Town of Narragansett, Rhode Island
Code of Ordinances (from municode)
(see also the Narragansett-URI Coalition website)


Sec. 46-31.  Public nuisance.

(a)   It shall be a public nuisance to conduct a gathering of five or more persons on any private property in a manner which constitutes a substantial disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private or public property in a significant segment of a neighborhood, as a result of conduct constituting a violation of law. Illustrative of such unlawful conduct is excessive noise or traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, illegal parking, public drunkenness, public urination, the service of alcohol to minors, fights, disturbances of the peace, and litter.

(b)   A gathering constituting a public nuisance may be abated by all reasonable means including, but not limited to, an order requiring the gathering to be disbanded and citation and/or arrest of any law violators under any applicable ordinances and state statutes.

(Ch. 856, § 1, 5-2-2005; Ch. 891, § 1, 9-4-2007)

Sec. 46-32.  Notice of unruly gathering; posting, mailing.

(a)   When the police department intervenes at a gathering which constitutes a nuisance under this article, the premises at which such nuisance occurred shall be posted with a notice stating that the intervention of the police has been necessitated as a result of a public nuisance under this article caused by an event at the premises, the date of the police intervention, and that any subsequent event within the period set forth below on the same premises, which necessitates police intervention, shall result in the joint and several liability of any guests causing the public nuisance, or any persons who own or are residents of the property at which the public nuisance occurred, or who sponsored the event constituting the public nuisance as more fully set forth below. Any notice posted between September 1 and May 31 of any year shall remain posted until May 31. Any notice posted between June 1 and August 31 of any year shall remain posted until August 31.

(b)   The residents and owner of such property shall be jointly responsible for ensuring that such notice is not removed or defaced and it shall be a Code violation carrying a penalty of a minimum, mandatory $100.00 fine in addition to any other penalties which may be due under this section if such notice is removed, obscured or defaced, provided, however, that the residents of the premises or sponsor of the event, if present, shall be consulted as to the location in which such notice is posted in order to achieve both the security of the notice and its prominent display.

(Ch. 856, § 1, 5-2-2005; Ch. 891, § 1, 9-4-2007)

Sec. 46-33.  Mailing of notice to property owner. Notice of the intervention shall also be mailed to any property owner on the Town of Narragansett property tax assessment records and shall advise the property owner that any subsequent such intervention within posting periods set forth in section 46-32(a) on the same premises shall result in liability of the property owner for all penalties associated with such intervention as more particularly set forth below.

(Ch. 856, § 1, 5-2-2005; Ch. 891, § 1, 9-4-2007)

Sec. 46-34.  Persons liable for subsequent response to gathering constituting a public nuisance.

(a)   If the police department is required to respond to a gathering constituting a public nuisance on the premises more than once in any posting periods set forth in section 46-32(a), the following persons shall be jointly and severally liable for fines as set forth below:
     (1)   The person or persons who own the property where the gathering constituting the public nuisance took
     place, provided that notice has been mailed to the owner of the property as set forth herein and the gathering
     occurs at least two weeks after the mailing of such notice.
     (2)   The person or persons residing on or otherwise in control of the property where such gathering took place.
     (3)   The person or persons who organized or sponsored such gathering.
     (4)   All persons attending such gatherings who engage in any activity resulting in the public nuisance.
     (5)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose liability on the resident or owners of the premises or
     sponsor of the gathering, for the conduct of persons who are present without the express or implied consent of
     the resident or sponsor, as long as the resident and sponsor have taken all steps reasonably necessary to
     exclude such uninvited participants from the premises, including landlords who are actively attempting to evict a
     tenant from the premises.

(b)   Where an invited guest engages in conduct which the sponsor or resident could not reasonably foresee and the conduct is an isolated instance of a guest at the event violating the law which the sponsor is unable to reasonably control without the intervention of the police, the unlawful conduct of the individual guest shall not be attributable to the sponsor or resident for the purposes of determining whether the event constitutes a public nuisance under this section.

