearing.
If any person has not been found guilty of any violation of this chapter for six consecutive months, any violation shall be considered a first offense.
The Police Chief may temporarily establish a zone of quiet upon any street where a person is seriously ill. The temporary zone of quiet shall embrace all territory within a radius of 200 feet of the building occupied by the sick person. Said temporary zones of quiet shall be designated by the Police Chief by causing to be placed at a conspicuous place in the street a sign marker bearing the words "Zone of Quiet."
If any clause, sentence, section or paragraph of this chapter or the application of such sections shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction or be held to be invalid, to any person or circumstance, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter and the applicability of such section to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.
This change shall take effect as provided by law.