[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Municipality of Murrysville 12-5-2001 by Ord. No. 583-01.; amended in its entirety 9-21-2011 by Ord. No. 845-11. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Alarms — See Ch. 77.
Animals — See Ch. 79.
Engine brake retarders — See Ch. 106.
Refuse collection — See Ch. 120.
Peddling — See Ch. 169.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 210.
Recreational vehicles — See Ch. 212.
Zoning — See Ch. 220.
Maximum noise limits are a function of the zoning district and time of day. They are upper limits, not goals for the community. This chapter promotes quiet throughout the community through the use of quieter products by phasing out noisy equipment. The long-term goals is to gradually reduce noise within the community while maintaining prosperous growth. Existing community noise may be lower than these limits; hence, these limits are noise levels not to be exceeded.
It is accepted that some sounds are inherent and acceptable to the community, but intrusive noise is not. Intrusive noise will be limited by using a standard that consists of four acoustic metrics that include average sound level, maximum sound level, peak sound levels and pure-tone levels.
This chapter does not regulate noise on the property, but it does limit noise leaving the property, including off-premises, operations which impinge on any receiving location on any real receiving property as defined by this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following abbreviations shall have the meanings indicated:
Noise terminology not defined below will adhere to ANSI SI.1-1994 American National Standard Acoustical Terminology.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT SOUND
- The intrinsic sounds that occur in a community without significant measureable effects of normal community sounds, natural environmental sounds, or intrusive noise.
- COLLECTIVE LOG AVERAGE LEVELS (CLAL)
- The four log average levels for each of the four compliance metrics that are computed from 20 or more intervals during a single period.
- COMBINED NOISE LEVELS (CNLs)
- When multiple incoherent intrusive noise sources occur simultaneously on one or more real source property(ies), the combined noise level of all intrusive noise sources will be used to determine compliance with the four intrusive noise level limits at the real receiving property(ies). The additive combined effect of these incoherent sources is computed by:
- COMPLIANCE METRICS (CMs)
- The combined acoustic metrics of the LEQ, LMAX, LPK, and LPTL, which are simultaneously measured during the same interval during a single period. These acoustic metrics are the equivalent continuous sound level (LEQ), A-weighted fast-response maximum sound level (LMAX), unweighted peak, sound-pressure level (LPK), and unweighted narrow-band pure-tone level (LPTL). The acoustic reference is 20 micropascals using either the RMS or peak, as appropriate.
- (1) Devices used to move fluids, especially gaseous fluids. Typical devices include but are not limited to reciprocating, lobe, roots, screw, and related ones.
- (2) Devices used to intake or exhaust, extract, or move fluids, air, fumes, and gases. Typical applications include but are not limited to compressors and blowers of buildings, factories, industrial plants, mine ventilation, radiators, bag houses, and related similar uses.
- Will include but not be limited to any site preparation, assembly, erection, demolition, substantial repair, maintenance, alteration or similar action for or of housing or other structures, public or private rights-of-way, structures, utilities, or similar property, including grading or contouring terrain for buildings and public and private roads. Site preparation will include that of electrical substations, sewage plants, water treatment plants, oil and gas development, mine development and to include but not be limited to related short-term work. The time duration of construction will be limited to that defined by the permit of the issuing authority, whether local, county, state or federal agency.
- CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT
- Equipment used during construction or demolition, including but not limited to heavy trucks, pay loaders, tractors, power shovels, air compressors, cranes, graders, jackhammers, hammers, nail guns, conveyors, concrete and cement mixers, generators, welders and drilling rigs.
- DAYTIME HOURS
- The hours between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays; the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
- A unit of level when the base of the logarithm is the tenth root of 10 and the quantities concerned are proportional to power; unit symbol, "dB."
- A unit of A-weighted sound level; the weighted sound-pressure level by the use of the A-metering characteristic and weighting specified in ANSI Specifications for Sound Level Meters.
- DOMESTIC POWER EQUIPMENT (DPE)
- Equipment that includes but is not limited to equipment driven by batteries, electric motors, air-driven motors, internal-combustion engines, or other sources of power-driven equipment that is used for household and residential applications. DPE includes, by way of example but not limited to, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, lawn and garden tractors, tillers, chainsaws, drills, saws, impact wrenches, portable residential generators, portable pumps, trimmers, power washers, snowblowers, leaf and related blowers, mulchers, chippers, leaf vacuums, and related equipment.