(Ch. 856, § 1, 5-2-2005; Ch. 891, § 1, 9-4-2007)

Sec. 46-35.  Penalties for violation.
(a)   It shall be a Code violation punishable as set forth herein when intervention at the same location to abate a gathering constituting a public nuisance occurs within any posting periods set forth in section 46-32(a) after the property was posted in accordance with section 46-11:
    (1)   For the first intervention in a posting period the fine shall be a minimum mandatory $300.00;
    (2)   For the second such intervention in a posting period the fine shall be a minimum mandatory $400.00;
     (3)   For any further such responses in a posting day period the fine shall be a minimum mandatory $500.00.

(b)   In addition to the above, the municipal court shall be authorized to order the person or persons in violation to perform community service. For a first intervention ordering community service shall be discretionary. For a second or third intervention, the municipal court shall, in addition to the monetary penalty set forth above, order the person or persons in violation to perform not less than 25 hours of community service for a second intervention and not less than 50 hours of community service for a third intervention.

(Ch. 856, § 1, 5-2-2005; Ch. 891, § 1, 9-4-2007)



     *Cross references:  Solid waste hazard or nuisance, § 62-86; regulations for noise, dust and debris on streets, § 66-87.
     State law references:  Snowmobiles, G.L. 1956, § 31-3.2-1 et seq.; noise limits for vehicles, G.L. 1956, § 31-45-1 et seq.; authority to adopt certain regulations, G.L. 1956, § 45-24-35; mufflers on engines and motors, G.L. 1956, § 46-22-8. 

