[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Providence 9-9-1991 by Ord. No. 373. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Nuisances — See Ch. 104.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of Lower Providence Township to prohibit and prevent noise pollution, as hereinafter defined, for the purpose of securing and promoting public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, peace and quiet in residentially zoned districts.
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- The American Standards Institute or its successor bodies.
- DAYTIME HOURS
- Seven o'clock a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.
- The abbreviation for the sound level in decibels determined by the A-weighting network of a sound-level meter or by calculation from octave band or 1/3 octave band data.
- DECIBEL (db)
- A unit of measure, on a logarithmic scale, or the ratio of a particular sound pressure squared to a standard reference pressure squared. For the purpose of this chapter, 20 micropascals shall be the standard reference pressure.
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
- NIGHTTIME HOURS
- Eight o'clock p.m. of one day through 7:00 a.m. of the next day.
- The intensity, frequency, duration and character of sound, including sound and vibration of subaudible frequencies.
- NOISE POLLUTION
- The presence of noise of sufficient loudness and character, from a single source or from multiple sources, which is, or may be predicted with reasonable certainty to be, injurious to health, safety and comfort or which unreasonably interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of property or with any lawful business or activity. Noise/sound pressure levels exceeding those permitted in residential districts constitute noise pollution.
- Any individual, group of individuals, lessee, lessor, guest, licensee, firm, partnership, voluntary association or corporation responsible for the use of property.
- SOUND LEVEL
- In decibels, the weighted sound-pressure level measured by the use of a sound-level meter satisfying the requirements of ANSI SI.4, 1971, Specifications for Sound-Level Meters. "Sound Level" and "noise level" are synonymous.
- SOUND-LEVEL METER
- An instrument meeting ANSI SI.4, Specifications for Sound-Level Meters, comprising a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting network or networks, that is used for the measurement of sound-pressure levels in a specified manner.
- SOUND PRESSURE
- Minute fluctuations in atmospheric pressure which accompany the passage of a sound wave.
- SOUND-PRESSURE LEVEL
- In decibels, 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of a sound pressure to the reference sound pressure of 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter). In the absence of any modifier, the level is to be that of a root-mean-square pressure.
- Any person or property, real or personal, contributing to noise pollution.
- ZONING DISTRICT
- The land use category defined according to the zoning ordinances of Lower Providence Township.
It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly permit the making, creation or maintenance of noises in excess of those permitted by this chapter upon any premises owned or possessed by him or under his control.
The following sound/noise levels represent the maximum permissible levels in residential zoning districts. Levels exceeding said permissible levels are prohibited.
The creation or allowance of such creation within any residential zoning district of noise/sound levels in excess of 65 dB(A) during the daytime hours and 55 dB(A) during the nighttime hours is hereby prohibited.
In situations where noise levels are measured at an interface or boundary line between a residential district and nonresidential zoning district or where noise levels measured in a residential zoning district emanate from a source in another zoning district, the applicable permissible noise level at the point of measurement shall be the noise level permitted in the residential zoning district.
Exemptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
Devices used solely for the purpose of warning, protecting or alerting the public, or some segment thereof, of the existence of an emergency situation.
Household tools and portable appliances in normal usage.
Lawn care equipment in normal daytime usage if used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
Motor vehicles licensed for operation on public roads.
Operations by, or sanctioned by, the proper authorities (city, state or federal) for the protection of persons or property where imminent physical trauma or property damage demands immediate attention.
Emergency utility operation.
Operations by township, county or commonwealth departments.
Nonamplified sound emanating from duly permitted or licensed and/or authorized athletic contests, fairs, parades and municipally sponsored events.
Mechanical and electrical construction noise resulting from the operation of tools and equipment used in the ordinary course of drilling, renovations, lawn/yard and/or pool maintenance, tree maintenance, trimming and/or removal, digging, demolition and all related practices provided the noise emanating from said use occurs during daytime hours.
All activities granted immunity and/or exemption from noise pollution control by the legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the extent of the immunity or exemption as granted by state law.
The measurement of noise levels shall be conducted at points on the property line of the source if the source is in a residential zoning district, or on the boundary of a zoning district if the source emanates from property in a nonresidential zoning district, or may be made on the premises of any property in a residentially zoned district reached by the sound waves from the noise emanating from the source.
Measurement equipment shall be sound-level meters complying with ANSI SI.4, 1971, Specifications for Sound-Level Meters, of at least Type 2 quality and sensitivity, comprising a microphone, amplifier, output meter and frequency weighting network(s).
Measurement equipment operators shall be members of the Code Enforcement and/or Police Department of Lower Providence Township, who have been properly trained in the operation and interpretation of the noise measuring equipment.
Any person, persons or group of persons who shall violate this chapter shall upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a summary offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus cost of prosecution and, upon default of payment, may be sentenced to the county jail for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day that such violation continues or reoccurs shall be deemed a separate offense. The commission of such violation by a corporation, firm or partnership shall be construed, insofar as is legally permissible, as the commission of such offenses by any and all officers and/or partners of said corporation, firm or partnership.