[Adopted 1-18-1994 by Ord. No. 1798-94]
[Amended 11-21-1995 by Ord. No. 1846-95]
This article shall be known as the "Noise and Disorderly Conduct Code" of Cheltenham Township.
Pursuant to the Home Rule Charter and Section 1502 of the First Class Township Code, for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and the peace and quiet of Cheltenham Township and its residents, the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Cheltenham has determined that:
The making and creation of loud, unnecessary and unusual noises within the limits of the Township is a condition which has existed for some time, and the extent and volume of such noises is increasing.
The making, creation and maintenance of loud, unnecessary or unusual noises which are prolonged, unusual or unnatural in their time, place or use, regardless of the intent, does affect and is a detriment to the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, repose, welfare or prosperity of the residents and persons within the Township.
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 56502.
The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, repose, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the Township of Cheltenham and its inhabitants and persons within its limits.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. Any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances which is intended to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, is suitable for use by the public, complies with the construction, performance, composition and labeling requirements promulgated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in 16 CFR (relating to commercial practices) or any successor regulation and complies with the provisions for "Consumer Fireworks" as defined in APA 87-1 (The American Pyrotechnics Association's Standard 87-1: Standard for Construction and Approval for Transportation of Fireworks, Novelties, and Theatrical Pyrotechnics, 2001 Edition, or any subsequent edition) or any successor standard, the sale, possession and use of which are permitted throughout the Commonwealth.
- B. The term does not include devices such as "ground and hand-held sparkling devices," "novelties" or "toy caps" identified in APA 87-1 or any successor standard, the sale, possession and use of which are permitted at all times throughout the Commonwealth.
[Added 3-28-2018 by Ord. No. 2365-18]
- Includes but is not limited to actual or threatened enemy attack, sabotage, extraordinary fire, flood, storm, epidemic or other impending or actual calamity endangering or threatening to endanger health, life or property or constituted government.
- DISORDERLY CONDUCT
- A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he/she:
- A. Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior.
- B. Makes excessive noise.
- C. Uses obscene language or makes an obscene gesture.
- D. Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
- E. Uses consumer fireworks within Cheltenham Township between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., prevailing time; provided, however, that consumer fireworks may be used within Cheltenham Township on December 31 between 11:45 p.m. and 12:15 a.m. on January 1, prevailing time.[Added 3-28-2018 by Ord. No. 2365-18]
- EMERGENCY VEHICLE
- A Fire Department vehicle, police vehicle, sheriff vehicle, ambulance, blood-delivery vehicle, armed forces emergency vehicle, one vehicle operated by a Coroner or Chief County Medical Examiner and one vehicle operated by a Chief Deputy Coroner or Deputy Chief County Medical Examiner used for answering emergency calls, or any other vehicle designated by the State Police under Section 6106 of the Vehicles Code, or a privately owned vehicle used in answering an emergency call when used by any of the following:
- A. A Police Chief and Assistant Chief.
- B. A Fire Chief, Assistant Chief and, when a fire company has three or more fire vehicles, a Second or Third Assistant Chief.
- C. A Fire Police Captain and Fire Police Lieutenant.
- D. An ambulance corps commander and assistant commander.
- E. A River Rescue Commander and Assistant Commander.
- F. A County Emergency Management Coordinator.
- G. A Fire Marshal.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following a disaster or work required to protect persons or property from imminent exposure to danger.
- EXCESSIVE NOISE
- Any sound which constitutes a noise disturbance.
- LICENSED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any properly licensed mechanical equipment such as but not limited to passenger cars, trucks, truck trailers, semitrailers, campers, motorcycles, minibikes, go-carts, snowmobiles, amphibious craft on land, dune buggies or racing vehicles.
- Any apparatus consisting of baffles, chambers or acoustical absorbing materials, whose primary purpose is to transmit liquids or gases while causing a reduction in sound emission.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which annoys, disturbs or perturbs reasonable persons with normal sensitivities; or any sound which injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, hearing, peace or safety of other persons.
- NONCOMMERCIAL USE
- Any not-for-profit use, religious, institutional or public government activity that has no underlying profit motive attached to its function.
- Includes the singular and the plural and also means and includes any person, owner, tenant, firm, corporation, association, club, partnership, society or any other form of association.
- SOUND-AMPLIFYING EQUIPMENT
- Any machine or device for the amplification of the human voice, music or any other sound. "Sound-amplifying equipment," as used herein, shall not be construed as including standard automobile radios when used and heard only by occupants of the vehicle in which installed, nor warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles nor horns or other warning devices on other vehicles and only for traffic safety purposes.
- SOUND TRUCK
- Any licensed vehicle which has mounted thereon or attached thereto any sound-amplifying equipment.
- Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106.
It shall be unlawful for any person to create a noise disturbance or disorderly conduct within the borders of Cheltenham Township.
No person shall sound unnecessarily any horn or any signaling device on any vehicle, automobile, motorcycle, motor bicycle or other vehicle in any street or public place of the Township except as a danger warning signal. Doing so will constitute disorderly conduct.