Sec. 22-41.  Statement of policy. The council hereby finds and declares that: (1)   Excessive noise is a serious hazard to the public health, safety and welfare and the quality of life in a close urban society. (2)   A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive noise can be substantially abated without serious inconvenience to the public. (3)   Certain of the noise producing equipment in this community is essential to the quality of life and should be allowed to continue at reasonable levels with responsible regulation. (4)   Each person has a right to an environment reasonably free from noise which jeopardizes health or welfare or unnecessarily degrades the quality of life. (5)   It is the declared policy of the town to promote an environment free from excessive noise, otherwise properly called noise pollution, which unnecessarily jeopardizes the public health, safety and welfare and degrades the quality of the lives of the residents of this community, without unduly prohibiting, limiting or otherwise regulating the function of certain noise producing equipment which is not amenable to such controls and yet is essential to the quality of life in the community. (Code 1986, § 9-10; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-42.  Purpose, title and scope of article. (a)   Purpose.  The purpose of this article is to establish standards for the control of noise pollution in the town by setting maximum permissible sound levels for various activities to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.  (b)   Title.  This article may be cited as the "Noise Ordinance" of the Town of Narragansett.  (c)   Scope.  This article shall apply to the control of all noise originating within the limits of the town provided that:  (1)   A state or federal agency has not adopted a different standard or rule than that prescribed in this article and has so preempted the regulation of noise from a particular source as to render this article inapplicable thereto; or (2)   Such noise has not been granted a variance pursuant to section 10-50. (Code 1986, § 9-11; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-43.  Measurement of sound. (a)   General provision; tests for noise disturbances.  In addition to the definition established in section 10-37, the factors which shall be considered in determining whether a noise disturbance exists shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:  (1)   The volume of the noise; (2)   The intensity of the noise; (3)   Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual; (4)   Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural; (5)   The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any; (6)   The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities; (7)   The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates; (8)   The density of inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates; (9)   The time of the day or night the noise occurs; (10)   The duration of the noise; (11)   Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant; and (12)   Whether the noise is produced by a commercial or noncommercial activity. (b)   Classification of use districts.  It is unlawful to project a sound or noise, from one property into another, within the boundary of a use district which exceeds either the limiting noise spectra set forth in Table 1 below, or exceeds the ambient noise level by more than three decibels.  (1)   Sound or noise projecting from one use district into another use district with a different noise level limit shall not exceed the limits of each district into which the noise is projected. (2)   Measurement of noise: a.   The measurement of sound or noise shall be made with a sound level meter and octave band analyzer meeting the standards prescribed by the American Standards Association. The instruments shall be maintained in calibration and good working order. Octave band corrections may be employed in meeting the response specification. A calibration check shall be made of the system at the time of any noise measurement. Measurements recorded shall be taken so as to provide a proper representation of the noise source. The microphone during measurement shall be positioned so as not to create any unnatural enhancement or diminution of the measured noise. A windscreen for the microphone shall be used when required. Traffic, aircraft and other transportation noise sources and other background noises shall not be considered in taking measurements except where such background noise interferes with the primary noise being measured. b.   The slow meter response of the noise level meter shall be used in order to best determine that the average amplitude has not exceeded the limiting noise spectra set forth in Table I. c.   The measurement shall be made at the property line of the property on which such noise is generated, or perceived, as appropriate five feet above ground. d.   In the case of an elevated or directional sound or noise source, compliance with the noise limits is to be maintained at any elevation at the boundary. (Code 1986, § 9-12; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-44.  Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning. Definitions of technical terms used in this article, which are not defined in this section, shall be obtained from publications of acoustical terminology issued by ANSI or its successor body. A-scale (dBA)  means the sound level in decibels measured using the A-weight or network as specified in ANSI Standard 1.4-1971 for sound level meters. The level is designated dB(A) or dBA.  Ambient sound level  means the noise associated with a given environment, exclusive of intruding noises from isolated identifiable sources.  ANSI  means the American National Standards Institute or its successor body.  Construction  means any and all activity necessary or incidental to the erection, assembly, alteration, installation, repair of equipment of buildings, roadways or utilities, including land clearing, grading, excavating and filling.  Decibel (dB)  means a logarithmic and dimensionless unit of measure often used in describing the amplitude of sound, equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure, which is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter).  Demolition  means any dismantling, intentional destruction or removal of structures, utilities, public or private right-of-way surfaces or similar property.  