City Code: Chapter 66 – Noise
~ 66-1. Findings and declarations.
It is found and declared that:
A. The making, creation or maintenance of loud, unnecessary, unnatural or unusual noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the City of Yonkers.
B. The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, prosperity and the peace and quiet of the City of Yonkers and its inhabitants.
~ 66-2. Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings as indicated:
COMMERCIAL AREA -- A group of commercial facilities and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
COMMERCIAL FACILITY -- Any premises, property or facility involving traffic in goods or furnishing of services for sale or profit, including but not limited to:
A. Banking and other financial institutions.
B. Dining establishments.
C. Establishments for providing retail services.
D. Establishments for providing wholesale services.
E. Establishments for recreation and entertainment.
F. Office buildings.
CONSTRUCTION -- Any site preparation, assembly, erection, repair, alteration or similar action, but excluding demolition of buildings or structures.
DECIBEL -- The practical unit of measurement for sound pressure level. The number of "decibels" of a measured sound is equal to twenty (20) times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the sound pressure of the measured sound to the sound pressure of a standard sound [twenty (20) micropascals]; abbreviated "dB."
DEMOLITION -- Any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of buildings or structures.
EMERGENCY WORK -- Any work or action necessary to deliver essential services, including but not limited to repairing water, gas, electricity, telephone or sewer facilities or public transportation facilities, removing fallen trees on public rights-of-way or abating life-threatening conditions.
INDUSTRIAL FACILITY -- Any activity and its related premises, property, facilities or equipment involving the fabrication, manufacture or production of durable or nondurable goods.
MOTOR VEHICLE -- Any vehicle that is propelled or drawn on land by an engine or motor.
MUFFLER -- A sound-dissipative device or system for abating the sound of escaping gasses of an internal combustion engine.
MULTI-DWELLING-UNIT BUILDING -- Any building wherein there are two (2) or more dwelling units.
NOISE CONTROL OFFICER -- An officer of the municipality trained in the measurement of sound or a City of Yonkers police officer. Said official is empowered to issue an appearance ticket for violation of this chapter.
NOISE DISTURBANCE -- Any sound that:
A. Endangers the safety or health of any person;
B. Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
C. Endangers personal or real property.
PERSON -- Any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership or joint-stock company.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY -- Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, highway, sidewalk, alley or parking lot used by members of the general public.
PUBLIC SPACE -- Any real property or structures thereon that are either owned, leased or controlled by a governmental entity or used by members of the general public. "Public space" includes but is not limited to parks, sports fields, lots, etc.
REAL PROPERTY LINE -- Either the imaginary line, including its vertical extension, that separates one (1) parcel of real property from another or the vertical and horizontal boundaries of a dwelling unit that is one in a multi-dwelling-unit building.
RESIDENTIAL AREA -- A group of residential properties and the abutting public rights-of-way and public spaces.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY -- 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.
C. Recreational and entertainment property used for human habitation.
D. Community service property used for human habitation.
SOUND LEVEL -- The sound pressure level measured in decibels with a sound-level meter set for A-weighting; "sound level" is expressed in "dBA."
SOUND-LEVEL METER -- An instrument used to measure sound level which conforms to Type 1 or Type 2 standards as specified by ANSI Specification S1.4-1971.
WEEKDAY -- Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
WEEKEND -- Saturday and Sunday.
~ 66-3. Noise disturbance prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue, cause, permit or allow, verbally or mechanically, any noise disturbance.
~ 66-4. Enumeration of prohibited noises.
The following acts are declared to be a violation of ~ 66-3. Said enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive.
A. Sound-reproduction systems: operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, phonograph, tape player, compact disc player, television, receiver or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance for any person other than the operator of the device.
B. Loudspeakers and public-address systems: using or operating any loudspeaker, public-address system or similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. of the following day such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
C. Animals and birds: owning, possessing or harboring any animal or bird that frequently or for continued duration makes or creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line. A noise disturbance is created by a dog barking continually for ten (10) minutes or intermittently for thirty (30) minutes.
D. Loading and unloading: loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, bales, cans, drums, refuse or similar objects or the pumped loading or unloading of materials in liquid, gaseous, powder or pellet form between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day when the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
E. Motor vehicles: operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle for a period of longer than five (5) minutes in any sixty-minute period while the vehicle is stationary for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work on a public right-of-way or public space within one hundred fifty (150) feet of a residential area or operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle so out of repair or in such a condition as to create a noise disturbance.
F. Construction, repair and demolition: operating or permitting the operation of any tool or equipment used in construction, repair, demolition or excavation between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day or at any time on weekends or legal holidays. Such operation does not constitute a violation if the tool or equipment is used in an emergency situation or if the tool or equipment is equipped with a functioning muffler or if the operator is issued a variance pursuant to Article II of this chapter.
G. Sound devices on public transportation: operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, phonograph, tape player, compact disc player, television receiver or similar device on or in any method of public transportation in such a manner that the sound from such device is audible to any other person.
H. Miscellaneous sound producers: creating or emitting a noise which constitutes a noise disturbance by any manner, including but not limited to a horn, siren, whistle, yell, shout, bell, musical instrument, tool, engine, etc.
~ 66-5. Prima facie evidence of noise disturbance.
