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(a) Purpose. This section is enacted to protect, preserve, and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace, and quiet of the citizens of the City through the reduction, control, and prevention of loud and raucous noise, or any noise which unreasonably disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity.
(1) Loud and raucous noise degrades the environment of the City to a degree that:
A. Is harmful to the health, welfare, and safety of its inhabitants and visitors;
B. Interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property;
C. Interferes with the well being, tranquility, privacy of the home; and
D. Both causes and aggravates health problems.
(2) Both the effective control and the elimination of loud and raucous noise are essential to the health and welfare of the City's inhabitants and visitors, and to the conduct of the normal pursuits of life, including recreation, work, and communication.
(3) The use of sound amplification equipment creates loud and raucous noise that may, in a particular manner and at a particular time and place, substantially and unreasonably invade the privacy, peace, and freedom of inhabitants of, and visitors to, the City of Sharon.
(4) Certain short-term easing of noise restriction is essential to allow the construction and maintenance of structures, infrastructure, and other elements necessary for the physical and commercial vitality of the City.
(c) Scope. This section applies to the control of all sound originating within the jurisdictional limits of the City.
(1) "City of Sharon Mayor" means the City of Sharon's Mayor or the City of Sharon Mayor's designee.
(2) "Emergency" means any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage demanding immediate attention.
(3) "Emergency work" means any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating physical trauma or property damage, whether actually caused or threatened by an emergency, or work by private or public utilities when restoring utility service.
(4) "Noise sensitive area" includes, but is not limited to, a posted area where a school, hospital nursing home, church, court, public library, or similar institution is located.
(5) "Person" means any individual, firm, association, partnership, joint venture, or corporation.
(6) "Public right-of-way" means any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place normally accessible to the public which is owned or controlled by a government entity.
(7) "Public space" means any real property, or structures on real property, owned by a government entity and normally accessible to the public, including, but not limited to, parks and other recreational areas.
(8) "Residential area" means any real property which contains a structure or building in which one or more persons reside, provided that the structure or building is properly zoned, or is legally nonconforming, for residential use in accordance with the terms and maps of the City of Sharon's zoning ordinance.
(e) General Prohibition.
(1) No person shall make, continue, or cause to be made or continued:
A. Any unreasonably loud or raucous noise;
B. Any noise which unreasonably disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity, within the jurisdictional limits of the City; or
C. Any noise which is so harsh, prolonged, unnatural, or unusual in time or place as to occasion unreasonable discomfort to any persons within the neighborhood from which said noises emanate, or an to unreasonably interfere with the peace and comfort of neighbors or their guests, or operators or customers in places of business, or as to detrimentally or adversely affect such residences or places of business.
(2) Factors for determining whether a sound is unreasonably loud and raucous include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. The proximity of the sound to sleeping facilities, whether residential or commercial;
B. The land use, nature, and zoning of the area from which the sound emanates and the area where it is received or perceived;
C. The time of day or night the sound occurs;
D. The duration of the sound; and
E. Whether the sound is recurrent, intermittent, or constant.
(f) Noises Prohibited. The following acts are declared to be per se violations of this section. This enumeration does not constitute an exclusive list.
(1) Unreasonable noises. The unreasonable making of, or knowingly and unreasonably permitting to be made, any unreasonably loud, boisterous or unusual noise, disturbance, commotion or vibration in any boarding facility, dwelling, place of business or other structure, or upon any public street, park, or other place of building. The ordinary and usual sounds, noises, commotion or vibration incidental to the operation of these places when conducted in accordance with the usual standards of practice and in a manner which will not unreasonably disturb the peace and comfort of adjacent residences or which will not detrimentally affect the operators of adjacent places of business are exempted from this provision.
(2) Vehicle horns, signaling devices, and similar devices. The sounding of any horn, signaling device, or other similar device, on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any right-of-way or in any public space of the City, for more than ten consecutive seconds. The sounding of any horn, signaling device, or other similar device, as a danger warning is exempt from this prohibition.
(3) Non-emergency signaling devices. Sounding or permitting sounding any amplified signal from any bell, chime, siren, whistle or similar device, intended primarily for non-emergency purposes, from any place for more than ten consecutive seconds in any hourly period. The reasonable sounding of such devices by houses of religious worship, ice cream trucks, seasonal contribution solicitors or by the City for traffic-control purposes are exempt from the operation of this provision.
(4) Emergency signaling devices. The intentional sounding or permitting the sounding outdoors of any emergency signaling device including fire, burglar, civil defense alarm, siren, whistle, or similar emergency-signaling device, except in an emergency or except as provided in divisions (f )(4)A. and B. of this section.
A. Testing of an emergency-signaling device shall occur between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Any testing of the emergency-signaling system shall not occur more than once in each calendar week.
B. Sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior burglar or fire alarm or any motor vehicle burglar alarm, shall terminate within 15 minutes of activation unless an emergency exists. If a false or accidental activation of an alarm occurs more than twice in a calendar month, the owner or person responsible for the alarm shall be in violation of this section.
(5) Radios, televisions, boomboxes, phonographs, stereos, musical instruments and similar devices. The use or operation of a radio, television, boombox, stereo, musical instrument, or similar device that produces or reproduces sound in a manner that is plainly audible to any person other than the player(s) or operator(s) of the device, and those who are voluntarily listening to the sound, and which unreasonably disturbs the peace, quiet, and comfort of neighbors and passers-by, or is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from any person in a commercial, industrial area, or public space. The use or operation of a radio, television, boombox, stereo, musical instrument, or similar device that produces or reproduces sound in a manner that is plainly audible to any person other than the player(s) or operator(s) of the device, and those who are voluntarily listening to the sound, and unreasonably disturbs the peace, quiet, and comfort of neighbors in residential or noise sensitive areas, including multi-family or single-family dwellings.