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work that is performed or required to restore property to a safe condition following a public calamity, work required to protect persons or property from an imminent exposure to danger, or work by private or public utilities for providing or restoring immediately necessary utility service.
- Any stationary or portable device or any part thereof capable of generating sound or noise that could exceed the intrusive noise level limits based on a combination of both level and time duration.
- EVENING HOURS
- The hours between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
- Not-for-profit events sponsored by nonprofit organizations or community groups and others, as appropriate. Events will include but are not limited to school games, school sports, church bazaars, and community fairs. The normal sounds which are not excessively loud associated with these events will include but are not limited to cheering crowds, bands, referee whistles, nonamplified music and similar sounds.
- (1) This will include people or equipment.
- (2) Any equipment that is louder than normal for equipment of the same type, especially for identical equipment of the same make and model that is in good working order, by example but not limited to domestic power equipment, farm equipment, portable generators, standby emergency generators, pumps, or construction equipment with a defective muffler, and HVAC equipment, including those with bad bearings or squealing belts.
- (3) Also people's voices or sounds/noises made by them, which are louder than necessary for the situation. By example: loud or rowdy parties, gathering of groups of people where voices or sounds/noises made by them are louder than reasonably necessary for the situation.
- EXISTING EQUIPMENT
- Any equipment, apparatus, and/or device that has existed, has been installed or used, and has been in operation on the real source property before enactment of this chapter. This applies to ones that are permanently installed, movable, or portable. This will include but not be limited to existing domestic, power equipment and existing HVAC equipment. By example, residential, commercial, industrial and other equipment will include but not be limited to fans of all types, air conditioners of all types, rooftop- and ground-level condensing units, gas- or electric-powered lawnmowers and weed trimmers, leaf blowers, lawn and garden tractors, generators, motors and engines, chainsaws, fluid compressors of all types, fluid regulating valves, and all, devices of any type that are capable of producing sound or noise that exceeds the intrusive noise level limits based on a combination of both level and time of duration.
- Devices used to move gaseous fluids, normally but not limited to air and fumes. Typical devices include but are not limited to centrifugal fans, propeller fans, and axial vane fans. Devices, which are normally fans, are used to intake or exhaust, extract, or move air, fumes, and gases. Typical applications include but are not limited to fans of buildings, factories, industrial plants, mine ventilation, radiators, restaurants, household window units, and bag houses, and related similar uses.
- FARM LIVESTOCK
- Farm animals, to include but not limited to cows, horses, and pigs, kept on a farm located on agricultural land or other land as authorized by the Zoning Ordinance.
- FARM FOWL
- Fowl, to include but not limited to chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks. Fowl will kept on a farm located on agricultureal land or other land as authorized by the Zoning Ordinance.
- FAST RESPONSE
- The nominal exponential averaging time of 1/8 second as measured with a sound-level meter that complies with ANSI standards.
- For a function periodic in time, the reciprocal of the period; Unit, hertz (Hz).
- Sinusoidal quantity that has a frequency which is an integral multiple of the frequency of the periodic quantity to which it is related.
- HVAC EQUIPMENT
- Commercial and residential heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment as part of a closed-loop system that includes air handlers, compressors, condensing units, chillers, and residential air conditioners.
- A one-minute interval where the compliance metrics of LEQ, LMAX, LPK, and LPTL are simultaneously measured.
- INTRUSIVE NOISE (IN)
- Noise exceeding the normal ambient sound of the community without the significant measureable effects of normal community sounds and natural environment sounds. Intrusive noise includes but it is not limited to excessively loud voices of individuals or groups of people, amusement parks, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, commercial sport activities, car racing, fans of all types, compressors and blowers of all types, HVAC equipment, firecrackers, backup alarms of nonlicensed vehicles, bulldozers, payloaders, graders, material moving equipment, compressor-driven engines and motors and their radiator fan, mine ventilation fans, paging systems, standby generators, baghouse fans, gas flaring, gearboxes, electric motors, reciprocating engines, gas turbines, including their exhaust and turbine body noise, excessively loud condenser fans, excessively loud music, excessively loud stereo equipment, rowdy crowds, excessively loud parties, model airplanes and cars, excessively loud domestic power equipment, excessively loud commercial and residential HVAC, and related items. Intrusive noise does not include natural environmental sounds or normal community sounds.