No person shall operate any vehicle in the Township, licensed or unlicensed, on public or private premises, whether standing or moving, without an appropriate muffler on the exhaust system of said vehicle in order to prevent noise disturbance or disorderly conduct.
No person shall use, operate or permit to be played any radio receiving set, musical instrument, television, phonograph, public address system or other machine or device for producing or reproducing sound in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance or disorderly conduct. The operation of any such instrument in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 150 feet from the noise source shall be a noise disturbance or disorderly conduct.
No person shall operate or cause to be operated any sound truck for any commercial purpose in the Township with sound-amplifying equipment in operation.
No person shall yell, shout, hoot, whistle or sing on the public streets nor at any time or place so as to cause a noise disturbance or disorderly conduct.
No person shall keep any animal or bird which causes excessive noise that disturbs the comfort or repose of any person in the vicinity.
The erection, including excavation, demolition, alteration, construction or repair, of any building prior to 7:30 a.m. is prohibited unless it involves emergency work.
No person shall create any noise disturbance or disorderly conduct on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church, hospital or any public building, while the same are in use, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which results in excessive noise for pupils, churchgoers, patients or others inside said building.
No peddler, hawker or vendor shall shout or otherwise cry his wares which results in a noise disturbance or a charge of disorderly conduct.
Loafing, loitering, lounging or congregating in such a manner as to interfere with the free passage of the traveling public or annoy the public by means of remarks or conduct of any improper nature will constitute disorderly conduct.
Permitting or giving one's consent to any person to violate the terms of this article as above set forth upon their property or elsewhere will constitute disorderly conduct.
No person shall use or cause to be used any sound truck with its sound-amplifying equipment in operation for any noncommercial purpose in the Township of Cheltenham until such person shall have filed with the Township Manager, in duplicate, a statement containing the following information:
The name and residence of the person making the statement.
The address of place of business of the person making the statement.
The license number and motor number of the sound truck to be used by the person making the statement.
The name and address of the person owning the sound truck.
The name and address of the person having direct charge of the sound truck.
The name and address of every person who is to use such sound truck within the Township.
The purpose for which such sound truck is to be used.
A general statement as to the sections of the Township in which such sound truck is proposed to be used.
The proposed hours of operation of such sound truck.
The days upon which such sound truck is proposed to be operated within the Township.
A general description of the sound-amplifying equipment to be used.
The maximum sound-producing power from the sound truck, including the approximate maximum distance that the sound will be displayed.
The operation of a sound truck requires a permit. Each permit shall be valid for a maximum ten-day period. Upon receipt of the permit fee, to be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners, the Township Manager shall return to the person making the statement one copy of such statement with the Manager's permission for the requested operation endorsed thereon, and the copy shall be duly certified by the Township Manager as a correct copy thereof. Such certified copy of such statement shall be in the possession of any person operating the sound truck at all times while the sound-amplifying equipment of such truck is in operation within the Township, and such copy shall be promptly displayed to a Township police officer upon request.
[Amended 11-21-1995 by Ord. No. 1846-95; 3-15-2005 by Ord. No. 2079-05; 6-27-2006 by Ord. No. 2109-06]
Noncommercial use of sound trucks in the Township of Cheltenham with sound-amplifying equipment in operation shall be strictly in accordance with the following regulations:
The only sounds to be permitted shall be music and human speech.
Operation shall be prohibited on Sunday and upon any other day of the week before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.
Sound-amplifying equipment shall not be operated unless the sound truck upon which such equipment is mounted is operated at a speed of at least 10 miles per hour, except that when said truck is stopped by traffic, said sound-amplifying equipment shall not be operated for longer than one minute at such stop.
Sound-amplifying equipment shall not be operated within 300 feet of any hospital or school.
The human speech and the music amplified through such sound-amplifying device shall not be profane, lewd or indecent.
The volume of sound shall be controlled so that it will not be audible for a distance in excess of 100 yards from the sound truck and so that the volume is not unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to persons within the area of audibility.
Noise caused in the performance of emergency work for the immediate safety, health or welfare of the community or persons of the community or to restore property to a safe condition following a disaster shall not be subject to the provisions of this article. The use of stationary emergency signaling devices shall be for emergency use only.
The Township Manager may grant specific and temporary exceptions to the provisions of this article upon receipt of a written application requesting such exception. The application shall state the nature of the violation and the reason for the request. No exceptions shall be granted for a period exceeding one year from the date of the request. Any person affected by any noise source for which an application for exception has been filed may also submit information to the Commissioners in favor of or in opposition to the proposed exception.
It shall be the duty of the Township Police Department to enforce the provisions of this article, and they are hereby given the power and authority to do so.
[Amended 11-21-1995 by Ord. No. 1846-95]
Any person found guilty of violating any provisions of this article shall, for each offense, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be fined a sum of not more than $600. Each day that a violation continues shall be considered as a separate offense and shall be separately punishable.