Town of New Paltz Sound/Noise Ordinace 

§ 100­1. Policy.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town Board to prevent unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise and to reduce noise levels within the Town so as to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare and to foster convenience, peace and quiet within the Town by the inhabitants and transients thereof. The Town Board finds that every person is entitled to have maintained noise levels which are not detrimental to life, health and the enjoyment of property and that excessive and unnecessary noise within the Town of New Paltz affects and is a menace to public health, safety, welfare and the comfort of the people of the Town.

§ 100­2. Definitions.

  1. All terminology used in this chapter, not defined below, shall be in conformance with the applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or its successor body.
  2. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

    COMMERCIAL LAND USE CATEGORY — Commercial zoning districts as defined in the Town of New Paltz Zoning Law. Editor's Note: See Ch. 140, Zoning.

    IMPULSIVE SOUND — Sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Examples of sources of impulsive sound include but are not limited to explosions, drop forge impacts, bird controlling devices (clackers) and the discharge of firearms.

    INDUSTRIAL AREA — Industrial zoning districts as defined in the Town of New Paltz Zoning Law. Editor's Note: See Ch. 140, Zoning.

    MOTORCYCLE — An unenclosed motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the operator and two or three wheels in contact with the ground, including but not limited to motor scooters and minibikes.

    MOTOR VEHICLE — Any vehicle which is propelled or drawn on land by a motor, such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck­trailers, semitrailers, campers, go­carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles, but not including motorcycles.

    MUFFLER or SOUND­DISSIPATIVE DEVICE — A device for abating the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine.

    NOISE — Any sound which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.

    NOISE DISTURBANCE — Any sound which endangers or injures the safety of humans or animals or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.

    PERSON — Any individual, association, partnership or corporation, and includes any officer, employee, department agency or instrumentality of a state or any political subdivision of a state.

    PUBLIC RIGHT­OF­WAY — Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk or alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.

    PUBLIC SPACE — Any real property or structures which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.

    REAL PROPERTY — 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 intrabuilding real property divisions.

    RESIDENTIAL AREA — Residential zoning districts as defined in the Town of New Paltz Zoning Law. Editor's Note: See Ch. 140, Zoning.

    SOUND — An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter in a medium with internal forces that cause compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristic of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.

    WEEKDAY — Any day Monday through Friday which is not a legal holiday.

