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Township of Muhlenberg, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg 5-18-1987 by Ord. No. 232 (Ch. 96, Art. III, of the 1982 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners finds that:
A. 
Excessive noise and excessive vibration degrade the environment of the Township to a degree which:
(1) 
Is harmful and detrimental to the health, welfare and safety of its inhabitants;
(2) 
Interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life, property and recreation and with the conduct and operation of business and industry; and
(3) 
Causes nuisances.
B. 
No one has any right to create excessive noise or excessive vibration.
C. 
Effective control and elimination of excessive noise and excessive vibration is essential to the furtherance of the health and welfare of the Township inhabitants and to the conduct of the normal pursuits of life, recreation, commerce and industrial activity.
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to prevent excessive noise and excessive vibration and to limit, control and eliminate excessive noise and excessive vibration, in general, from whatever source.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EXCESSIVE VIBRATIONS
The presence of a vibration or vibrations of such intensity, duration, frequency or character which annoys, disturbs or causes or tends to cause adverse psychological or physiological effect on persons or damages or tends to damage personal or real property.
PERSON
Any individual, natural person, syndicate, association, partnership, firm, corporation, institution, agency, authority, department, bureau or instrumentality of federal, state or local government or other entity recognized by law as a subject of rights and duties.
VIBRATION
An oscillatory motion of solid bodies of deterministic or random nature described by displacement, velocity or acceleration with respect to a given reference point.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for a person to willfully make or continue or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary and unusual noise which disturbs the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or which causes discomfort or annoyance to any reasonable person of normal sensitiveness residing in the area.
B. 
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any equipment which shall amplify the sound so that such amplification causes the sound to be heard beyond the boundaries of the person's premises.
C. 
The standard which may be considered in determining whether a violation of the provisions of this section exists shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
The level of the noise.
(2) 
Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual.
(3) 
Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural.
(4) 
The level and intensity of the background noise, if any.
(5) 
The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities.
(6) 
The nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates.
(7) 
The density of the inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates.
(8) 
The time of the day and night the noise occurs.
(9) 
The duration of the noise.
(10) 
Whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant.
No person shall discharge or allow the escape of sound or vibration of a nature which is prohibited by or is in excess of that permitted by this chapter or which results in or causes noise or excessive vibration.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting the rights of any person to redress in a court of law for any injury to person or damage to property caused by noise or excessive vibration.
A. 
The Department of Police shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
The Department of Police shall have the power to effect compliance by:
(1) 
Written warning notice, commanding all necessary actions or forbearances and specifying a maximum period of time for the installation of any equipment or any other measures necessary to achieve compliance; or
(2) 
Initiation of appropriate legal proceedings in any court of law or equity:
(a) 
For the imposition of a penalty; or
(b) 
In order to prevent, restrain or abate excessive noise or excessive vibration prohibited by this chapter.
[Amended 11-7-1988 by Ord. No. 250[1]]
Any person in violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction before any Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $60 nor more than $600 for each offense and, in default of payment of said fine, be imprisoned in Berks County Prison for a period not exceeding 90 days for each offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that the fines and penalties may be collected by suit brought in the name of the Township before any Magisterial District Judge, in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for by existing laws, and to remit such fines and penalties.