Dwelling unit  means a building or portion thereof regularly used for residential occupancy.  Dynamic braking device  means a device used primarily on trucks and buses to convert the motor from an internal combustion engine to an air compressor for the purpose of vehicle braking without the use of wheel brakes.  Emergency work  means work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work to restore public utilities or work required to protect persons or property from imminent exposure to danger.  Impulsive sound  means sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Examples of sources of impulsive sound include explosions, dropforge impacts and the discharge of firearms.  Lot  means any tract or parcel of land owned by or under the lawful control of one distinct ownership shall be considered a lot. The lot line or boundary is an imaginary line at ground level which separates a lot and its vertical extension owned by one person from that owned by another.  Mixed use  means a dwelling unit or school located in commercial or an industrial zone.  Motor vehicle  means any motor-operated vehicle licensed for use on the public highways, but not including a motorcycle.  Motorboat.  See  Watercraft  .  Motorcycle  means any motor vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The term shall include motorized bicycles, motor scooters, mopeds and the like.  Narrow band sound  means a sound characterized by normal listeners as having a predominant pitch or series of pitches; sound described by such listeners as "whine," "hiss," "toot," or "wail"; or a sound whose frequencies occupy an octave band or less.  Noise control office  means the town department having responsibility for the enforcement of this article.  Noise disturbance  means any sound which exceeds the dBA level for such sound set out in this article.  Nonconforming use  means a use of a structure, building or land which was established as permitted use and which has been lawfully continued pursuant to the zoning code of the town, but which is not a permitted use in the zone in which it is now located.  Offroad recreational vehicle  means any motor vehicle, including road vehicles, but excepting watercraft, used off public roads for recreational purposes.  Person  means any individual, association, partnership or corporation, including any officer, department, bureau, agency or instrumentality of the United States, a state or any political subdivision of a state, including the town.  Physical characteristics of sound  means the steady, impulsive or narrow band property of a sound, the level of the sound and the extent to which it exceeds the background sound level.  Plainly audible  means any sound for which the information content is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as, but not limited to, understandable spoken speech, comprehension of whether a voice is raised or normal or comprehensive rhythms.  Port facilities  means any and all public or private facilities used for the repair, loading or unloading of ships within the town, including, but not limited to, shipyards, repair yards and dry docks.  Powered model vehicle  means self-propelled airborne, waterborne or landborne model plane, vessel or vehicle, which is not designed to carry a person, including, but not limited to, any model airplane, boat, car or rocket.  Public right-of-way  means any street, avenue, highway, boulevard, alley, easement or public space which is owned by or controlled by a public government entity.  Public space  means any real property, including any structure thereon, which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.  Pure tone  means any sound which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or set of single pitches.  Real property boundary  means an imaginary line along the ground surface, and its vertical extension, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person, but not including intrabuilding real property divisions.  Receiving land use  means the use or occupancy of the property which received the transmission of sound.  Residential property  means any property on which is located a building or structure used wholly or partially for living or sleeping purposes.  Sound  means an oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that cause compression and rarefaction of that medium. The description of sound may include any characteristic of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.  Sound level  means the weighted sound pressure level obtained by the use of a sound level meter and frequency weighting network, such as A, B or C, as specified in ANSI specifications for sound level meters (ANSI Standard 1.4-1971, or the latest approved revision thereof). If the frequency weighting employed is not indicated, the A-weighting shall apply.  Sound level meter  means an instrument which includes a microphone, amplifier, RMS detector, integrator or time average, output or play meter, and weighting networks used to measure sound pressure levels, which complies with ANSI Standard 1.4-1971.  Sound pressure  means the instantaneous difference between the actual pressure and the average or barometric pressure at a give point in space, as produced by sound energy.  Sound pressure level  means 20 times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio of the RMS sound pressure to the reference pressure to the reference pressure of 20 micronewtons per square meter (20 ×  10-6N/m'). The sound pressure level is denoted Lp or SPL and is expressed in decibels.  Steady sound  means a sound whose level remains essentially constant (=/-2d) during the period of the sound level meter.  Town  means the Town of Narragansett, Rhode Island, or the area within the territorial limits of the town over which the town has the jurisdiction or control by virtue of ownership or any constitutional or Charter provisions, or any law.  Unnecessary, excessive or offensive noise  means any sound or noise conflicting with criteria, standards or levels set forth in this article for permissible noises.  Used  and  occupied  include the words "intended, designed or arranged to be" used or occupied.  Watercraft  means any contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation or recreation on water.  Zoning districts  means those districts established in the Zoning Ordinance and indicated on the official zoning map.  (Code 1986, § 9-13) Cross references:  Definitions generally, § 1-2.  Sec. 22-45.  