- INTRUSIVE NOISE SOURCE (INS)
- A noise source that occurs on a real source property, RSP, or other location on either public or private property, that causes intrusive noise to occur on any real receiving property, RRP, either private or public property. "Intrusive noise source" shall also mean the combined noise level, CNL, of more than one source located on one real source property or public property that generates intrusive noise on a real receiving property. By example, the CCE could be many HVAC sources on the roof of a single building or several buildings, or many sources distributed throughout the property of a single industrial plant, or many of them, that impact on a real receiving property.
- INSTRUSIVE NOISE LEVEL LIMITS (INLLs)
- The noise level limits of Noise Limit 1 (NL1), Noise Limit 2 (NL2), Noise Limit 3 (NL3) and Noise Limit 4(NL4).
- (1) The logarithmic average for each of the four compliance metrics consisting of the equivalent continuous level (LEQ), maximum sound level (LMAX), peak sound-pressure level (LPK) and PTL (LPTL), where LXX represents either the LEQ, LMAX, LPK, and/or LPTL. The log average level is computed for each of the compliance metrics by:
- (2) The four log average levels using 20 or more intervals from a single period are:
- MINING DEVELOPMENT
- Site development for a commercial mine and its related facilities that includes but is not limited to site preparation, mine site construction of a reasonable and limited duration and the installation of equipment and apparatus that will be needed to operate the mine. This will include site preparation and restoration.
- MINING OPERATIONS
- The ongoing operation of a mine of any type that is producing the product, such as coal, gravel, sand, and other raw materials, and the related transportation by haul truck, rail car, or conveyor to a storage facility on site or off site. Operations and equipment used for operations will entail but are not to be limited to the use of material handling conveyors, material processing plants, stockpile operations, mine ventilation fans, fans of all types, haul trucks, bulldozers, graders, pay loaders, preparation plants, and any or all potentially noisy apparatus used for the ongoing production of raw materials that might exceed the intrusive noise level limits. Operations will include normal maintenance and the movement of vehicles and construction-type equipment on the site or to and from the site. Devices or equipment remotely located from the site will be included in mine operations. This will include but not be limited to conveyors and mine ventilation fans. Equipment and facilities used for the operation of deep coal mines, strip mines of all types, river dredging, sand and gravel mines, and all other mining types are subject to the intrusive noise level limits.
- Any motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The term shall include motorized bicycles, motor scooters, mopeds and the like.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle that is self-propelled, used primarily for transporting persons or property upon public highways and required to be licensed under Pennsylvania law.
- A device which is effective in reducing the sound or noise of a fluid flow in, by way of example, but not limited to reciprocating engines, regulating valves, fans, pumps, compressors, turbine engines, and related items. The term "muffler" shall be construed to include silencers.
- NARROW-BAND ANALYSIS
- Measurements made with dynamic analyzers, normally using the Fast Fourier Transform Algorithm, to decompose a time signal into its frequency components of level versus frequency consisting of a spectrum level with a resolution of 1 Hz or less. Typical measurement setups use Hanning Windows, at least 1 Hz resolution and preferably 1/8 Hertz resolution, and enough ensemble averages to measure the magnitudes of pure tones, if they exist, or the components of a line spectrum displayed as a spectrum level.
- NATURAL ENVIRONMENTAL SOUNDS (NES)
- Environmental sounds that are inherent to the community and are due to naturally occurring sounds that include but are not limited to insects, rustling leaves, wind generated sound, wild birds, wild animals, frogs, rain, lighting, or weather. NES shall not be construed to include the noise of domesticated animals or excessively loud sounds of a person.
- NIGHTTIME HOURS
- The hours between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays; the hours between 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
- Undesired sound.
- NOISE LIMIT 1 (NL1)
- The equivalent continuous sound level, in dBA, that is not to be exceeded for a given zoning district for a particular time of day as specified in Table I of the intrusive noise level limits.
- NOISE LIMIT 2 (NL2)
- The A-weighted fast response maximum sound level that is not to exceed the magnitude of the reference equivalent continuous sound level of the intrusive noise level limits by more than 10 dBA for a given zoning district for a particular time as specified in the intrusive noise level limit of Table 1.