(6) Loudspeakers, amplifiers, public address systems, and similar devices. The unreasonably loud and raucous use or operation of a loudspeaker, amplifier, public address system, or other device for producing or reproducing sound between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays in the following areas:
A. Within or adjacent to residential or noise-sensitive areas;
B. Within a public space if the sound is plainly audible across the real property line of the public space from which the sound emanates, and is unreasonably loud and raucous.
This shall not apply to any public performance, gathering, or parade for which a permit has been obtained from the City of Sharon.
(7) Yelling, shouting, and similar activities. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing in residential or noise sensitive areas or in public places, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or at any time or place so as to unreasonably disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivities.
(8) Animals and birds. Unreasonably loud and raucous noise emitted by an animal or bird for which a person is responsible. A person is responsible for an animal if the person owns, controls or otherwise cares for the animal or bird. Sounds made by animals or birds in animal shelters, kennels, veterinary hospitals, pet shops or pet kennels are exempt from this division (f)(8).
(9) Loading or unloading merchandise, materials, equipment. The creation of unreasonably loud, raucous, and excessive noise in connection with the loading or unloading of any vehicle at a place of business or residence.
(10) Construction or repair of buildings, excavation of streets and highways. The construction, demolition, alteration or repair of any building or the excavation of streets and highways other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., on weekdays. In cases of emergency, construction or repair noises are exempt from this provision. In non-emergency situations, the City may issue a permit, upon application, if the Mayor further determines that loss or inconvenience would result to a party in interest. The permit shall grant permission in non-emergency cases for a period of not more than three days. The permit may be renewed once for a period of three days or less.
(11) Noise sensitive areas - schools, courts, churches, hospitals, and similar institutions. The creation of any unreasonably loud and raucous noise adjacent to any noise-sensitive area while it is in use, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of the institution or which disturbs the persons in these institutions, provided that conspicuous signs delineating the boundaries of the noise-sensitive area are displayed in the streets surrounding the noise-sensitive area.
(12) Blowers and similar devices. In residential or noise-sensitive areas, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., the operation of any noise-creating blower, power fan, or any internal-combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, provided that the noise is unreasonably loud and raucous and can be heard across the property line of the property from which it emanates.
(13) Commercial establishments adjacent to residential property. Unreasonably loud and raucous noise from the premises of any commercial establishment, including any outdoor area which is part of or under the control of the establishment, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. which is plainly audible at a distance of five feet from any residential property.
(g) Exemptions. Sounds caused by the following are exempt from the prohibitions set out in division (f) of this section and are in addition to the exemptions specifically set forth in division (f) of this section.
(1) Motor vehicles on traffic ways of the City, provided that the prohibition of division (f)(2) of this section continues to apply.
(2) Repairs of utility structures which pose a clear and immediate danger to life, health, or significant loss of property.
(3) Sirens, whistles, or bells lawfully used by emergency vehicles, or other alarm systems used in case of fire, collision, civil defense, police activity, or imminent danger, provided that the prohibition contained in division (f)(4) of this section continues to apply.
(4) 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.
(5) Repairs or excavations of bridges, streets or highways by or on behalf of the City, the State, or the Federal government, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when public welfare and convenience renders it impractical to perform the work between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
(6) Outdoor school and playground activities. Reasonable activities conducted on public playgrounds and public or private school grounds, which are conducted in accordance with the manner in which such spaces are generally used, including but not limited to, school athletic and school entertainment events.
(7) Other outdoor events. Outdoor gatherings, public dances, shows and sporting events, and similar outdoor events, provided:
A. A permit has been obtained from the City Clerk for the date of the proposed event; and
B. A permit fee has been paid to the City in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00), or if the applicant for the permit estimates (or the City Clerk has reasonable belief) attendance at the event to be in excess of one hundred persons a permit fee in the amount of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00) has been paid; and
C. A bond or other acceptable surety has been posted with the City in an amount of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to reimburse the City all actual and necessary expenses or costs incurred by the City as a result of the event for which the permit was issued if the applicant for the permit estimates (or the City Clerk has reasonable belief) attendance at the event to be in excess of one hundred persons; and
D. The permit provides for an expiration at 11:00 p.m. on the date of the event for which it was obtained.
(1) The following individuals shall enforce this section: the Mayor or Police Chief will have primary responsibility for the enforcement of the noise regulations contained herein. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Mayor or Police Chief from obtaining voluntary compliance by way of warning, notice or education.
(2) If a person's conduct would otherwise violate this section and consists of speech or communication of a gathering with others to hear or observe speech or communication, or of a gathering with others to picket or otherwise express in a non-violent manner, a position on social, economic, political or religious questions, the person must be ordered to, and have the opportunity to, move, disperse, or otherwise remedy the violation prior to arrest or a citation being issued.
(1) A person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a summary offense which is punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or both.
(2) Each occurrence of a violation, or, in the case of continuous violations, each day a violation occurs or continues, constitutes a separate offense and may be punished separately.
(Ord. 03-03. Passed 3-13-03; Ord. 09-06. Passed 7-27-06.)