Borough of New Hope, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Hope 3-9-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be cited as the "Noise Control Ordinance of New Hope Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania."
A. 
Excessive sound is a serious hazard to the public health and welfare and the quality of life of the citizens of New Hope Borough.
B. 
A substantial body of science and technology exists by which excessive sound may be substantially abated.
C. 
Activities which generate excessive vibrations, dust, fumes, and vapors are detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of New Hope Borough and interfere both with the quiet enjoyment of residential and public property and the operation of business and, therefore, should be controlled to the greatest extent possible.
D. 
The Borough is empowered to ensure the public safety and to define conduct that constitutes disturbing the peace pursuant to Section 1202(6) and (28) of the Pennsylvania Code 1965 P.L. 1956, No. 581 as amended.
E. 
This chapter shall replace the prior Noise Ordinance, Ord. No. 2003-8.
A. 
Definition of noise disturbance: Any sound that endangers the safety or health of any person, disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, or endangers personal or real property.
B. 
Excessive noise and noise disturbance prohibited. It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and shall be unlawful for any person, firm or business entity to make, cause, suffer, or permit to be made or caused upon a property owned, occupied or controlled by him or upon any public land, street, alley or thoroughfare in the Borough of New Hope any excessive noises, noise disturbance, or sounds, by means of vehicles, machinery, equipment (including sound amplification equipment and musical instruments) or by any other means or methods which are physically annoying to the comfort of any reasonable person or which are so harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in their use, time and place, as to occasion physical discomfort, or which are otherwise injurious to the lives, health, peace, and comfort of the inhabitants of New Hope Borough or any number of residents thereof.
C. 
Special prohibitions. The following acts and causes thereof are hereby declared to be a nuisance and in violation of this chapter.
(1) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection C(1), which prohibited possessing, harboring or keeping an animal or bird that makes excessive noise, was repealed 3-20-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-01. For current provisions, see Ch. 105, Animals, Art. V, Animal Noise.
(2) 
Operating, playing, or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, audio equipment, sound amplifier, musical instrument, or similar device that reproduces or amplifies sound through electric or battery means in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance or to cause annoyance to persons in the vicinity for any person other than the operator of the device or to be audible greater than 30 feet from the source and not operated upon the property of the operator or with the knowledge, permission or consent of the owner or legal occupant of the property, and if operated on the property of the operator or with the knowledge, permission or consent of the owner or legal occupant of the property, then so as to be audible greater than 30 feet from a boundary of the property.
[Amended 11-9-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15]
(3) 
Loudspeakers and public address systems. Using or operating any loudspeaker, public address system, or similar device, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential real property line.
(4) 
Performing any construction operation or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction, drilling, blasting, demolition, excavation, and extraction of stone or other such activities between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time on Sundays and federal holidays. The federal holidays are: New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. This provision does not apply to domestic power tools or vehicles that are duly licensed, registered and inspected for operation on the public highways of this commonwealth.
[Amended 11-9-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15]
(5) 
Repairing, rebuilding, modifying, testing, or operating a motor vehicle, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or powered model vehicle in such a manner as to cause annoyance to persons across a real property boundary from the noise source.
(a) 
All motorcycles built or rebuilt after 1982 and all car engines will be operated at or below the decibel level of 86 consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 4905; 40 CFR 205 Subparts D and E.
(b) 
All motorcycles driven through New Hope Borough must be equipped with a muffler that meets legal requirements as defined by Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Inspection Law and the decibel levels set forth in Subsection C(5)(a) above.
(6) 
Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or similar device used out of doors between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to cause annoyance to persons across a real property boundary from the noise source.
(7) 
Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle for a period of longer than five minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion or emergency work, with the exception of railroad engines which may idle during a warm-up period not to exceed 20 minutes.
(8) 
The operation of a snow blower is permitted any time within a twenty-four-hour period immediately after a snowstorm. Thereafter, the operation of a snow blower is not permitted in residential areas between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential real property boundary.
(9) 
Burglar alarms sounding or permitting the sounding of any burglar alarm in or on any building or motor vehicle unless such burglar alarm shall terminate its operation within 10 minutes of its being activated.
(10) 
Motor vehicles and motorcycles on public rights-of-way. No person shall operate or cause to be operated a public or private motor vehicle or motorcycle at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle constitutes a noise disturbance.
The restrictions set forth in §§ 192-2 and 192-3 hereof shall not apply to any of the following noise sources:
A. 
The emission of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.
B. 
Emergency work performed to protect public health or safety, including fire protection, protection from flood or other disasters, and work performed to provide electricity, water or other public utilities when public health or safety is involved.
C. 
Public gatherings, performances and the like, except upon premises licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, for which a permit is obtained from the Chief of Police.
[Amended 8-9-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-09]
D. 
Warning devices on authorized emergency vehicles and/or required for safety purposes.
E. 
Vehicles, machinery, appliances and equipment used in the case of an emergency snow removal.
A. 
Any full- or part-time New Hope Borough police officer may issue a summary citation which shall specify the nature, date and time of the violation.
B. 
Any person or business entity, including but not limited to property owner, renter, user and/or possessor, who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon first summary conviction thereof, be punishable by a minimum fine of up to $100. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. When second and/or subsequent violations are committed by the same person or entity within any twelve-month period, the fine shall be double the amount of the previous fine up to a maximum of $1,000 for each separate and distinct offense.
C. 
In addition to the above, the Borough may institute an action for injunctive relief to prohibit or abate any activity in violation of the provisions of this chapter.