Exceptions from article provisions. The provisions of this article shall not apply to: (1)   The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency or resulting from any authorized emergency vehicle when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency; (2)   The emission of sound in the performance of emergency work; (3)   The unamplified human voice, except those activities prohibited in section 22-49; (4)   Agricultural activities, excluding those involving the ownership or possession of animals or birds; (5)   The emission of sound in the performance of military operations, excluding travel by individuals to or from military duty; (6)   The emission of sound in the discharge of weapons or in fireworks displays licensed by the town, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; (7)   The emission of sound in the operation of snow removal equipment at any time of day, provided, however, that the removal occurs during or immediately after a declared snow emergency resulting in a parking ban; and (8)   The emission of sound relative to permitted construction, demolition and normal maintenance activities, provided that such activities do not occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (Code 1986, § 9-14; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-46.  Noise disturbance prohibited generally. (a)   No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued, except as permitted in this article, any noise or sound which constitutes a noise disturbance. In the absence of specific maximum noise levels, a noise level must exceed the ambient noise level by five dBA or more, when measured at the nearest property line or, in the case of a multifamily residential building, when measured anywhere in one dwelling unit with respect to a noise emanating from another dwelling unit or from common space in the same building, in order to constitute a noise disturbance. (b)   Any person, including a police officer, or a municipal zoning or building official, may be a complainant for the purposes of instituting action for any violation of this chapter. For any violation of this section, the receiving land use involved may include real property contiguous to, or bounding the real property containing the source of the sound which is the subject of the violation. (Code 1986, § 9-15; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-47.  Maximum permissible sound levels by receiving land use. (a)   With the exception of sound levels elsewhere specifically authorized or allowed in this article or exempted by this article or by variance, the following are the maximum permissible sound levels allowed at or within the real property boundary of a receiving land use: Table I. Zoning District Noise Standard Maximum Allowable Octave Band Sound Pressure Levels TABLE INSET:
     Residential   Business Zones (BA, BB, and BC)   Industrial Zones (IA and IB)    Octave band center frequency of all measurement (HZ)   Daytime *   All other times   Daytime *   All other times   Any time    31.5   76   68   79   72   83    63   75   67   78   71   83    125   69   61   73   65   77    250   62   52   68   57   73    500   56   46   62   51   67    1,000   50   40   56   45   61    2,000   45   33   51   39   57    4,000   40   28   47   34   53    8,000   38   26   44   32   50    Single number equivalent   60 dB(A)   50 dB(A)   65 dB(A)   55 dB(A)   70 dB(A)    *8:00 a.m.--10:00 p.m. (b)   For any source of sound which emits a pure tone, the maximum sound level limits set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be reduced by five dBA. (c)   Exceptions to table I are activities covered by sections 22-48, 22-52, 22-54, and 22-59. (Code 1986, § 9-16; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-48.  Emergency signaling devices. (a)   No person shall operate or permit the intentional sounding outdoors of any fire, burglar or civil defense alarm, siren, whistle, or similar stationary emergency signaling device, except for emergency purposes or for testing, as provided in subsection (b) of this section. (b)   Testing of a stationary emergency signaling device shall occur at the same time of day each time the test is performed, but not before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. Any such testing shall use only the minimum cycle test time. In no case shall the test time exceed 60 seconds. (Code 1986, § 9-17) Sec. 22-49.  Specific activities prohibited. The following actions are prohibited only when causing a noise disturbance as defined in this article: (1)   Hawkers and peddlers.  No person shall create a noise disturbance by offering for sale or selling anything by shouting or outcry across a real property boundary. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the selling by outcry of merchandise, food and beverages at licensed sporting events, parades, fairs, circuses or other similar licensed public entertainment events.  (2)   Vehicle or motorboat repairs or testing.  No person shall repair, rebuild, modify or test any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorboat in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a real property boundary.  (3)   Horns, signaling devices, etc.  The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, streetcar or other vehicle on any street or public place of the city, except as a danger warning.  (4)   Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising.  The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving device, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is broadcast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.  (5)   Yelling, shouting, etc.  Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  (6)   Exhausts.  The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motor boat, or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.  (7)   Defect in vehicle or load.  The use of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or in such condition as to create a noise disturbance.  (8)   Loading, unloading, opening boxes.  The creation of a noise disturbance in connection with loading or unloading any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.  (9)   Schools, courts, churches, hospitals.  The creation of any noise disturbance on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court while the school, institution of learning, church or court are in use, or adjacent to any hospital, provided that conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital or court street.  (10)   Disorderly house.  No person shall do either of the following:  a.   Keep a disorderly house whereby the peace, comfort, or decency of a neighbor is habitually disturbed; or b.   Being the owner of and in control of the premises to permit then to be so used; c.   For purposes of this section a disorderly house is defined as a residence or dwelling in which two noise disturbances resulting in convictions in the municipal court have occurred within a period of 12 months or less; d.   The owner of any such residence or dwelling may assert as a defense reasonable efforts to take action against the perpetrators of the violation of this article, including the initiation of eviction proceedings pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws. (Code 1986, § 9-18; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-50.  Musical instruments and similar devices. No person shall operate, play or permit the operation of any musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound, including but not limited to any stereo, radio, television, musical instrument or other noise making device for the producing or reproducing of sound within a motor vehicle, using or operating such instrument or device and such persons who are voluntarily listeners thereto or in such manner as to constitute a noise disturbance. In addition, the operation of any such instrument, phonograph, television, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be a violation of this section; provided, that nothing contained in this section shall prohibit performances by the ringing of bells in a tower, or by a band or orchestra in a hall, building or in the open air that is otherwise in compliance with local ordinances. (Code 1986, § 9-19; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-51.  Reserved. Editor's note:  Ch. 849, § 2, adopted July 7, 2004, repealed § 22-51, which pertained to the regulation of sound equipment and sound amplifying equipment and was derived from Code 1986, § 9-20.  Sec. 22-52.  Motorized vehicles. (a)   No person shall operate the engine providing motive power, or any auxiliary engine, of a motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating 10,000 pounds or more for a consecutive period longer than 20 minutes while such vehicle is standing and located within 150 feet of property zoned and used for residential purposes, if the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels as prescribed by table II, except where such vehicle is standing within a completely enclosed structure. This section shall not apply to delivery or pickup vehicles that require the operation of the engine to unload or load their vending loads. (b)   No person shall operate, within the speed limits specified in this section, either a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles of a type subject to registration, at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to exceed the noise limit listed in table II for the category of motor vehicle, based on the legal speed limit, posted or not, of the road or way on which such vehicles are operated. Such noise shall be measured at a distance of not more than 50 feet from the centerline of travel under test procedures established by subsection (c) of this section. If the distance of the measuring instrument from the centerline of travel is less than 50 feet, such listed noise limits shall be corrected to reflect the equivalent noise limits for the actual distance. Table II. Noise Limit in Relation to the Legal Speed Limit TABLE INSET:
        35 mph or less   Over 35 mph    (1)   Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating 10,000 pounds or more and any combination of vehicles owed by such motor vehicle   88 dB(A)   92 dB(A)    (2)   Any motorcycle   82 dB(A)   86 dB(A)    (3)   Any other motor vehicle and any combination of motor vehicles towed by such motor vehicle   76 dB(A)   82 dB(A)    This section applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provision of this Code relating to motor vehicle muffler or noise control. (c)   Every motor vehicle and motorboat shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent noise which exceeds the dB(A) levels set forth in table II. No person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device upon a motor vehicle. (d)   No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle or motorcycle by installation of a muffler or bypass and no person shall operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle which has been so modified if the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels as prescribed by table I. (e)   No person shall operate a recreational vehicle or permit the operation of one or more recreational vehicles, individually or in a group or in an organized racing event, on public or private property, in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across a real boundary. (Code 1986, § 9-21; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-53.  Construction. (a)   No person shall operate or permit the operation of any tool or equipment in construction, drilling or demolition work for public service utilities, which creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary. (b)   This section shall not apply to: (1)   Emergency work or repair work performed by and for government entities or public service utilities; or (2)   Work for which a variance has been obtained from the town council. (c)   The use of domestic power tools or equipment is subject to the noise levels set forth in table I. Cross references:  Buildings and building regulations, ch. 10.  (Code 1986, §§ 5-6, 9-22; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-54.  Stationary nonemergency signaling devices. (a)   No person shall operate or permit the sounding of any stationary bell, chime, siren, whistle or similar device, intended primarily for nonemergency purposes, from any place, for more than one minute in an hourly period. (b)   Devices used in conjunction with places of religious worship shall be exempt from the operation of this section. (c)   Exemptions for sound sources covered by this section, but not exempted under subsection (b) of this section, may be granted by the town council. (Code 1986, § 9-23) Sec. 22-55.  Animals and birds. No person shall own, possess or harbor any animal or bird which frequently or for a continued duration emits sound that is native to the species, which sound exceeds the dBA levels set forth in table I of section 22-47. (Code 1986, § 9-24) Cross references:   Animals, ch. 6.  