BARNEGAT/WARETOWN - When your babies are safely tucked away in bed, it’s the last thing you want to hear. That said, it could be noise levels deprived you of some well-needed slumber. You have to wonder. Aren’t there noise ordinances in place?

Truth be told, both Barnegat and Waretown ordinances contain references to noise control. You might expect the local police to show up for a noise complaint. However, both towns allow Noise Control Officials to act as enforcers when it comes to keeping the volume down during predetermined times.

A little more than a week ago, Facebook user Tim Higgins posed a question. He wanted to know about noise restrictions on the weekends. He specifically limited his inquiry to lawn mowing.

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Not surprisingly, the post brought on a host of comments. Among them was a mother who shared her experience concerning her set of triplets playing in her own yard. Apparently, a neighbor complained that the laughter and “yelling” seemed reason to call the police. The first incident was at 10:30 am; the second, at 4 pm.

All things considered, the time had absolutely nothing to do with the noise complaint. However, children’s laughter isn’t exactly covered by local laws.

What the Law Says about Noise Control

No doubt that excessive noise poses all types of issues. Barnegat’s ordinance on Peace and Good Order offers a number of definitions concerning noise level and its measurement. Of particular interest might be the definition of a noise disturbance.

According to local laws, a noise disturbance is “any sound which annoys, disturbs or perturbs reasonable persons with normal sensitivities, or any sound which injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, hearing, peace or safety of other persons.”

In the meantime, the idea that time is everything – holds true when it comes to noise. This includes allowances for particular activities on weekdays or weekends.

Timing is Everything

Disturbed by a neighborhood kid learning the drums or piano? If you’re in Barnegat and within 50 feet, loud practice sessions are limited to between 10 am and 7 pm. The same holds true for radio receiving sets, televisions, and phonographs. (After all, they are making a comeback.)

Meanwhile, Waretown, also known as the Township of Ocean, has a different approach. Its regulations apply time restrictions to particular decibel levels. For example, impulsive sounds should never reach or exceed 80 decibels. That equates to the consistent noise of a garbage disposal disturbing your dreams.

In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of sometimes and events governed by noise control in both Barnegat and Waretown. Times listed are prohibited times of operation.

Day of the Week

Prohibited Time

Municipality

Event

All

6pm - 6am

Barnegat

Refuse Compacting Trucks

Weekdays

8pm - 7am

Barnegat

Construction Work

Weekends

8pm - 8am

Barnegat

Construction Work

Weekdays

9pm - 6am

Barnegat

Loading and Unloading

Weekends

9pm - 7am

Barnegat

Loading and Unloading

All

8pm - 8am

Barnegat

Powered Model Vehicles, including lawnmowers

All

8pm - 8am

Waretown

Non- commercial or nonindustrial power tools, including lawnmowers

Weekdays

6pm - 7am

Waretown

Commercial or industrial powers tools and landscaping equipment

Weekends

6pm - 9 am

Waretown

Commercial or industrial powers tools and landscaping equipment

Weekdays

6pm - 7 am

Waretown

Construction and Demolition Work

Weekends

6 pm - 9 am

Waretown

Construction and Demolition Work

 

While this list is by no means all-inclusive, it should help you determine your rights when it comes to noise control. Meanwhile, don’t take matters into your hands. Call your local police department’s non-emergency number to express complaints.

Stephanie A. Faughnan is both a journalist and the Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing service. She enjoys telling stories and can be reached at sfaughnan@tapinto.net.