Borough of Punxsutawney, PA
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Punxsutawney 2-8-2010 by Ord. No. 1093.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 100.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 175.
Transient retail businesses — See Ch. 221.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 226.
Zoning — See Ch. 235.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 165, Noise, adopted as Ch. 16, Art. II, of the 1974 Code, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as the "Punxsutawney Borough Noise Control Ordinance."
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings herein given, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Punxsutawney, located in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
EMERGENCY
Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage.
EMERGENCY WORK
Any work performed for the purpose of preventing or alleviating the physical trauma or property damage threatened or caused by an emergency.
IMPULSIVE SOUND
Sound of short duration, usually less than one second, with an abrupt onset and rapid delay. Examples of impulsive sound include explosions, drop-forge impacts, and discharge of firearms.
NOISE
Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
NOISE-CREATING DEVICE
Any electrical, mechanical or chemical device or instrument, or combination thereof, that creates noise during its operation by a person.
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which:
A. 
Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals;
B. 
Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
C. 
Endangers or injures personal or real property.
PERSON
Any individual, association, partnership or corporation, and includes any officer, employee, department, agency or instrumentality of a state, or any political subdivision of a state. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, "person" includes the individual members, partners, officers and managers, or any of them, of partnerships and associations and, as for corporations, the officers and managers thereof or any of them.
PROPERTY LINE (BOUNDARY)
An imaginary line drawn through the points of contact of adjoining lands, apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes owned, rented, or leased by different persons, a demarcation or a line of separate properties and also, for any two or more buildings sharing common grounds, the line drawn midway between any two such buildings. All areas devoted to public rights-of-way shall be deemed to be across the property line. For the purpose of this definition, the property line includes all points on a plan formed by projecting the property line in a manner deemed appropriate by the enforcing police officer.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a government entity.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
REAL PROPERTY
All land, whether publicly or privately owned, whether improved or not improved, with or without structures, exclusive of any areas devoted to public rights-of-way.
SOUND
An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity, or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces that cause compression and rarefaction of that medium, or the superposition of such propagated oscillation which evokes an auditory sensation. The description of sound may include any characteristics of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.
A. 
Noise disturbance prohibited. No person shall make, continue, or cause to be made or cause to be continued, any noise disturbance by any means, nor shall any person suffer, allow, or permit any noise disturbance, by any means, to be made or continued from or at any property, whether public or private, real or personal, that is subject to such person's right to control.
B. 
Animals. The following is declared to be a noise disturbance and therefore in violation of this chapter: owning, possessing, harboring or controlling any animal which howls, barks, or makes other sounds continuously and/or incessantly for a period of 10 minutes or makes such noise intermittently for 1/2 hour or more to the disturbance of any person at any time of the day or night, regardless of whether the animal is situated in or upon private property; provided, however, that at the time the animal is making such noise, no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal is situated.
C. 
Prima facie violation. Prima facie evidence of a noise disturbance shall exist if the noise from any of the acts prohibited:
(1) 
Disturbs at least one resident who resides in a separate residence, including an apartment or other living space located within the same building, and located across a property line (boundary) from the property in which the source of the noise is generated.
A temporary waiver from strict compliance with the noise standard herein may be granted to persons during emergency circumstances, as determined by the Borough Council, to permit reasonable time to effect repairs.
The following are exempted from the provisions of this chapter:
A. 
Amplified announcements: electronically amplified announcements at athletic events, political events, and civic events.
B. 
Blasting. Blasting may occur only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless specifically authorized by such permit.
C. 
Concerts, etc.: band concerts, festivals, block parties, church carnivals, or other performances or similar activities, publicly or privately sponsored, and presented in any public or private space outdoors.
D. 
Emergency work: sounds caused by the performance of emergency work or by the ordinary and accepted use of emergency apparatus and equipment.
E. 
Property maintenance. Lawn mowing, operation of snow-removal equipment and the use of power tools may occur only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
F. 
Municipal and utility services: sounds resulting from the repair or replacement of any municipal or utility installation or operation of recycling equipment in or about, the public right-of-way.
G. 
School and public activities conducted by organized school-related programs, activities, athletic and entertainment events, or other public programs, activities, or events; musical, recreational and athletic events conducted by or permitted by schools, local governments, community or community associations, or festivals or events sponsored by a nonprofit organization.
H. 
Warning devices: sounds made by warning devices operating continuously for three minutes or less; except that in the event of any actual emergency, the time limitation shall not apply.
I. 
Expression or communication protected by the United States Constitution, including the First Amendment, or the Pennsylvania Constitution.
J. 
Any activity or contact, the regulation of which has been preempted by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
K. 
Any noise created by a governmental entity in the performance of an official duty.
L. 
Any noise for which a permit has been issued by an authority having jurisdiction to issue the permit.
M. 
Activities permitted by special waiver as provided herein.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Borough of Punxsutawney Police Department.
The following procedures and penalties are prescribed for enforcement of this chapter:
A. 
Any person making a complaint pursuant to this chapter shall file a written complaint with the Borough of Punxsutawney Police Department on a form provided by the Department.
B. 
Warning. If it is determined that there is a noise disturbance, the Borough of Punxsutawney may, upon written complaint by the affected person who resides in the Borough of Punxsutawney, confirmed by a second resident who resides in the Borough of Punxsutawney, or corroborated by a Borough of Punxsutawney police officer, issue a written warning to the person responsible.
C. 
Offenses. If it is determined that a noise is in excess of that permitted by this chapter, the Borough police may prosecute such person causing or permitting said noise level before the District Magisterial Judge.
D. 
Public nuisance. Any noise disturbance which is hereby declared to be a public nuisance may be abated by administrative or judicial proceedings, fines or penalties as provided herein.
A. 
Whoever violates any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be fined for a first conviction not less than $150 and not more than $1,000; for a second conviction, be fined not less than $300 and not more than $1,000; for a third conviction, be fined not less than $500 and not more than $1,000, to be collected as other fines and costs are by law collected, or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. Whoever violates any provision of this chapter for a fourth conviction and for any subsequent conviction shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be fined $1,000, to be collected as other fines and costs are by law collected, and be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than five days nor more than 30 days. Each day during which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
This chapter and the foregoing penalties shall not be construed to limit or deny the right of the Borough or any person to such equitable or other remedies as may otherwise be available with or without process of law.