Borough of Mount Oliver, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Mount Oliver at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 67.

§ 154-1 General provisions.

A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that public health, safety and welfare shall not be abridged by the making and creating of public nuisances from disturbing excessive or offensive noises in the Borough of Mount Oliver. The residents of Mount Oliver recognize that uncontrolled noise represents a danger to the health and welfare of themselves and their neighbors and that each resident of the community is entitled to live in an environment in which the level of impulse and amplified noise is minimized for the community good. This chapter attempts to foster mutual respect among all residents and to establish a community position against noise pollution.
B. 
Scope. This chapter applies to all persons, property, animals, equipment, appliances, instruments and other sound-emitting devices as regulated herein.
C. 
Relationship to other restrictions. The provisions of this chapter are not intended to interfere with, abrogate or annul other rules, regulations or ordinances including Title 18 (Crimes Code) or Title 75 (Vehicle Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. If more stringent requirements concerning noise abatement are contained in other rules, regulations, ordinances or laws, the more stringent rule shall apply.

§ 154-2 Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
AMBIENT SOUND
The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources, near and far.
ANSI
American National Standards Institute or successor.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Mount Oliver, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
DECIBEL
A unit of sound level which is a division of a logarithmic scale used to express the ratio of the sound pressure of the source to the pressure of an arbitrarily chosen reference pressure; the ratio is expressed on the decibel scale by multiplying its base 10 logarithm by twenty (20).
DISTURB
Interpreted objectively to mean an actual or imminent interference with the peace or good order of the Borough of Mount Oliver.
NIGHTTIME
9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., prevailing time.
NOISE
Any sound emitted by a person, animal, appliance, equipment, instrument or other device.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which:
A. 
Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals;
B. 
Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person or normal sensitivities;
C. 
Endangers or injures personal or real property; or
D. 
Exceeds the limits set out in § 154-6.
NOISE LEVEL
Airborne sound levels expressed in dB and obtained by the use of certain frequency-dependent weighting networks, as specified in the reference standards and indicated by proper notation; if A-weighting is employed, the sound level is indicated as "dB(A)."
NOISE POLLUTION
Noise of such loudness and character from a single source or from multiple sources which is or may be predicted with reasonable certainty to be injurious to health or which unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of property or with any lawful business or activity. Noise/sound pressure levels exceeding those permitted in any district shall constitute "noise pollution."
PARTY
Any social gathering.
PERSON
Includes an individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, company, corporation or any similar entity.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a government entity.
REPETITIVE IMPULSIVE SOUND
Recurring sound of a short duration, usually less than one (1) second, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay. Examples of "repetitive impulsive sounds" include explosions, drop forge impacts and the discharge of firearms.
SOUND LEVEL
Noise level.
SOUND-LEVEL METER
An instrument, or combination of instruments, which meets or exceeds the requirements for an ANSI Type S1A or Type S2A sound-level meter.
ZONING DISTRICT
Those districts as set forth on the Zoning Map of the Borough of Mount Oliver, as presently existing and as may be from time to time amended.

§ 154-3 Prohibited noise-creating acts.

A. 
No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any noise disturbance as hereafter specified.
B. 
The following acts are determined to be noise disturbances and therefore in violation of this chapter:
(1) 
The use of any horn or other warning device at any time by any person otherwise than as a reasonable warning or to make any sound that is unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility, by means of a horn or other warning device.
(2) 
Using, operating or permitting the use of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, television, phonograph, public address system or other machine or device for the production, reproduction or amplification of sound for a purpose unrelated to political, religious or commercial activity:
(a) 
In such a manner as to be unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility, when such sound is plainly audible across a property line;
(b) 
In such a manner as to be plainly audible across a property line or at a distance of fifty (50) feet, whichever is less, when the device creating the sound is in or on a motor vehicle or hand-carried on a public right-of-way or public space; or
(c) 
In such a manner as to be unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility when operated by any passenger on a common carrier.
(3) 
Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets, alleys or parks at any time so as to be unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility.
(4) 
The use of fireworks or other explosives so as to be unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility.
(5) 
The noise from any party or social gathering which is unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility, when such sound is clearly audible across a property line.
(6) 
The unnecessary squealing of motor vehicle tires which is unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons of reasonable sensitivities within the area of audibility.