- NOISE LIMIT 3 (NL3)
- The unweighted peak sound-pressure level that is not to exceed the decibel value of the reference equivalent continuous sound level of the intrusive noise level limit by more than 20 dB for a given zoning district for a particular time.
- NOISE LIMIT 4 (NL4)
- A pure-tone level, in dB, whose magnitude at a specific frequency is 10 points below the pure-tone level curve for the reference equivalent continuous sound level for the zone and time of day. PTL decibel magnitudes for the specific tonal frequency will be based on linear interpolation of the PTL curve values for the two nearest octave-band center frequencies.
- NORMAL COMMUNITY SOUND (NCS)
- Sounds that are inherent to the community and consistent with the norms of this community, and are an integral part of the normal community environment, and are ones that the average resident would reasonably expect to occur in their community assuming they are not excessively loud. Typical community sounds occurring at reasonable and not excessively loud levels may include but are not limited to children playing, occasional dog barks, domestic power equipment, residential HVAC equipment, and other related sounds. These include but are not limited to reasonable transportation sounds that meet state, federal, and local noise requirements and limits. Sounds covered by the special provisions of this chapter are subject to the strict conditions of those provisions.
- OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT
- Site development for a commercial oil and gas well and its related facilities that includes but is not limited to site preparation, well site construction of a reasonable and limited duration, drilling of the oil or gas well, hydraulic fracturing of the oil or gas well, installation of equipment and apparatus that will be needed to operate the well, as well as site restoration. The construction of compressor stations and gas-processing facilities will be part of the development phase. Equipment and apparatus will include but not be limited to compressors, engines and/or motors, storage tanks, metering devices, pipe installation for transmission to storage facilities or transportation pipeline, and any other equipment associated with a drilling operation.
- OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS
- The ongoing operation of an oil or gas well and associated facilities that are used in the production of oil and gas and the related transportation of the products, to include but not be limited to storage facilities that are on or off site and/or transportation pipelines. Operations will entail but are not limited to the use of compressors of all types; engines, especially those used to drive compressors; electric motors, especially those used to drive compressors; cooling equipment for both the prime mover and the intercooling stages including their fans; regulating valves; noisy pipes, especially whose fluid is being excited by a valve or compressor; pumps, and other equipment, devices, or apparatus used for the ongoing production of oil and gas along with their byproducts. Operations will include normal maintenance and the movement of vehicles and construction type equipment on the site or to and from the site. Devices or equipment remotely located from the site will be included in oil and gas operations. This will include but not be limited to fluid-pressure-boosting equipment and regulating valves.
- An individual, partnership, public or private association or corporation, firm, trust, estate, Municipality, governmental unit, public utility or any other legal entity whatsoever that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- A single, twenty-four-hour period during which compliance measurements are made to determine if the noise level limits are being exceeded by the collective log average levels.
- PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line on the real receiving property, with a vertical extension of that line above and below the surface of the property at all elevations, that separates the intrusive noise source or the combined noise level of more than one intrusive noise source from the real source property. The property boundary can be associated with either the source property or the receiving property when the two properties are not defined by a common property boundary. "Property" will mean both private and public property, whereas the intrusive noise source may be on private property and affecting public property or it may be on public property and affecting private property. "Property boundary" will be understood to be the line that separates any intrusive noise source at any elevation from any receiver location on a real receiving property or public property.
- PURE TONE
- The magnitude and frequency of a noise occurring at a discrete frequency as determined by an Fast Fourier Transform measurement (narrow-band analysis) of the noise with a dynamic analyzer using at least 1 Hz and preferably 1/8 Hz resolution, a Hanning window, and sufficient averaging to determine the magnitude of the pure tone level that is exceeded 5% of the time (also referred to as the "exceedance rate of Ls").
- PURE TONE LEVEL (LPTL)
- The magnitude of a discrete-frequency noise or sound, a pure tone, expressed in decibels with a reference of 20 micropascals.
- PURE TONE LEVEL CURVE CRITERIA (PTLCC)
- The series of curves defined in table 1 consisting of octave band center frequency in Hertz (Hz) versus pure-tone level in unweighted decibels (dB).
- REAL RECEIVING PROPERTY (RRP)
- The real property impacted by intrusive noise. The receiver location affected by intrusive noise can occur anywhere on the real receiving property at any elevation occurring within or on the property or the boundary of it.
- RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
- Off-road motor- and engine-driven vehicles, recreational boats, and recreational aircraft, motorcycles used off road, licensed or unlicensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Recreational vehicles include but are not limited to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs); dirt motorcycles; dune buggies; personal watercraft; snowmobiles; ultra-light aircraft; stock and race cars, whether used off or on tracks or race courses; and racing, endurance or motocross motorcycles, whether, used on or off tracks or race courses.
- REAL PROPERTY
- An interest or aggregate of rights in land that is guaranteed and protected by law. For purposes of this chapter, the term "real property" includes a leasehold interest.
- RECEIVER LOCATION
- Any point on the real receiving property (RRP) at any elevation. The receiver location will include any point within or on the property boundaries at any elevation that is at, above, or below ground level. The receiver location does not have to be the point nearest to the source location. Normally enforcement measurements will be made at any location on the RRP that is needed to determine noncompliance with this chapter for any locations adversely affected by the intrusive noise, normally but not limited to people on the RRP.
- REAL SOURCE PROPERTY (RSP)
- Any real property containing a noise source or which collectively contains more than one significant noise source whose collective effect is to generate intrusive noise that affects any real receiving property by crossing any property boundary that separates the two properties. This boundary does not necessarily have to be a common boundary for the two properties. The crossing may occur at any elevation, which can be at, above, or below ground level.
- SHORT-TERM CONSTRUCTION
- The required time to complete the immediate project which has been undertaken where progress is ongoing with a reasonable completion date from the start of the project. An example would be repair of a utility line.
- SHORT-TERM EVENT
- The required time for the immediate event which is ongoing and of a temporary nature, such as few hours, days or a week.
- SITE DEVELOPMENT
- Any man-made change to a tract of land, including paving, utilities, filling, grading, excavating, mining, dredging or drilling operations.
- See ANSI terminology S1.1-1994, Item 3.01.
- SOURCE LOCATION
- The location, which can be stationary or moving, of an intrusive noise source that transmits intrusive noise to any receiver location on a real receiving property.
- SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE
- Any vehicle designed and used primarily for grading, paving, earthmoving, and other construction work; and that is not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property on a public highway; and that is only incidentally operated or moved over the highway.
- TRANSPORTATION NOISE
- Sound generated by motorized modes of transportation lawfully operating on public roads, railroad rights-of-way, commercial waterways, or controlled airspace. The noises of these lawful modes of transportation are covered by the appropriate agencies. Transportation noise does not include noise generated by recreational vehicles.
- WARNING DEVICE
- Any device intended to provide public warning of potentially hazardous, emergency or illegal activities, including but not limited to a commercial, residential or vehicle burglar alarm, regulated and licensed motor vehicle equipped with a backup signal, fire alarms, law enforcement and fire vehicles and similar devices.
- Any day, Monday through Friday, that is not a legal holiday.
- The days of Saturday and Sunday or any legal holiday.
- A porous device used to cover the microphone of a sound-level meter to suppress the effect of air movement over the microphone that causes false sound/noise.
These standards are to be followed using the applicable and appropriate parts of the standard:
Prohibited conduct. Intrusive noise of one or more sources must not acoustically radiate onto any receiver location on any real receiving property where the intrusive noise level of a single source or the combined noise levels of more than one intrusive noise source exceed the intrusive noise level limits. These limits are specified below for the various combinations of specific zoning types and times of day.
Noise level limits.
NL1: the equivalent continuous sound level (LEQ) for a specific zoning district and time of day as shown in Table I.
NL2: the A-weighted fast-response maximum sound level (LMAX), which cannot exceed the magnitude of the appropriate referenced NL1 by more than 10 dBA.
NL3: the unweighted peak sound-pressure level (LPK), which cannot exceed the decibel value of the appropriate referenced NL1 by more than 20 dB.
NL4: All pure-tone levels (LPTL) must be at least 10 points below the nominal PTLxy curve defined by appropriate referenced NL1. "xy" is an integer value in decades from 10 to 70, based on the numerical values of Table I for the zoning district and time of day.
Compliance with this chapter, for any given combination of time of day and zoning district, will be based on the collective log average levels, CLALs, that are applied simultaneously to meet the following compliance criteria.
Excessively loud noise sources are not permitted.