Sec. 22-56.  Reserved. Editor's note:  Ch. 849, § 2, adopted July 7, 2004, repealed § 22-56, which pertained to background noise and was derived from Code 1986, § 9-25.  Sec. 22-57.  Implementation, administration and enforcement of article. (a)   This article shall be implemented, administered and enforced by the town police department or any other town department or division designated by the director of public safety. (b)   The provisions of this article which prohibits a person from making or continuing noise disturbances, or causing the noise disturbance to be made or continued, across a real property boundary, shall be enforced by the police department or any other town department or division as designated by the director of public safety. (c)   To implement and enforce this article, the police department, or any duly designated town agency, shall have the power to: (1)   Conduct research, monitoring and other studies related to sound; (2)   Conduct programs of public education regarding the causes, effects and general methods of abatement and control of noise as well as the actions prohibited by this article and the procedures for reporting violations; (3)   Coordinate the noise control activities of all town departments; (4)   Review public and private projects, including those subject to mandatory review or approval by other departments, for compliance with this article, if these projects are likely to cause sound in violation of this article; (5)   Prepare recommendations for consideration by the town council. (d)   Whenever a violation of this article occurs and two or more persons are present in or on the property from which the sound emanates, and it is impossible to determine which of such persons is the violator, the owner of the property, if present, shall be presumed responsible for violation. In the absence of such owner, the tenant or tenants of such property or any person present with the direct consent of the owner shall be held responsible for the violation. (e)   In the case of continuing violations, the town solicitor may institute an action for injunctive relief against the owner and/or tenant of the property. (Code 1986, § 9-26; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-58.  Departmental actions. All departments and agencies of the town shall carry out their programs in furtherance of the policy of this article. (Code 1986, § 9-27) Sec. 22-59.  Sound variances. (a)   The town council shall have the authority, consistent with this section, to grant sound variances from this article after a public hearing. (b)   Any person seeking a sound variance under this section shall file an application with the town council. The application shall contain information which demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the sound variance is sought into compliance with this article would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant, on the community or on other persons. (c)   All applications shall be subject to the application fee as set forth in section 11-1. Notification and advertisement shall be in accordance with provisions for a variance as set forth in the town zoning ordinances. (d)   In determining whether to grant or deny an application, or revoke a variance previously granted, the town council shall balance the hardship to the applicant, the community and other persons if the sound variance is not allowed, against the adverse impact on the health, safety and welfare of persons affected, the adverse impact on property affected, and any other adverse impact, if the sound variance is allowed. The town council may grant the relief as applied for if it finds: (1)   That additional time is necessary for the applicant to alter or modify his activity or operation to comply with this section; or (2)   The activity, operation or noise source will be of temporary duration, and cannot be done in a manner that would comply with other subsections of this section; and (3)   That no other reasonable alternative is available to the applicant. Applicants for sound variances and persons contesting sound variances may be required to submit any information that the town council may reasonably require. In granting or denying an application or in revoking a sound variance previously granted, the town council shall place on public file a copy of the decision and the reasons for granting, denying or revoking the sound variance. (e)   Sound variances shall be granted by notice to the applicant containing all conditions necessary to minimize adverse effects upon the community or the surrounding neighborhood, including a time limit on the permitted activity. The sound variance shall not become effective until all conditions are agreed to by the applicant. Noncompliance with any condition of the sound variance shall terminate it and subject that person to those provisions of this article regulating the source of sound or activity for which the sound variance was granted. (f)   Determination of modification of a granted variance shall also be made in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in this section. (Code 1986, § 9-28; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004) Sec. 22-60.  Penalties for violation of article. (a)   The penalty for violation of any section of this article shall be up to the maximum allowed by state law for municipalities to impose on ordinance violations as follows: (1)   The first offense shall be punished by the issuance of an order to cease and desist the violations and by a fine of up to $200.00 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days. (2)   The second offense within a six-month period shall be punished by the issuance of an order to cease and desist the violation and by a fine of not less than $350.00 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days. (3)   The third and all subsequent offenses shall be punished by the issuance of an order to cease and desist the violation and a fine of not less than $400.00 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days. (b)   Each noise disturbance shall be considered a separate offense. (c)   Notwithstanding the above, any violation of this chapter which occurs in an area zoned residential by the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Narragansett shall be subject to a minimal mandatory fine of $500.00. (Code 1986, § 9-29; Ch. 849, § 1, 7-7-2004)