Township of Cedar Grove, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Cedar Grove 5-18-2009 by Ord. No. 09-698.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 81.
Places of amusement — See Ch. 88.
Animals — See Ch. 91.
Curfew — See Ch. 122.
Nuisances — See Ch. 179.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 188.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 190.
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter also repealed former Ch. 176, Noise, adopted 5-15-1950 (Ch. 13, Art. 2, of the former Revised Ordinances), as amended.
The Council hereby finds and declares that:
A. 
The making, creation or maintenance of such loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, quality of life, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the Township.
B. 
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be abated.
C. 
The people have a right to, and should be ensured of, an environment free from excessive sound.
D. 
The provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained in this chapter are necessary in the public interest, embody the public policy of this Township and are for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Township and its inhabitants.
E. 
This chapter shall apply to the control of sound originating from sources within the Township of Cedar Grove.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Terms not defined in this chapter have the same meaning as those defined in N.J.A.C. 7:29.
CONSTRUCTION
Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, including demolition of buildings or structures.
DEMOLITION
Any dismantling, destruction or removal of buildings, structures, or roadways.
DEPARTMENT
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work or action necessary to deliver essential public 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, dredging navigational waterways, or abating life-threatening conditions.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
Either a single pressure peak or a single burst (multiple pressure peaks) that has a duration of less than one second.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle that is propelled other than by human or animal power on land.
MUFFLER
A properly functioning sound-dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gasses on equipment where such a device is part of the normal configuration of the equipment.
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 category on the same distinct parcel of land; or
B. 
A building which is both commercial (usually on the ground floor) and residential property located above, behind, below or adjacent.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER
An employee of:
A. 
A local, county or regional health agency which is certified pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act (N.J.S.A. 26:3A2-21 et seq.) to perform noise enforcement activities; or
B. 
A Township police officer or other Township employee who has received noise enforcement training, is currently certified in noise enforcement, is acting within the scope of his or her designated jurisdiction, and is authorized to issue a summons.
PLAINLY AUDIBLE
Any sound that can be detected by a person using his or her unaided hearing faculties. As an example, if the sound source under investigation is a portable or personal vehicular sound amplification or reproduction device, the detection of the rhythmic bass component of the music is sufficient to verify plainly audible sound. The noise control officer need not determine the title, specific words, or the artist performing the song.
PRIVATE RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased, or controlled by a non-governmental entity.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or easement that is owned, leased, 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;
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).
WEEKDAY
Any day that is not a federal holiday, and beginning on Monday at 7:00 a.m. and ending on the following Friday at 6:00 p.m.
WEEKENDS
Beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and ending on the following Monday at 7:00 a.m.
A. 
This chapter applies to sound from the following property categories:
(1) 
Industrial facilities;
(2) 
Commercial facilities;
(3) 
Public service facilities;
(4) 
Community service facilities;
(5) 
Residential properties;
(6) 
Multi-use properties;
(7) 
Public and private rights-of-way;
(8) 
Public spaces; and
(9) 
Multi-dwelling-unit buildings.
B. 
This chapter applies to sound received at the following property categories:
(1) 
Commercial facilities;
(2) 
Public service facilities;
(3) 
Community service facilities;
(4) 
Residential properties;
(5) 
Multi-use properties; and
(6) 
Multi-dwelling-unit buildings.
C. 
Sound from stationary emergency signaling devices shall be regulated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.4, except that the testing of the electromechanical functioning of a stationary emergency signaling device shall not meet or exceed 10 seconds.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by noise control officers. A person shall be qualified to be a noise control officer if the person meets the criteria set forth in the definition above and completes, at a frequency specified by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.11, noise certification and recertification courses which are offered by the Department of Environmental Sciences of Cook College, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey or any other noise certification or recertification course which is offered by an accredited university and approved by the DEP.
B. 
Sound measurements made by a noise control officer shall conform to the procedures set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:29-2, except that interior sound level measurements shall also conform with the procedures set forth in § 176-5B and C of this regulation and with the definition of "real property line" as contained herein.
C. 
Noise control officers shall have the power to:
(1) 
Review public and private projects, subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments or boards, for compliance with this chapter; and
(2) 
Investigate and pursue possible violations of this chapter for sound levels which equal or exceed the sound levels set forth in Tables I and II,[1] when measured at a receiving property located within the designated jurisdiction of the noise control officer, in accordance with § 176-10 below.
[1]
Editor's Note: See §§ 176-6 and 176-7.
(3) 
Cooperate with noise control officers of adjacent municipalities in enforcing one another's municipal noise ordinances.
A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on any source property listed in § 176-3A above in such a manner as to create a sound level that equals or exceeds the sound level limits set forth in Tables I and II at §§ 176-6 and 176-7 when measured at or within the real property line of any of the receiving properties listed in § 176-3B, except as specified in Subsection B below.
B. 
When measuring total sound or residual sound within a multi-use property, or within a residential unit when the property line between it and the source property is a common wall, all exterior doors and windows shall be closed and the measurements shall be taken in the center of the room most affected by the noise. Residual sound shall be measured in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:29-2.9(b)2. When measuring total sound or residual sound, all sound sources within the dwelling unit must be shut off (e.g., television, stereo). Measurements shall not be taken in areas which receive only casual use, such as hallways, closets and bathrooms.
C. 
Indoor measurements shall only be taken if the sound source is on or within the same property as the receiving property, as in the case of 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) or multi-dwelling-unit building. The allowable sound level standards for indoors are as shown in Tables I and II.
D. 
Impulsive sound (Note: either one of the following must be adopted.)
(1) 
Impulsive sound shall not equal or exceed 80 decibels at all times; or
(2) 
Impulsive sound which repeats four or more times in any hour shall be measured as impulsive sound and shall meet the requirements as shown in Table I.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on any source property listed in § 176-3A above in such a manner as to create a sound level that equals or exceeds the sound levels listed below.