Compliance will be based on the measurement made with the compliance metrics which are not to be exceeded based on the collective log average levels of a single period using 20 or more intervals. These intervals need not be contiguous. Intervals with the louder and preferably the loudest noise should be used. When more than 20 intervals are used, intervals with compliance metrics that have the largest magnitudes will be used to compute the collective log average level for a single period.
Measurements will normally (but not always) be made at a point or points with the largest collective log average level at any receiver location on the real receiving property.
Terminology and measurement practices will follow applicable ANSI S1 and S12 standards. Compliance measurements will be made using a calibrated ANSI standard integrating sound-level meter. The signal-to-noise ratio will be greater than 10 dB with a dynamic range of at least 60 dB.
The effects of wind must be at least 5 dBA (or dB) or less for each of the compliance metrics.
Measurements will exclude significant effects of natural environmental sounds and normal community sounds. The signal-to-noise ratio of their combined effect will be at least 5 dBA (dB) and preferably at least 10 dBA (or dB).
Impact/impulsive-type noises will be measured with the unweighted peak sound-pressure level using a meter specifically designed for these measurements that meets ANSI S1 standards for peak sound-pressure level measurements. The fast response and the outdated impulse function of a meter will not be used for measurements.
Pure tones will be measured using a narrow-band analysis to determine the unweighted pure-tone level(s).
The intrusive noise level limits are not applicable to the following situations:
Noise regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, and originating from FAA-regulated aircraft, helicopters, and airships in flight within controlled airspace or landing or departing FAA or Department of Transportation, DOT, sanctioned or regulated airports or helipads. Engine- or motor-powered hang gliders and related devices, ultra-light aircraft and other devices capable of powered flight that are not regulated by the FAA are subject to compliance with this chapter.
Sound originating from safety and protective devices where noise suppression would defeat the safety intent of the device when it is being used for its intended purpose.
Sound originating from a warning device used for its intended purpose.
Sound originating from emergency equipment and emergency work necessary in the interest of law enforcement or of the health, safety (including public safety) or welfare of the community.
Sound originating from all state, county and municipal snow removal equipment. The noise of privately owned snow removal equipment is exempted from this chapter during periods of substantial snowfall and immediately thereafter until such time as both private and public roads, sidewalks, and parking lots are cleared so as to prevent a hazard to citizens.
Sound originating from emergency standby generators during emergency use. The sound of routine testing of generators shall comply with the intrusive noise level limits, unless such testing occurs during daytime hours, during which time the generators can exceed the intrusive noise level limits by no more than 20 dBA (20 dB for LPK) for one cumulative hour or less per seven-calendar-day period. Noise-control devices such as mufflers, silencers, and noise enclosures will be used as necessary to achieve compliance with this chapter.
Noise of trains regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Sounds of motor vehicles, including cars and trucks and motorcycles, being operated legally and in compliance with the noise regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Any of these operating with nonapproved mufflers and producing excessive noise will be in violation of this chapter. No exemption or exclusion is made for recreational vehicles of all types that are not licensed for use on public roads and subject to state vehicle inspection laws and rules. These include but are not limited to ATVs, quads, UTVs, snowmobiles, dirt-bike motorcycles, dune buggies, racing-type tractors, dragsters, formula one cars, closed-circuit cars of all types, stock cars, sprint cars, race cars or vehicles of all types, boats, drag boats, and air boats.
These special provisions are intended to make provisions for normal community sounds that occur for reasonable sound levels and time durations so as not to create a hardship for members of the community, both private and commercial. Most provisions are intended to cover situations with existing equipment but go on to promote the use of quieter equipment when replacing, upgrading, or buying new equipment and devices. Other special provisions are made for situations of a short-term nature or construction activities.
The sounds of existing domestic power equipment, when operated and used upon any residential, commercial, industrial, or special use property, may exceed the intrusive noise level limits by no more than 10 dBA (10 dB for LPK) without any time restriction, provided that this equipment is in good working order and meets the manufacturer's original sound level and/or sound specifications, and it cannot be excessively loud. This equipment may exceed the intrusive noise level limits by no more than 20 dBA (20 dB for LPK), provided that the total time does not exceed one hour per continuous twenty-four-hour period or three collective hours in seven consecutive twenty-four-hour periods. If a noise specification does not exist for the equipment, then the equipment must not exceed the noise level of the original equipment as manufactured and used as intended by the manufacturer in good working order and properly muffled. New, replacement, or upgrades in existing equipment put into service after the enactment of this chapter will meet the intrusive noise level limits unless it not technically feasible to do so.
