CHAPTER 48

NOISE

48.01  Definitions

48.03  Enforcement

48.02  Noise Prohibitions and Limited Sound Sources

48.04  Permits to Exceed Limits


48.01   DEFINITIONS.
  For use in this chapter, the following terms are defined:

1.         “A-weighted sound level” means the sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting network.  The level so read is designated dBa.

2.         “Commercial” or “commercial district” means any property which is zoned for any commercial use as defined in the Zoning Ordinance.

3.         “Construction equipment” means the implements used in an operation or activity, or everything except personnel needed to build, to repair, or to erect.

4.         “Decibel” means a unit for measuring the volume of a sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).

5.         “Exhaust system” means the device or combination of devices that collects the exhaust from the engine or motor, delivers the exhaust to the atmosphere and reduces the noise emissions.  “Exhaust system” includes manifold or headers, exhaust pipe, muffler, and tail pipe.

6.         “Farm equipment” means the implements used in an operation or activity, or everything except personnel needed for cultivation or production of crops of any nature, or raising of any type of animal embraced within the term “livestock.”

7.         “Gross vehicle weight rating” means the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum weighted load of a single motor vehicle.  When trailers and tractors are separable, the gross combination weight rating is the value specified by the manufacturer as the recommended maximum loaded weight of the combined vehicle.

8.         “Industrial” or “industrial district” means any property zoned for any industrial use as defined in the Zoning Ordinance.

9.         “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle which is self- propelled.

10.       “Noise disturbance” for purposes of this chapter, means any transmission of sound across a real property boundary from a source specifically limited by this chapter, which exceeds the sound level limits set forth in Table 1 entitled Maximum Permissible Sound Levels From Limited Sources by Receiving Land Use.

11.       “Real property boundary” means an imaginary line along the ground surface, and its vertical extension, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, but not including intra-building real property divisions.

12.       “Receiving land use” means, for purposes of this chapter, the use or occupancy of the property which receives the transmission of sound.

13.       “Residential” or “residential district” means any property on which is located a building or structure used wholly or partially for living or sleeping purposes.  This definition does not include park custodial residences or school or college dormitories.

14.       “Sound level meter” means an instrument used to measure sound pressure.

15.       “Sound level” means the weighted sound pressure level contained by the use of the sound level meter and A-weighting network, such as a, b, or c as specified in American National Standards Institute Specifications for Sound Level Meters, ANSI S1.4-1971.  If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.

16.       “Sound pressure level” means twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the root mean squared sound pressure to the reference pressure of 20 micropascals.

17.       “Sound pressure” means the instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a given point in space, as produced by sound energy.

18.       “Sound” means an oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces which cause compression and rarefaction of that medium.  The description of sound may include any characteristic of sound, including duration, density, and frequency.

19.       “Used” or “occupied,” for purposes of this chapter, where either word appears, shall be deemed to include the words “intended, designed, or arranged to be used or occupied.”

 


TABLE 1

Maximum Permissible Sound Levels From Limited Sources
By Receiving Land Use

Zoning Category of

Receiving Land Use

Legal Time

Sound Level

Limit (dBa)

Residence District

7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

60

10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

50

Commercial District

At all times

75

Industrial District

At all times

75

48.02   NOISE PROHIBITIONS AND LIMITED SOUND SOURCES.  The following sound sources are limited by this chapter:

1.         No person shall perform, create, cause or permit a radio, television set, musical instrument or any other device to produce, reproduce or amplify sound to create a noise in excess of 86 dBa at 25 feet from such device when operated.

2.         No person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device on a motor vehicle on a public highway.

3.         Every motor vehicle shall be at all times equipped with an exhaust system in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.  (The intent of this provision is that it is necessary to prevent both noise and smoke, and either one constitutes a violation.)  Noise which is measured at a distance of at least 25 feet from the near side of the nearest lane being monitored at a height of at least four (4) feet above the immediate surrounding surface as follows shall be excessive or unusual noise:

 

SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL, dBa

Motor Vehicle Designation

Speed Limit
35 MPH or Less

Speed Limit
Over 35 MPH

Motor vehicles or a combination of vehicles towed by a vehicle with a Manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more

90 dBA or more

90 dBA or more

Any other motor vehicle or combination of vehicles towed by any motor vehicle

80 dBA or more

84 dBA or more

4.         No person shall operate automobile radios, tape decks or players or other standard automobile equipment if the sound emitted is plainly audible for more than fifty (50) feet from the vehicle.

5.         Animals and Birds.  No person shall own, possess or harbor any animal or bird which frequently or for continued duration emits sounds native to the species which are a noise disturbance.

6.         Radios, Televisions, Phonographs, Etc.  No person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound at a sound level which creates a noise disturbance.  Church or clock carillons, bells or chimes, parades or processions (provided the conditions of the permit are met), mobile radio or telephone signal devices and sanctioned racing events are all excepted from the provisions of this subsection.

7.         Lawn Mowing Equipment.  No person shall use or operate or permit the use or operation of a power lawn mower, power trimmer or other gasoline or electric-powered device intended for mowing or trimming a lawn between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning if such use or operation creates a noise disturbance as defined in this chapter.  No person shall use or operate or permit the use or operation of a gasoline-powered lawn mower which does not have a muffler if such use or operation creates a noise disturbance as defined by this chapter.

8.         Chain Saws.  No person shall use or operate or permit the use or operation of a power chain saw between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning if such use or operation creates a noise disturbance as defined in this chapter.

9.         Solid Waste Collection and/or Hauling Equipment.  No person shall use, operate or permit the use or operation of any solid waste collection and/or hauling equipment between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning if such use or operation creates a noise disturbance as defined in this chapter.

10.       Official Vehicles.  Governmental, Police Department and Fire Department equipment, public utility company equipment, railroad company equipment and emergency vehicles such as ambulances and helicopters are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

11.       Construction Equipment.  No person shall use or operate or permit the use or operation of construction equipment between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following morning if such use or operation creates a noise disturbance as defined in this chapter.

12.       Farm Equipment.  Persons operating farm equipment are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

13.       Portland Cement Concrete Joint Sawing Equipment.  A contractor performing duties in connection with an approved subdivision plan or a City of Princeton public improvement project may perform necessary joint sawing of pavement upon approval of the City and shall be exempt from this chapter.

48.03   ENFORCEMENT.  The provisions of this chapter which prohibit the making, continuing or causing the making or continuance of a noise disturbance shall be enforced only upon receipt of a complaint made or filed with City officials by a person disturbed by such noise disturbance.  Certification by an official charged with enforcement of provisions of this chapter that such complaint was made shall be sufficient to establish the fact of complaint.  However, peace officers may enforce violations of Section 48.02(2), (3) and (4) of this chapter without necessity of such complaint.

48.04   PERMITS TO EXCEED LIMITS.  The City Clerk, on written application, for good cause shown, may grant with Council approval a special permit to exceed the sound and/or time limits established in this chapter for specific activities generally or for limited times and/or dates.