Township of New Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 1]
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 premises owned, occupied or controlled by him or it or upon any public land, street, alley or thoroughfare in the Township of New Hanover any unnecessary noises or sounds, by means of the human voice or by any other means or methods including, but not limited to, 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 sounds 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.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 2]
1. 
Terminology. All technical terminology used in this part not defined below, shall be in conformance with applicable publications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), its latest approved revisions thereof or its successor body.
A. 
Continuous Sound. Any sound, which is steady, state, fluctuating or intermittent with a recurrence greater than one time in any fifteen-second interval.
B. 
Impulsive Sound. Any sound of short duration, with an abrupt onset and rapid decay and an occurrence of not more than one time in any fifteen-second interval.
C. 
Pure Tone. A sound sensation characterized by its singleness of tone.
2. 
Standards. For the purpose of measuring sound in accordance with the applicable provisions of these regulations, test equipment methods and procedures shall conform to the latest approved standards as published by the ANSI or its approved equivalent.
A. 
Residential Zoning Districts. At no point on the property line of the receiving land use or at any point within the receiving land use in a residential district or apartment or multiple type of housing or municipal use district shall the sound-pressure level of any continuous sound resulting from any operation exceed the maximum permitted sound levels set forth below (except as may be expressly modified or waived herein):
(1) 
Ten decibels (dBA) greater than the background noise level.
(2) 
Sixty decibels (dBA) during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or 55 decibels (dBA) during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Whichever standard is more restrictive shall be applicable.
B. 
Nonresidential Standards (Commercial and Industrial). At no point on or beyond the boundary of any receiving land use in the industrial district shall the sound-pressure level of any continuous sound resulting from any operation exceed the commercial standards cited above except as expressly modified or waived herein:
(1) 
Hours of Operation Restricted. Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., seven days a week, and before 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, no person shall operate or cause or permit to be operated any business use in any industrial district, within 200 feet of any school, institution of learning, church, or other public buildings or residential buildings which produces noise and odors which unreasonably interferes with the working of said institutions or residential uses or which disturbs or unduly annoys the persons inside such buildings.
C. 
Correction of Character of Sound. For any source of sound which emits a pure tone, the maximum sound level limits set forth in Subsection 2A(1) and 2A(2) shall be reduced by 5 dBA. For any source of sound which emits an impulsive sound the excursions of sound-pressure level shall not exceed 20 dBA over the ambient sound pressure level, regardless of time of day or night or receiving land use.
D. 
No person, firm or business entity shall possess, harbor or keep an animal or bird which makes any noise continuously and/or persistently for a period of 15 minutes or more, in such a manner as to disturb or annoy any person at any time of the day or night, regardless of whether the animal is situated upon private property.
E. 
The following are exempt from the prohibitions set forth in this section:
(1) 
The playing of a band or orchestra in any public park or in any enclosed concert hall or auditorium 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) 
Outdoor loudspeakers, public address systems and customary on-site noise connected with commencement exercises of educational institution and with the actual performance of sporting events or recreational activities authorized by educational institutions, municipalities, or nonprofit organizations.
(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 government entities in the 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.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 3; as amended by Ord. 17-03, 3/27/2017]
1. 
No person shall operate a sound truck or loudspeaker on the streets or public places of the Township of New Hanover without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Township Code Enforcement 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. on the prevailing local time.
2. 
Every application for a permit shall be accompanied by a permit fee in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. The application for such permit shall be filed in duplicate with the Code Enforcement Officer and shall set forth the following information:
A. 
Name and residential address of the applicant.
B. 
Business address of the applicant.
C. 
Name and address of the owner of the sound truck.
D. 
Make and license number of the sound truck.
E. 
Name and residential address of the person operating the sound truck.
F. 
Name and residential address of the person operating the sound equipment on the sound truck.
G. 
The purpose for which the sound truck will be used.
H. 
The proposed hours of operation of the sound truck.
I. 
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.
J. 
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.
3. 
After issuance of the permit, the Code Enforcement 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 the Township of New Hanover.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 4]
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 person driving other vehicles or to person 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.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 5]
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 of New Hanover, to operate or permit to be operated any type of vehicle, machinery, appliance, equipment or hand tool which emits noise 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 public utility such as a gas main, water main or electrical power line, this section shall not apply.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 6]
It shall be unlawful within the Township of New Hanover for any person or business entity to engage in any use of or activity upon property that, by reason of odors, fumes, noise, or dust, unreasonably interferes with the use comfort and enjoyment of a neighbor's property or endangers the health or safety of the occupants of a neighboring property.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 7; as amended by Ord. 17-03, 3/27/2017]
1. 
Any Township law or Code Enforcement Officer may issue an order requiring the immediate abatement of any source of sound or other nuisance in violation of this part. 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 the code violation and shall set forth the date and time by which the violation must be abated, which date and time shall not be more than 72 hours from the time of notification. If a person or entity does not comply with the abatement order upon its issuance within the time specified in the order, a summary citation may be issued for such violation.
2. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this part continues or each section of this part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. 06-04, 5/8/2006, § 8]
1. 
Any person or entity may request relief from the prohibitions from this part by filing a written request with the Township Manager, together with such information as the Township may reasonably require to determine whether such relief is appropriate. The Manager shall grant such relief only if the Manager concludes that the hardship to the applicant, if relief is not granted, is substantially greater than the prospective adverse impact upon the public health, safety and welfare if relief is granted.
2. 
If the Manager determines that relief shall be granted under Subsection 1 above, the Manager shall issue a permit specifying the noise permitted, the hours and days authorized and the duration of the permit. The Manager may attach such other conditions as are reasonably necessary in order to effectuate the purpose of this chapter. The permit shall not be effective until the applicant agrees to all conditions.
3. 
Noncompliance by the applicant with any condition of the permit shall terminate the permit without further notice, and the applicant will henceforth be subject to all provisions of this chapter.