Eatontown officials act to make excessive noise a public nuisance

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EATONTOWN – Officials in Eatontown have amended the borough’s municipal code to establish excessive noise as a public nuisance.

On June 10, Borough Council members adopted an ordinance that renames the “Noise” chapter of Eatontown’s municipal code to “Public Nuisances” and establishes excessive noise as a prohibited nuisance. The action establishes penalties for excessive noise.

The public nuisance chapter is part of the “disorderly conduct code,” according to the ordinance.

According to the terms of ordinance, it will be unlawful for an individual to make or cause noises or acts that annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of any other person in Eatontown. The ordinance states that excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety and the quality of life.

The ordinance also states that a substantial body of science and technology exists to lessen excessive sound and that people have a right to an environment free of excessive sound.

Specified as nuisance prohibitions under the ordinance are audio, video or musical devices; construction; landscaping equipment; bells and alarms; and animals.

According to the ordinance, a person is prohibited from playing or using audio, video or musical devices at a volume level that will unreasonably annoy or disturb other individuals; the devices must not be played at a louder volume level than is necessary for those voluntarily listening to the device. Bells and alarms must terminate within 15 minutes of being activated.

Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays, and between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. on Sundays, the operation of construction equipment in residential zones and landscaping equipment is prohibited, according to the ordinance.

On Saturdays, construction equipment is prohibited from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and landscaping equipment is prohibited from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity must be operated with a muffler.

Keeping animals that emit frequent, long or continued noises are prohibited if the noises disturb the peace and quiet or interfere with sleep between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to the ordinance.

Any individual who is convicted of an excessive noise nuisance will be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,000 and up to 90 days in prison, up to 90 days of community service, or a combination of both.

Exceptions will be made for activities involving public parks, playgrounds or public buildings under permission or authority of the governing body; bands or orchestras in a hall, building or in the open when authorized by borough officials; activities sponsored or authorized by the Borough Council, the Eatontown School District Board of Education or any private school licensed by a state agency; and any agriculture-related activities taking place on any property qualifying for protection secured under the Right To Farm Act, according to the ordinance.