Township of Upper Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Gwynedd 5-24-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-4. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Operation of heavy machinery — See Ch. 113.

§ 124-1 Unnecessary noise prohibited.

It is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or business entity to make or cause or suffer or permit to be made or caused, upon a premises owned, occupied or controlled by him or it or upon any public land, street, alley or thoroughfare in the Township of Upper Gwynedd, any unnecessary noises or sounds by means of the human voice or by any other means or methods which are physically annoying to the comfort of any reasonable person or which are so harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in their use, time and place as to occasion physical discomfort, or which are otherwise injurious to the lives, health, peace and comfort of the inhabitants of said Township or any number of residents thereof.

§ 124-2 Sound-producing devices, animals and birds.

A. 
No person, firm or business entity shall play, use or operate, or knowingly permit to be played, used or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, sound amplifier, bell, siren, whistle, alarm, audio signaling device, loudspeaker, exhaust or other machine or device that generates or reproduces sound, upon real or personal property owned, occupied or controlled by him or it, in such manner that the sound emanating from such machine or device equals or exceeds at any boundary of such property 65 decibels during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or 60 decibels during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
[Amended 11-26-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-05]
(1) 
Noise levels shall be measured according to American National Standards Institute Methods for the Measurement of Sound Pressure Levels, ANSI SI.13-1971 (R. 1986), or other equivalent method. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to alter or affect the provisions of Chapter 113 of the Code.
B. 
The following are exempt from the prohibitions set forth in this § 124-2:
(1) 
The playing of a band or orchestra in any public park or in any enclosed concert hall, auditorium or club room, or a parade that complies in other respects with Township ordinances.
(2) 
Emergency activities of municipal, county, state or federal government agencies and public utilities when they are seeking to repair or demolish roads or buildings or to provide water, electricity or other public utility services, and the public health, safety and welfare are implicated.
(3) 
Warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles and vehicles used for traffic safety purposes.
(4) 
Customary on-site noise connected with the actual performance of sporting events and commencement exercises of educational institutions, except that outdoor loudspeakers and public address systems are exempt only when used at sporting events and commencement exercises sponsored by educational institutions.
(5) 
Power lawn mowers and equipment and snowblowers, when operated between the hours of 7:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Sundays and government holidays) and 9:00 p.m.
(6) 
Devices used by governmental entities in furtherance of governmental duties.
(7) 
Farm animals on properties where agricultural uses are permitted by zoning ordinances enacted by the Township.
(8) 
Noises made by animals or birds when a person is trespassing or attempting to trespass upon private property where the animal or bird is situated.
(9) 
Transportation noises emanating from the operation of trains, airplanes and automobiles, except that automobile sound systems and unmuffled vehicles shall not be exempt.
(10) 
Backup alarms on commercial vehicles when used between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

§ 124-3 Sound trucks and loudspeakers.

A. 
No person shall operate a sound truck or loudspeaker on the streets or public places of Upper Gwynedd Township without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Township Zoning Officer. Such permit shall be for a period of one day only, shall not be transferable, shall be limited to one sound truck, and may not be extended as to the date it shall be used. No permit shall be issued for the operation of a sound truck earlier than 8:00 a.m. or later than 8:00 p.m. of the prevailing local time.
B. 
Every application for a permit shall be accompanied by a permit fee to be determined by the Board of Commissioners. The application for such permit shall be filed in duplicate with the Zoning Officer and shall set forth the following information:
(1) 
Name and residential address of the applicant.
(2) 
Business address of the applicant.
(3) 
Name and address of the owner of the sound truck.
(4) 
Make and license number of the sound truck.
(5) 
Name and residential address of the person operating the sound truck.
(6) 
Name and residential address of the person operating the sound equipment on the sound truck.
(7) 
The purpose for which the sound truck will be used.
(8) 
The proposed hours of operation of the sound truck.
(9) 
The applicant shall attach a certification from an engineer that amplifying equipment on the sound truck is regulated by decibels in such a manner that sound emanating from the equipment will not equal or exceed a level that is 15 decibels greater than the ambient background noise level at a distance of 100 feet from the sound truck.
(10) 
The applicant shall attach documents demonstrating that the sound truck is covered by a policy of liability insurance in the amount of at least $200,000 per occurrence and demonstrating that the sound truck has a current inspection sticker affixed by a facility authorized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to conduct vehicle inspections.
C. 
After issuance of the permit, the Zoning Officer shall furnish one copy of the permit to the permittee. The permit must be in the possession of the operator of the sound truck during such time that the sound-amplifying equipment is in operation. The permit shall be promptly exhibited upon request of any police officer of Upper Gwynedd Township.

§ 124-4 Horns.

It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to sound any horn or warning device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or other vehicle except when required by law or to give timely warning of impending danger to persons driving other vehicles or to persons upon the street. No person shall sound any horn or warning device which shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or for any unnecessary or unreasonable period of time.

§ 124-5 Construction, loading and unloading of vehicles and landscaping and yard work.

It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity, or their agents or employees, owning or occupying any building or premises in the Township, to operate or permit to be operated any type of vehicle, machinery, appliance, equipment or hand tool which emits noise in violation of the provisions of § 124-2A herein beyond the boundary of the property upon which said machinery, appliance, equipment or hand tool is being operated or used between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Sundays and national holidays) local time. When the vehicle, machinery, appliance, equipment or hand tool is being used in conjunction with agricultural activities, an emergency, snow removal, or repair of a public utility, such as a gas main, water main or electrical power line, this section shall not apply.

§ 124-6 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
The Township may issue an order requiring the abatement of any source of sound or other nuisance in violation of this chapter. The owner or operator of the subject property or equipment shall be notified of the violation upon hand or certified mail delivery of the order, which shall specify the nature, date and time of code violation and shall set forth the date and time by which the violation must be abated. If a person or entity does not comply with the abatement order within the time specified in the order, a summary citation may be issued for such violation.
B. 
Any person or business entity who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon summary conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution and, in default of such fine and costs, by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 30 days. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense, and each day that a violation continues beyond the time limit set forth in the abatement order shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.