    WEEKEND — Any Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

Prohibited Noises

  1. General prohibition. Except as otherwise hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful within the limits of the Town of New Paltz for any person to make, continue, aid, countenance, cause to be made or assist in making any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise on Sunday commencing at 8:00 p.m. and continuing through and including Monday at 7:00 a.m. and during the same hours upon each successive evening and morning of each successive day of the week thereafter through and including Saturday at 7:00 a.m. and on Saturday commencing at 8:00 p.m. and continuing through and including Sunday at 9:00 a.m.; provided, however, that the foregoing hours shall be extended until the hour of 9:00 am. on any day upon which there is celebrated a legal holiday. Any noise which unreasonably interferes with the sleep, comfort, repose, health or safety of others is prohibited during the hours above mentioned.
  2. Specific prohibitions. The following acts are prohibited and declared to be a violation of this section, said enumeration not to be deemed exclusive:
    1. Radio, phonograph or musical instrument: the operation of any radio, phonograph, sound­producing device or use of any musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, health, safety or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence.
    2. Animals and birds: the keeping, in any building or upon any premises, of any animal, bird or fowl which produces and creates noises of a degree and kind to disturb the comfort, repose and quiet of neighbors or persons residing in the vicinity. Persistent barking of dogs confined or chained on a premises or dogs roaming free on or off the owner's premises shall be a violation of this chapter. "Persistent barking" is defined herein as the continuous or intermittent barking of a dog which can be heard on other premises and which continues for a period of more than one hour. The owners or occupants of the premises shall be responsible to prevent the dog from barking or place it in an area where its barking cannot be heard.
    3. Automobile, motorcycle or vehicle: the use of any automobile, motorcycle, trail bike, minibike, snowmobile, bus or vehicle so loaded or in such a manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
    4. Steam whistle: the blowing of any steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler, except to give notice of the time to begin or stop work or as a warning of danger.
    5. Engine exhaust the discharge into the air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine or motor vehicle engine, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
    6. Adjacent school, court or hospital: the creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning or court while the same is in session, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institutions, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same are school, hospital or court streets.
    7. Loading and unloading vehicles: the creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales. boxes, crates and containers in such a manner as to create an unreasonable or unnecessary noise of unreasonable extent and duration.
    8. Peddlers, hawkers and vendors: the shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
    9. Loudspeakers: the use of any drum, loudspeaker or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention to any sale or display of merchandise by the creation of noise.
    10. Guns, firecrackers or combustible substances: the firing or discharging of a gun, firecracker, gunpowder or other combustible substance within the limits of the Town of New Paltz with the intention and for the purpose of making noise or for the purpose of attracting attention, except upon some special celebration or occasion, in which latter event the permission of the Town Board shall first be obtained and, if granted, shall indicate specifically the date, time and place that such activity is authorized.
    11. Sound trucks: the creation of any sound or noise from any device known as a "sound truck" or motor vehicle containing an amplifying system whereby sounds, music or words are transmitted upon the public streets or highways of the Town of New Paltz, unless specific permission therefore is obtained from the Town Board, which such permit, if and when issued, shall indicate the specific dates and times that the operation of such sound truck or movable amplifying system shall be authorized. Horn or signal: the sounding of any horn or signal device on any vehicle, motorcycle, bus or other device except as a warning signal, pursuant to the provisions of Subdivision 1 of § 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
    12. Radio apparatus, talking machine or loudspeaker: the use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker or amplifier attached thereto in such a manner that the loudspeaker shall cause the sound from such radio apparatus or talking machine to be projected directly therefrom outside of any building or out of doors or the use of any radio apparatus, talking machine, loudspeaker or amplifier which is in any way fastened to or connected with any outside wall or window in any building or structure so that the sound therefrom is projected outside of such outside wall or window. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the operation of a radio apparatus or talking machine used in a reasonable manner by any person within any building or structure, provided that said radio apparatus or talking machine or loudspeaker is not so arranged that such loudspeaker shall project the sound therefrom directly outside of any building or out of doors.
    13. Demolition work: the erection, including excavation, demolition, alteration or repair, of any building other than between 7:00 am. and 9:00 p.m., except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety as determined by the applicable laws in the Code of the Town of New Paltz. Construction work: in the process of any building operations between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., to operate or use any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electrical hoist or other apparatus, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise, except by authorization pursuant to a resolution of the Town Board and then only granted in the event of an emergency.
    14. Sound device prohibitions: It shall be unlawful for any person to use or operate, or cause to be used or operated, any sound device or apparatus in, on, near or adjacent to any public street, part or place for commercial or business advertising purposes or for any person to operate or drive any automobile, truck or other vehicle for commercial or business advertising by means of any sound device or apparatus. The use of any trade, business or corporate name or business advertising shall be presumptive evidence that such advertising was conducted by that person, business or corporation. Annoying sounds: the creation of any noise which causes public inconvenience or alarm or disturbs the public's peace, comfort or tranquility.
    15. Loudspeakers or amplifiers for advertising, the using, operating or permitting to be placed, 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 which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure, except as otherwise permitted by the Town of New Paltz.
    16. Yelling, shouting, etc.: yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity.
    17. Exhausts: the discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motorboat or motor vehicle except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
    18. Schools, courts, churches or hospitals: the creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the same is in use or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same are school, hospital or court streets.
    19. Domestic animals: the harboring, maintenance, ownership or occupation, with the permission of a property owner or of property owners, of domestic animals, including but not limited to barking dogs, emitting excessive noises which annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of any resident or residents at any time within the Town.

§ 100­4. Exceptions.

  1. The following sounds shall not be deemed to be a violation of this chapter:
    1. Sounds created by church bells or chimes.
    2. Sounds created by any government agency by the use of public warning devices.
    3. Sounds created by lawn mowers between the hours of 8:00 a.m.and 9:00 p.m. weekdays and 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Sundays.
    4. Sounds created by public utilities in carrying out the operation of their franchises.
    5. Sounds connected with sporting events or any public or private school or authorized carnival, fair, exhibition, parade, etc., allowed by permit of the Town Board.
    6. Sounds on private property which do not carry beyond the boundary lines of the property on which they are created.
    7. The use of loudspeakers in connection with voter registration projects and, within 30 days prior to an election, the use of loudspeakers in connection with election campaigns between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. prevailing time.
    8. Between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., sounds created in the exercise of any trade, industry, business or employment, provided that it is not conducted in such a manner as to create any unreasonable or unnecessary noise of an unreasonable extent and duration.
  2. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the production of music in connection with any military, civic or authorized parade, funeral procession or religious ceremony nor to prevent any musical performance conducted by consent of the Town Board. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any authorized motor vehicle.

§ 100­5. Suspension of provisions for special occasions.

The Town Board is hereby authorized, by resolution, to suspend any of the provisions of this chapter in connection with any holiday celebration or upon any occasion of special public interest for such time and upon such conditions as shall be prescribed by the Town Board.

§ 100­6. Construal of terms.

The word "person," as used in this chapter, shall mean and include one or more persons of either sex, natural persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, joint­stock and membership societies and all other entities capable of being sued.

§ 100­7. Penalties for offenses.

Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The continuation of an offense against any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder for each period of 24 hours the offense is continued.

§ 100­8. Enforcement.

This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Town of New Paltz Police Department or any police department created by the Town of New Paltz