All existing HVAC equipment, fans of all types, compressors of all types, and fluid-moving devices, including those of the commercial and residential type, may exceed the intrusive noise level limits if the equipment is in good operating condition and working order, meets the manufacturer's original noise level, and was placed in operation on the source property before December 5, 2001. Existing equipment will not be subject to any time restriction but must not be excessively loud. New, replacement, or upgrades of existing equipment, which will include but not be limited to HVAC equipment, fans, compressors, and fluid-moving devices, must comply with the intrusive noise level limits. Noise-control devices will be used as necessary to achieve compliance with this chapter for all equipment put into service after enactment of this chapter.
The noise of construction and short-term construction may exceed the intrusive noise level limits only on weekdays during daytime hours, provided that earnest efforts are made to minimize the noise generated by these efforts. Noise control will include proper muffling of all engines, motors, or turbine-driven equipment. Other noise controls will be used as appropriate, such as noise enclosures on excessively loud engines, earthen berms, barriers, lagging, properly muffled pneumatic devices, noise-enclosed air compressors and noise-enclosed generators. Construction noise includes:
Construction of all types, that is to include but not be limited to buildings, houses, commercial and industrial facilities, and related activities.
Oil and gas development, including site development and the construction of all facilities related to its ongoing operation and gas transmission or storage.
Mining development, including site development and the construction of all facilities.
Demolition of buildings and structures.
The use of construction equipment.
The sounds of nonprofit events, including but not limited to those requiring permits issued by the Municipality, will be excluded from the intrusive noise level limits for the duration of the event. All for-profit events are subject to the intrusive noise level limits.
The normally occurring sounds of events sponsored by nonprofit organizations, such as nonprofit sports teams, community associations and groups, churches, schools, and colleges are excluded from the intrusive noise limits, provided that they are not excessively loud in the context of the event. Cheering crowds, referee voices, whistles, bands and music directly associated with these events and not external to then are considered normal community sounds. External activities, such as tailgate parties and parking lot activities, are not exempt and are subject to the intrusive noise level limits as measured at any real receiving property that might be affected by the event.
Existing equipment used for commercial farming, nurseries, and golf courses is excluded from this chapter, provided that the equipment is in good working order and it meets the original sound levels of the equipment when originally manufactured for that make and model. New, replacement, or upgrades to this equipment made after the enactment of this chapter must meet the intrusive noise level limits.
Pulsating, intermittent, impulsive, impact, or fluctuating noises and combinations thereof, especially those with a tonal nature which are clearly audible in the presence of natural environmental sounds and normal community sounds, are not permitted during the nighttime hours. Examples include but are not limited to backup alarms, bells, whistles, horns, blasting, gunfire, hammer blows, and pile driving. Reasonable efforts will also be made to avoid or minimize these types of noises during the evening hours.
The sounds of farm livestock and fowl located on a privately owned farm located in an agricultural zone or other permitted districts are exempt from the intrusive noise level limits. Privately owned animals, mammals, fowl, and reptiles, especially dogs and cats, are subject to the intrusive noise level limits. The noise of commercial farms, commercial kennels, dog breeding and day-care facilities, and animal facilities are subject to the intrusive noise level limits.
Oil and gas development and mining development is subject to the construction provisions of this noise chapter. Oil and gas operations and mining operations are subject to the intrusive noise level limits. If doubt exists, as to whether development or operations is occurring, operations will be assumed, and the intrusive noise level limits will be used for compliance with this chapter.
Sounds originating from church bells or electronically generated bell sounds used for commonly accepted purposes based on the time of day and the day of the week. The excessive uses of bells or electronically generated bell sounds is not permitted. The time of day and day of the week will be factors in determining whether the sounds are excessive. "Excessive" will be sounds that are too loud and/or frequent with long durations per bell operation episode.
It shall be the duty of the Community Development Department and/or the Police Department to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
The Police Department shall enforce standards for nonstationary sources of noise (motor vehicles, parties, stereos and similar sources).
The Community Development Department or its agent shall enforce standards for stationary sources of noise (compressors, construction equipment, building equipment and similar sources).
Personnel from either the Police Department or the Community Development Department or its agent, trained in the use of sound-measuring equipment, shall be permitted to take measurements at any source of noise.