A. 
Outdoors
Receiving Property Category
Residential property, or residential portion of a multi-use property
Commercial facility, public service facility, non-residential portion of a multi-use property, or community service facility
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
Maximum A-weighted sound level standard, dB
65
50
65
B. 
Indoors.
Receiving Property Category
Residential property, or residential portion of a multi-use property
Commercial facility,* or nonresidential portion of a multi-use property
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
Maximum A-weighted sound level standard, dB
55
40
55
Note:
*In those instances when a commercial facility shares a common wall/ceiling/floor with another commercial facility that is producing the sound.
A. 
No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the operation of any source of sound on any source property listed in § 176-3A above in such a manner as to create a sound pressure level that equals or exceeds the sound levels listed below in one or more octave bands.
B. 
When octave measurements are made, the sound from the source must be constant in level and character. If octave band sound pressure level variations exceed plus or minus two dB in the bands containing the principal source frequencies, the measurement must be discontinued.
C. 
Maximum Permissible Octave Band Sound Pressure Table:
Receiving Property Category
Residential property, or residential portion of a multi-use property
Residential property, or residential portion of a multi-use property
Commercial facility, public or community service facility, non-residential portion of a multi-use property
Commercial facility,* or nonesidential portion of a multi-use property
Outdoors
Indoors
Outdoors
Indoors
Octave Band Center Frequency, Hz
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level, dB
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level, dB
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level, dB
Octave Band Sound Pressure Level, dB
Time
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
24 hours
24 hours
31.5
96
86
86
76
96
86
63
82
71
72
61
82
72
125
74
61
64
51
74
64
250
67
53
57
43
67
57
500
63
48
53
38
63
53
1,000
60
45
50
35
60
50
2,000
57
42
47
32
57
47
4,000
55
40
45
30
55
45
8,000
53
38
43
28
53
43
Note:
*In those instances when a commercial facility shares a common wall/ceiling/floor with another commercial facility that is producing the sound.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection C below, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the exceptions listed at N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.5.
B. 
Construction and demolition activities are exempt from the sound level limits set forth in Tables I and II, except as provided for in Subsection C below.
C. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Tables I and II at §§ 176-6 and 176-7, the following standards shall apply to the activities or sources of sound set forth below:
(1) 
Self-contained, portable, hand-held music devices, nonportable devices, radios, televisions, phonographs or sound amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., sound from such equipment shall not be plainly audible by any person other than the operator.
(2) 
Personal or commercial vehicular music amplification or reproduction equipment shall not be operated in such a manner that it is plainly audible at a residential property line between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
(3) 
Personal vehicular music amplification equipment shall not be operated in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet in any direction from the operator between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
(4) 
The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound or emitting of loud and raucous noises which are cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising.
(5) 
Birds, dogs or other animals: owning, possessing or harboring any pet animal that frequently or for continued duration makes sounds that create a noise disturbance across a residential property line. For the purpose of this provision, a noise disturbance from a pet animal shall be defined as that created by a pet animal making noise continually for 10 minutes or intermittently for 30 minutes unless provoked. At all times, the limits set forth at Tables I and II do not apply.
(6) 
The creation of a loud or excessive noise audible at a distance of 25 feet in connection with loading or unloading any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
(7) 
Construction, excavation, erection, alteration, repairing, demolition activity, or landscaping, excluding emergency work as decided by the Township Engineer, shall not be performed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays or between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays and federal holidays, unless such activities can meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II. All motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to construction and demolition activities. Sunday work is prohibited, except for the general repair or maintenance of the property owner's property by the homeowner only. No contractor work is permitted.
[Amended 8-14-2017 by Ord. No. 17-814]
(8) 
Noncommercial or nonindustrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment shall not be operated between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless such activities can meet the applicable limits set forth in Tables I and II. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to noncommercial or non-industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment.
(9) 
Commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment, excluding emergency work, shall not be operated on a residential property or within 250 feet of a residential property line when operated on commercial or industrial property, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, or between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends or federal holidays, unless such activities can meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II. In addition, commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment, excluding emergency work, utilized on commercial or industrial property shall meet the limits set forth in Tables I and II between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler. At all other times, the limits set forth in Tables I and II do not apply to commercial or industrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment.
(10) 
Mechanical sweeping or vacuuming equipment or other mechanical equipment used for the maintenance of commercial parking lots. Notwithstanding the provisions contained in the various subsections of this section, the operation of mechanical sweeping, vacuuming or other equipment used for the cleaning or maintenance of commercial parking lots must adhere to the 65 decibel daytime limit (between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.) and 50 decibel nighttime limit (between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.) on weekdays.
[Amended 8-3-2009 by Ord. No. 09-699]
(11) 
Motorized snow blowers, snow throwers, and lawn equipment with attached snow plows shall be operated at all times with a muffler.
(12) 
An exterior burglar alarm of a building or motor vehicle must be activated in such a manner that the burglar alarm terminates its operation within five minutes for continuous airborne sound and 15 minutes for impulsive sound after it has been activated.
The prohibitions contained in this chapter shall not apply to the sources listed in N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.5.
A. 
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be cause for an enforcement document to be issued to the violator by the Township Police Department or other designated noise control officer according to procedures set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:29-1.7. The recipient of an enforcement document shall be entitled to a hearing in the municipal court having jurisdiction to contest such action.
B. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty for each offense of not more than $3,000. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense.
C. 
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.
A. 
If any provision or portion of a provision of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional, preempted by federal or state law, or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of the chapter shall not be invalidated.
B. 
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed as to the extent of such inconsistencies.