Borough of Old Forge, PA
Lackawanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Old Forge 10-16-1990 as Section IV of Ord. No. 12-1990 (Ch. 113 of the 1994 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 226-1 Findings; intent.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of this Borough that the peace, health, safety and welfare of its citizens require protection from excessive, unnecessary and unreasonable noises from any and all sources in the community. It is the intention of the Borough Council to control the adverse effect of such noise sources on the citizens under any condition of use, especially those conditions of use that have the most severe impact on any person.

§ 226-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms are defined as follows:
EMERGENCIES
Essential activities necessary to restore, preserve, protect or save lives or property from imminent danger of loss or harm.
LOCAL AMBIENT
The lowest sound level repeating itself during a six-minute period as measured with a precision sound-level meter using slow response and A-weighting. The minimum sound level shall be determined with the noise source at issue silent and in the same location as the measurement of the noise level of the source or sources at issue; however, for purposes of this chapter, in no case shall the local ambient be considered or determined to be less than 30 dBA for interior noise with respect to the requirements set forth in § 226-3B of this chapter and 40 dBA with respect to requirements set forth in all other sections. If a significant portion of the local ambient is produced by one or more individual identifiable sources that would otherwise be operating continuously during the six-minute measurement period and contributing significantly to the ambient sound level, determination of the local ambient shall be accomplished with these separate identifiable noise sources silent.
NOISE LEVEL
The maximum continuous sound level or repetitive peak level produced by a source or group of sources as measured with a precision sound-level meter using the A-weighting scale and the meter response function set to slow.
PRECISION SOUND-LEVEL METER
A device for measuring sound level in decibel units within the performance specifications in the American National Standards Institute Standard S1.4, Specification for Sound-Level Meters.
PROPERTY PLANE
A vertical plane passing through a property line which determines the property boundaries in space.
SOUND LEVEL
Expressed in decibels (dB), a logarithmic indication of the ratio between the acoustic energy present at a given location and the lowest amount of acoustic energy audible to the sensitive human ears and weighted by frequency to account for characteristics of human hearing, as given in the American National Standards Institute Standard S1.1, Acoustic Terminology, Paragraph 2.9, or successor reference. All references to "dB" in this chapter utilize the A-level weighting scale, abbreviated "dBA," measured as set forth in this section.
VEHICLE
Any device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved or drawn on a highway or street.

§ 226-3 Residential noise limits.

A. 
No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device or any combination of the same on residential property a noise level more than six dB above the local ambient at any point outside of the property planes.
B. 
No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine, animal or device or any combination of the same on multifamily residential property a noise level more than six dB above the local ambient three feet from any wall, floor or ceiling inside any dwelling unit on the same property when the windows and doors of the dwelling unit are closed, except within the dwelling unit in which the noise source or sources may be located.

§ 226-4 Commercial and industrial noise limits.

No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine or device or any combination of same on commercial or industrial property a noise level more than eight dB above the local ambient at any point outside of the property planes.

§ 226-5 Public property noise limits.

A. 
No person shall produce, suffer or allow to be produced by any machine or device or any combination of the same on public property a noise level more than 15 dB above the local ambient at a distance of 25 feet or more, unless otherwise provided in this chapter.
B. 
Sound performances and special events not exceeding 80 dBA measured at a distance of 50 feet are exempt from this chapter when approval therefor has been obtained from the appropriate governmental entity, as provided in the Borough Code.
C. 
Vehicle horns or other devices primarily intended to create a loud noise for warning purposes shall not be used when the vehicle is at rest or when a situation endangering life, health or property is not imminent.

§ 226-6 Exceptions.

A. 
Daytime exceptions. Any noise source that does not produce a noise level exceeding 70 dBA at a distance of 25 feet under its most noisy condition of use shall be exempt from the provisions of §§ 226-3A, 226-4 and 226-5A between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily, except on Sundays and holidays, when the exemption herein shall apply between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
[Amended 8-19-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-8]
B. 
Safety devices. Aural warning devices that are required by law to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community shall not produce a noise level more than three dB above the standard of minimum level stipulated by law.
C. 
Construction. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily, except Sundays and holidays, when the exemption herein shall apply between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., construction, alteration or repair activities that are authorized by a valid Borough permit shall be allowed if they meet at least one of the following limitations:
[Amended 8-19-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-8]
(1) 
No individual piece of equipment shall produce a noise level exceeding 83 dBA at a distance of 25 feet. If the device is housed within a structure on property, the measurement shall be made outside the structure at a distance as close to 25 feet from the equipment as possible.
(2) 
The noise level at any point outside of the property plans of the project shall not exceed 86 dBA.

§ 226-7 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction of each such offense, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days for each offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).