[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § I]
This part may be cited as the "Noise and Nuisance Control Ordinance of Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania."
[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § II]
Excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare and the quality of life to the citizens of the Township.
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated.
Activities generating excessive vibrations, dust, fumes and vapors are detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township and interfere both with the quiet enjoyment of residential and public property and the operation of business and, therefore, should be controlled to the greatest extent possible.
The Township is empowered to ensure the public safety and to define conduct that constitutes disturbing the peace pursuant to § 1527 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66527.
The Township is empowered to abate and prohibit nuisances on private and public property pursuant to § 1529 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66529.
[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § III]
The following provisions shall apply to all sound originating within the boundaries of the Township:
Environmental Performance Standards.
Maximum Permissible Sound Levels by Receiving Zoning District. No person shall operate or cause to be operated on public or private property any source of continuous sound in such a manner as to create a sound level which exceeds the limits set forth for the receiving zoning category in the following table when measured at or within the property boundary of the receiving zoning district. Sound levels exceeding the limits set in the following table are hereby declared to be a nuisance.
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.
Continuous Sound. Any sound, which is steady state, fluctuating or intermittent with a recurrence greater than one time in any fifteen-second interval.
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.
Pure Tone. A sound sensation characterized by its singleness of tone.
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 ANSI or its approved equivalent.
Correction for Character of Sound. For any source of sound, which emits a pure tone, the maximum sound level limits set forth in Subsection 1A(1) 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, using the "fast" meter characteristic of Type II meter, meeting the IEC-651 and ANSI S1.4 Type 2 Specification.
Sound Measurements. The sound meter shall be operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The sound meter shall be calibrated with each use. The sound meter shall be operated using the "A" weighting and fast response settings. Readings shall be taken in such a way that traffic noise is factored into the reading.
Excessive Noise Prohibited. In addition to the above, it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and shall be unlawful for any person, firm or business entity to make, cause, suffer or permit to be made or caused upon a property owned, occupied or controlled by him or it or upon any public land, street, alley or thoroughfare in the Township any excessive noises or sounds, by means of vehicles, machinery, equipment (including sound amplification equipment and musical instruments) 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 the Township or any number of residents thereof.
Special Prohibitions. The following acts and causes thereof are hereby declared to be a nuisance and in violation of this part:
Possessing, harboring or keeping 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.
Operating, playing or permitting the operation of playing or any radio, television, audio equipment, sound amplifier, musical instrument or other such device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. in such a manner as to cause annoyance to persons in the vicinity.
Performing any construction operation or operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, blasting, demolition, excavation, extraction of stone or other such activities between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time on Sunday. This provision does not apply to domestic power tools or vehicles which are duly licensed, registered and inspected for operation on the public highways of this commonwealth.
Repairing, rebuilding, modifying, testing or operating a motor vehicle, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or powered model vehicle in such a manner as to cause annoyance to persons across a real property boundary from the noise source.
Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or similar device used out of doors between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to cause annoyance to persons across a real property boundary from the noise source.
[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § IV]
The restrictions set forth §§ 10-202 and 10-203 hereof shall not apply to any of the following noise sources:
Vehicles, machinery, appliances and equipment or hand tools used in conjunction with agricultural activities.
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.
Emergency work performed to protect public health or safety, including fire protection, protection from flood or other disasters, and work performed to provide electricity, water or other public utilities when public health or safety is involved.
Public gatherings, performances and the like for which a permit has been obtained from the Township.
Warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles and/or required for safety purposes.
Vehicles, machinery, appliances and equipment used in the case of an emergency and snow removal.
Refuse, solid waste or recyclable materials collection.
[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § V]
The following activities are hereby declared to be a nuisance and shall be unlawful within the Township:
Any person or business entity in engaging in any use or activity upon property which by reason of odors, fumes, vapors, vibration or dust unreasonably interferes with the use, comfort and enjoyment of another's property, or endangers the health or safety of the occupants of another's property.
[Ord. 205, 5/22/2003, § VI; as amended by A.O.]
Any Township law enforcement officer, Zoning Officer or other person designated by the Board of Supervisors may issue an order requiring the 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 violation and shall direct that the conduct violating this part cease forthwith (the "abatement order"). If a person or entity does not comply with the abatement order as directed, a summary citation may be issued.
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 less than $100 nor 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. Each violation of any of the provisions of this part shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense, and when a violation continues beyond the time limit set forth in the abatement order shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. When a second and/or subsequent violations are committed by the same person or entity within any twelve-month period, the fine shall be double the amount of the previous fine up to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the above, the Township may institute an action for injunctive relief to prohibit or abate any activity in violation of the provisions of this part.