§ 154-4 Exemptions.

Noise emitted from the following sources shall be exempt from the noise standards specified herein:
A. 
All safety signals and warning devices (e.g., intrusion alarms and backup alarms on trucks), authorized vehicles when responding to emergencies (e.g., police, fire and ambulances) or any other device used to alert persons to an emergency or used during the conduct of emergency work.
B. 
The provision, repair and maintenance of municipal services or public utilities.
C. 
Bells, chimes or carillons used in conjunction with religious purposes, national celebrations or public holidays; existing bells, chimes or carillons that are currently in place for any other purpose.
D. 
Musical, recreational and athletic events conducted by schools, local government and nonprofit entities.
E. 
Activities permitted by special waiver, as provided herein, according to the terms and conditions of said waiver.

§ 154-5 Administration.

A. 
General. For the administration of this chapter, the borough shall:
(1) 
Appoint a noise enforcement officer or officers, as provided herein, who shall administer this chapter in accordance with its literal terms; police officers may also enforce this chapter.
(2) 
Prepare and maintain records of all activities undertaken for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
(3) 
Issue, through its officers and employees, all warnings, citations and special waivers, as provided herein, and undertake all other activities necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
Special waivers. A temporary waiver from strict compliance with the noise standards specified herein may be granted to persons under exigent circumstances, as determined by the Borough Secretary.

§ 154-6 Maximum permissible sound levels.

A. 
Maximum permissible sound levels by zoning district. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any source of sound specified in § 154-3B in such a manner as to create a sound level which exceeds the limits set forth in the zoning designations category in Table 1 when measured in accordance with § 154-6D. Any sound source that produces sound in excess of those levels, to a degree specified in § 154-6B, shall constitute a per se noise disturbance when generated by the type of activity specified in § 154-3B. Nothing herein shall be construed as permitting noise in violation of the more general standards of § 154-3B but not exceeding such levels contained herein.
Table 1
Sound Levels by Zoning District
Zoning District of Property on Which Source of Noise Located
Sound Level 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Unit dB(A) 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Residential (Zoning Districts R-1,R-2, R-3)
65
55
Commercial (Zoning District C-1, H-1)
75
65
B. 
When exceeded. The sound level limits set forth in Table 1 shall be exceeded when any one (1) or more of the following occur:
(1) 
The sound level at any one (1) point in time exceeds any of the established zone limits in Table 1 by a measured level of fifteen (15) dB(A).
(2) 
The sound exceeds any of the established limits in Table 1 by a measured sound level of ten (10) dB(A) for a cumulative total of one (1) minute or more out of any ten-minute period.
(3) 
The sound exceeds, except in the manufacturing districts, any of the established zone limits in Table 1 by a measured sound level of three (3) dB(A) continually for a period of five (5) minutes, or a total of five (5) minutes out of any ten (10) minutes.
C. 
Ambient sound. In the event that the background ambient sound levels in the area of suspected noise disturbance exceed the levels set forth in Table 1, the sound level of the intrusive sound source shall be measured with the ambient level being substituted as the Table 1 sound level.
D. 
Where measured. For the purposes of this section, sound shall be measured at or within the property line (boundary) of the property receiving the noise, or not less than twenty (20) feet from the source of the sound, when the source is in a public right-of-way, and shall be made at least five (5) feet from any large sound-reflective surfaces.
E. 
This chapter shall not be interpreted to prescribe noises qualifying as nonconforming uses under Chapter 260, Zoning.
F. 
Measuring instruments. All sound measurements shall be made on a sound level meter calibrated in the manner required by the manufacturer's specifications.

§ 154-7 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
Authority to enforce. This chapter shall be enforced by the Police Department and/or the noise enforcement officer of the Borough of Mount Oliver.
B. 
If it is determined by the noise enforcement officer or by a police officer that a condition constituting a noise disturbance exists, the officer may issue a request to desist, a written warning or a citation.
C. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than six hundred dollars ($600.) for each and every offense, to be collected as other fines and costs are collectible, or shall be imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) days. In the case of a continuing violation, each day during which an individual violates this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
This chapter and the foregoing penalties shall not be construed to limit or deny the right of the borough or any person to such equitable or other remedies as may be available for excessive noise.