Does this mean Jersey City is going to be an urban hellhole, plagued by eardrum blasting noise 24/7? No. The new law, a model ordinance already blessed by the state, lifts the ban on boom boxes, which may have been unenforceable, and, instead, requires anyone playing music outside to make sure that the music “is not “plainly audible” from a distance of 50 feet during the day (25 feet after 10 p.m.).” The article does not give us the definition of “plainly audible,” nor explain how it will be determined.
An earlier article highlights other changes under the revised ordinance, which includes a ban on the use of power tools on a residential property before 8:00 a.m., a requirement that snow blowers have mufflers or sound reduction devices, and a ban on animals “howling, yelping, barking, squawking, etc.” for more than five minutes without interruption. But an earlier version of the revised ordinance which would have changed the time that permitted construction could start on weekdays to 8:00 a.m. was punted and the existing 7:00 a.m. start time was retained. And the revised ordinance has some teeth, as it allows a certified noise-control officer the authority to issue fines of up to $1,000 for violations.
Whether the revised ordinance satisfies all constituents remains to be seen. Kudos to the Jersey City city council for recognizing the detrimental impact of noise and for attempting to limit its effect on residents and visitors.