Administration. In administering the provisions of this chapter, the Municipality, the Community Development Department or its agent and/or the Police Department may, with appropriate authorization, undertake any of the following actions:
Conduct studies related to public annoyance due to noise and monitor sound levels in the Municipality.
Coordinate community efforts in noise control, including control activities conducted by all municipal departments, and cooperate with adjoining municipalities and other appropriate state or federal agencies to address noise issues.
Review public and private projects for the purpose of determining whether such projects are in compliance with this chapter, how such projects intend to remain in compliance with this chapter, and determination of the adequacy of any acoustic screening proposed to control noise. Any costs incurred by the Municipality in review of such projects shall be borne by the applicant for project approval.
Conduct inspections upon any location, site or premises which may be the source of noise which violates the provisions of this chapter pursuant to all due process requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America.
Stop moving vehicles to inspect them and, if necessary, to issue a notice of complaint to the driver of such vehicle if found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Require any owner or operator convicted of violating the compliance metrics, to make measurements (at his own expense) of sound levels from any source, according to methods and procedures specified by the Municipality, and to furnish the Municipality with reports of such measurements.
Enforcement. The procedure for enforcement of this chapter shall be as follows:
Complaints shall be submitted in writing on a form provided by the Municipality.
Upon receiving a complaint, municipal personnel or their agent shall conduct measurements at the receiving property.
Upon determination that the noise source is exceeding the limits of the compliance metrics, the Municipality shall issue a notice of complaint to the person responsible for controlling the source of the noise. The notice of complaint shall be signed by either the Director of Community Development or the Chief of Police or, in their absence, by the designated officer in charge.
The notice of complaint shall list the source of the noise, the nature of the violation, an order to abate the noise within a time frame determined by the Municipality, and a description of the penalties which may be incurred for failure to abate the noise.
Failure to abate the noise within the time frame determined by the Municipality shall result in the filing of a citation pursuant to § 157-8 of this chapter.
All plans for work operations and construction must contain a stipulation that the person submitting has reviewed provisions of this chapter and that the submittal conforms to all provisions of this chapter.
Need for corrective action.
If the Municipality determines at any time that noise levels specified in this chapter have been exceeded, the applicant/developer/owner or any others shall be advised of corrective measures required within a period of time set by the Municipality. For nonstationary sources of noise, the required period of time may be an immediate correction. For stationary sources of noise, the required period of time shall be a minimum of eight hours.
If such measures are not taken by the owner or any others within the designated period of time, the Municipality may cause the work to be done and lien all costs against the property.
The following actions or causing thereof are prohibited:
The removal or rendering inoperative by any person, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair, or replacement, of any noise-control device or element of design or noise label of any product used in the control of noise, which results in noise being generated that violates the compliance metrics.
The knowing use of a product which has had a noise-control device or element of design or noise label removed or rendered inoperative that results in noise being generated.
Council shall have the authority, consistent with this chapter and Chapter 220 of the Municipal Code, to grant special waivers that violate the compliance metrics.
Any person seeking a special waiver pursuant to this chapter shall file a written application with supporting documentation to the Council of the Municipality of Murrysville containing information that demonstrates that bringing the source of sound or activity for which the special waiver is sought into compliance with this chapter would constitute an unreasonable hardship on the applicant and would be in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Municipality of Murrysville or the health and safety of the workers on site. Such hardship shall not be financial in nature.
Council shall decide to grant or deny the waiver based upon the adverse impact on the health, safety and welfare of persons affected or the adverse impact of property affected.
Special waivers which are granted shall include all necessary conditions, including time limits on the permitted activity, which apply to the waiver. Applicants must agree to all conditions in writing. Noncompliance with any condition of any granted special waiver shall terminate said waiver and subject the persons holding it to all provisions of this chapter.
Anyone violating the terms of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine or penalty of not more than $300 for each and every violation. All costs incurred by the Municipality in the enforcement and abatement of any violation of this chapter shall be recoverable upon conviction of a summary offense. Each day that the violation continues after proper notification (notice of complaint) shall be a separate offense.
The Municipality may lien any property of any person convicted of a summary offense to collect all court-ordered fines and recoverable costs.
In addition thereto, the Municipality may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or equity for the enforcement of this chapter or to correct violations of this chapter, and any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions or mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.