By DON STINE
The Neptune Township Committee revised its noise ordinance at this week’s meeting, setting clearer and more defined language to better enforce noise violations.
Review of the noise ordinance comes in the wake of complaints filed over several restaurants having outdoor music. The township allowed outdoor music at some restaurants to help improve their business during the Covid-19 shutdown but neighbors have complained.
The revised ordinance controls disturbing noise coming from various sources, including radios, amplified musical systems, motor vehicles and machinery. A public hearing n on the ordinance is scheduled for Dec. 21.
“We tried to tighten the ordinance up a bit to better address some of the complaints we have received from residents at various locations in the township,” Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said.
He said that decibel readings were removed from the ordinance since the township does not have the equipment to properly read the decibel levels anyway.
“There will now be no provision specifying specific decibel levels,” he said.
Gadaleta said that the new ordinance allows multiple violations to be issued to an offender in one day. Fines can be up to $2,000 for each violation.
“If they don’t comply once cited, we can issue more than one violation notice in a day. This allows us to provide additional enforcement and fines,” he said.
He said violation notices will most likely be issued by the police department.
The revised ordinance bans music and other noise in residential neighborhoods if it is audible at a distance of more than 25 feet, or if played between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Fifty-feet is allowed on playgrounds, schools, parks and other public spaces. Sound amplifications systems cannot exceed six speakers and not exceed 100 watts in power output.
Power tools and landscaping equipment cannot be operated between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. and such equipment, including snowblowers, must have mufflers. The ordinance also deals with noise from burglar alarms, pets and animals, vendors and other sources.
A noise disturbance is defined as “any sound which endangers on injures the safety or health of humans or animals or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensibilities.”