The following shall be considered prima facie evidence of noise disturbance:
A. A sound-level reading taken at a dwelling within a multi-dwelling-unit building, arising from any location within a multi-dwelling-unit building, above fifty (50) dBA during the time period commencing at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m.
B. A sound-level reading taken at a dwelling within a multi-dwelling-unit building, arising from any location within a multi-dwelling-unit building, above forty-five (45) dBA during the time period commencing at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 7:00 a.m. the next day.
C. A sound-level reading taken at a residential property, arising from another residential property, above fifty-five (55) dBA during the time period commencing at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m.
D. A sound-level reading taken at a residential property, arising from another residential property, above fifty (50) dBA during the time period commencing at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 7:00 a.m. the next day.
E. A sound-level reading taken at a residential property, arising from a commercial property, an industrial property, a public space or a public right-of-way, above seventy-five (75) dBA during the time period commencing at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m.
F. A sound-level reading taken at a residential property, arising from a commercial property, an industrial property, a public space or a public right-of-way, above fifty (50) dBA during the time period commencing at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 7:00 a.m. the next day.
G. A sound-level reading taken at a commercial property at any time, arising from any property source, above seventy-five (75) dBA.
H. A sound-level reading taken at an industrial property at any time, arising from any property source, above seventy-five (75) dBA.
I. A sound plainly audible at a distance of fifty (50) feet from its source.
~ 66-6. Exemptions.
The following sounds are exempt from the restrictions of this chapter:
A. Sounds from domestic power tools, lawn mowers and garden equipment when operated between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., provided that they produce less than eighty-five (85) dBA at or near any real property line of a residential property.
B. Sound for the bells or chimes of a church, synagogue or other house of worship.
C. Sound from a snow blower, snow thrower, electric snow shovel or snowplow used for the purpose of snow removal.
D. Sound from an exterior burglar alarm of any building or motor vehicle, provided that such alarm shall terminate within fifteen (15) minutes after it has been activated.
E. Sound used for the purposes of alerting a person of an emergency.
F. Sound from the performance of emergency work.
G. Sound from a municipally sponsored or approved celebration or event.
~~ 66-7 through 66-9. (Reserved)
Conditions for Variances
~ 66-10. Application.
A. Any person who owns or operates any stationary noise source may apply to the Director of the Bureau of Housing and Buildings for a variance from one (1) or more of the provisions of this chapter.
B. Applications for a permit of variance shall supply information including but not limited to:
(1) The name and address of the applicant.
(2) The nature and location of the noise source for which such application is made.
(3) The reason for which the permit of variance is requested, including the hardship that will result to the applicant or the public if the permit of variance is not granted.
(4) The nature and intensity of noise that will occur during the period of the variance.
(5) The section or sections of this chapter for which the permit of variance shall apply.
(6) A description of interim noise control measures to be taken by the applicant to minimize noise and the impact occurring therefrom.
(7) A specific schedule of noise control measures.
(8) A presentation of adequate proof that noise levels occurring during the period of the variance will not constitute a danger to public health.
(9) A presentation of adequate proof that compliance with this chapter would impose an arbitrary or unreasonable hardship upon the applicant without equal or greater benefit to the public.
C. The applicant's failure to supply the required information required by this article shall be cause for rejection of the application.
~ 66-11. Permit fee; duration of variance.
A. The Director of the Bureau of Housing and Buildings may charge the applicant a fee of one hundred dollars ($100.).
B. The duration of the permit of variance shall not exceed one (1) year but may be limited by the Director to any period of time up to one (1) year.
C. A copy of the permit shall be on file with the City of Yonkers Bureau of Housing and Buildings.
~ 66-12. Approval of variance.
In granting the application for permit of variance, the Director of the Bureau of Housing and Buildings shall consider:
A. The character and degree of injury to or interference with the health and welfare or use of the property which is affected.
B. The social and economic value of the activity for which the variance is sought.
C. The ability of the applicant to apply the best practical noise control measures.
~ 66-13. Revocation of variance.
The permit of variance may be revoked by the Director of the Bureau of Housing and Buildings if:
A. There is a violation of one (1) or more conditions of the variance;
B. There is a material misrepresentation of fact in the permit application; or
C. There is a material change in any of the circumstances relied upon by the Director in granting the variance.
~~ 66-14 through 66-16. (Reserved)
Permit for Use of Sound-Producing Devices
~ 66-17. Permit required.
No person shall operate, use or permit operation of any sound-producing device on or in front of any public right-of-way or public space without a permit from the Police Commissioner of the City of Yonkers Police Department. Such permit shall be issued at the discretion of the Commissioner and in accordance with such rules and conditions as he may describe.
~ 66-18. Revocation of permit.
A permit issued pursuant to ~ 66-17 of this chapter may be revoked by the Police Commissioner of the City of Yonkers Police Department at his discretion.
~~ 66-19 through 66-21. (Reserved)
~ 66-22. Abatement orders.
A noise control officer or a police officer of the City of Yonkers may issue an order requiring abatement of any source of sound alleged to be in violation of this chapter. Such abatement must be made within a reasonable time period and according to the conditions prescribed by the officer.
~ 66-23. Issuance of summons.
Violation of any provision of this chapter or of an abatement order shall be cause for an appearance ticket to be issued by the noise control officer or a police officer of the City of Yonkers.
~ 66-24. Penalties for offenses.
Any violation of any provision of this chapter or violation of a lawful abatement order shall constitute a Class II offense.
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