[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Quarryville 6-2-2008 by Ord. No. 373. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Quarryville Borough Noise Control Ordinance."
This chapter aims to ensure that public health, safety and welfare shall not be abridged by the making and creating of public nuisances from disturbing, excessive or offensive noises in Quarryville Borough. The residents of Quarryville Borough recognize that uncontrolled noise represents a danger to the health and welfare of their neighbors and that each person in the community is entitled to live in an environment in which the level of noise is minimized for the community good. This chapter attempts to foster mutual respect among residents and to establish a community position against noise disturbance. The community believes that it should rely on the good sense of all residents to respect one another's living and working environments and one another's right to an environment that is free from noise disturbance.
Words used in the present tense include the future tense; the singular number includes the plural and the plural number includes the singular; words of masculine gender include feminine gender and words of feminine gender include masculine gender; the word "includes" or "including" shall not limit the term to the specific example, but is intended to extend its meaning to all other instances of like kind and character; the words "shall" and "must" are mandatory; the words "may" and "should" are permissive; the words "used" or "occupied" include the words "intended, designed maintained or arranged to be used or occupied."
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:
- AMBIENT NOISE
- The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources near and far.
- CONSTRUCTION OPERATION
- The erection, repair, renovation, demolition or removal of any building or structure and the excavation, filling, grading and regulation of lots in connection therewith.
- 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 decay. Examples of impulsive sound include explosions, drop-forge impacts and the discharge of firearms.
- MOTOR CARRIER VEHICLE
- A truck, truck tractor or combination having a gross weight or registered gross weight in excess of 17,000 pounds.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- A vehicle, which is self-propelled, except one which is propelled solely by human power or by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails.
- MUFFLER OR SOUND-DISSIPATIVE DEVICE
- A device designed or used for decreasing or abating the level of sound escaping from an engine or machinery system.
- Characterized as unwanted sound. Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which does any of the following:
- (1) Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals.
- (2) Is unusual for the time of day or location where it is produced or heard.
- (3) Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
- (4) Endangers or injures personal or real property.
- (5) Jeopardizes the value of property or erodes the integrity of the environment.
- 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 to corporations, the officers and managers thereof or any of them.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE
- Any sound that can be detected by a person using his or her unaided ear. As an example, if the sound source under investigation is emitted from a stereo or TV, the enforcement officer need not determine the title of a song, or TV show, specific words, the artist or actors performing the song. The detection of any sound coming from the operation of such a device is sufficient to constitute a plainly audible sound.
- POWERED MODEL VEHICLE
- Any self-propelled airborne, waterborne or landborne plane, vessel or vehicle which is not designed to carry persons, including but not limited to any model airplane, boat, car or rocket.
- 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 separation of 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 plane 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 governmental 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.
- RESIDENTIAL AREA
- The portion of the Borough located to the south of the Enola Low Grade Line.
- 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 motor vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
- TRUCK TRACTOR
- A motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load so drawn.
- Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon rails or tracks.
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.
Specific prohibitions. The following acts, and the causing thereof, are declared to be noise disturbances and therefore in violation of this chapter:
Radios, television sets, musical instruments, and similar devices. Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier, compact discs, CD-ROM, stereo, home theater system, computer-generated musical instrument, automobile radio, automobile stereo or high-fidelity equipment or similar device which produces, reproduces, or amplifies sound:
At any time in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a property line (boundary), or between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day on weekdays, and 9:00 p.m. of one day and 8:00 a.m. of the following day on Saturday and Sunday, regardless of the sound level which is emitted, unless otherwise exempted in this chapter;
In such a manner as to be plainly audible or create a noise disturbance across a property line (boundary) or at 50 feet from such device, whichever is less, when the device is operated in or on a motor vehicle, or hand-carried, on a public right-of-way or public space; or
In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance to any person other than the operator of the device, when operated by any passenger of a common carrier.
Yelling and shouting, etc. Engaging in loud or raucous yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing:
Construction. Operating or permitting the operation of any tools or equipment used in construction operations, drilling, or demolition work:
Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and Saturdays or at any time on Sundays or legal holidays, such that the sound therefrom creates a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary), except for emergency work.
Domestic power tools. Operating or permitting the operation of any mechanically powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool, or similar device used outdoors in the Borough's residential area between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. so as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary).
Loading and unloading. Loading, unloading, opening, closing or other handling of boxes, crates, containers, building materials, garbage cans, or similar objects between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary). This Subsection B(5) shall not apply to municipal or utility services in or about the public right-of-way.
Animals and birds.
Owning, possessing, harboring or controlling any animal or bird which howls, barks, meows, squawks, 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 or bird is situated in or upon private property; provided, however, that at the time the animal or bird is making such noise, no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal or bird is situated or for any other legitimate cause which teased or provoked the animal or bird.
This subsection only applies when two or more persons file complaints about the animal or bird. However, prior to filing the complaint, the complainants must first request the person owning, possessing, harboring or controlling the animal or bird to take action to prevent the animal or bird from creating a noise disturbance. If after making the request to the person owning, possessing, harboring or controlling the animal or bird, the noise disturbance continues, a complaint may be filed.
Powered model vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of powered model vehicles so as to create a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary) between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday. and during the hours from 9:00 p.m. Saturdays and 12:00 noon on Sundays.
Street sales. Offering for sale or selling by shouting or outcry or by any other amplified or nonamplified sound shall be prohibited except by permit and only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the selling by outcry of merchandise, food and beverages at licensed sporting events, parades, fairs, circuses and other similar licensed public entertainment events.
Tampering. The following acts or the causing thereof are prohibited:
The removal or rendering inoperative by any person other than for the purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, of any muffler or sound-dissipative device or element of design or noise label of any product.
The use of a product which has had a muffler or sound-dissipative device or element of design or noise label removed or rendered inoperative, with knowledge that such action has occurred.
Vehicle, motorboat, or aircraft repairs and testing. Repairing, rebuilding, or testing any motor vehicle, motor cycle, motorboat, or aircraft in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary).
Explosives, firearms, fireworks, or similar devices. The use of or firing of explosives, firearms, fireworks, or similar devices which create a noise disturbance plainly audible across real property lines or partition walls common to two or more parties in a multi-unit building is prohibited unless used for construction purposes such as blasting and is then governed by other provisions of this chapter. This section does not apply to those who are legally hunting on land within the Borough.
Motor vehicle prohibitions.
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, or any equipment attached to such a vehicle, on a public right-of-way at any time in such a manner that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle or motorcycle, or any equipment attached to such a vehicle, exceeds the level set forth in Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Regulations Title 67, Chapter 157, Subchapter B, 67 Pa. Code § 157.11.
Standing motor vehicles. No person shall operate or permit the operation of any motor vehicle or any auxiliary equipment attached to such a vehicle, for a period longer than 15 minutes in any hour while the vehicle is stationary, for reasons other than traffic congestion, anywhere within 150 feet of any residence in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a residential property line (boundary).
Unnecessary horn blowing. No person shall at any time sound the horn or other warning device of a vehicle except when absolutely necessary as a warning while actually driving such vehicle.
Sound trucks. No person shall, at any time between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following day on weekdays and Saturdays, or at any time on Sundays or legal holidays, operate sound-amplifying equipment mounted on or attached to any motor vehicle in such a manner as to exceed the maximum permissible motor vehicle noise emissions as set forth in Subsection C(1) of this section.
Squealing of tires. No person shall cause or allow the tires of a motor vehicle, which the person is operating, to squeal except when necessary in order to avoid a collision with another person, vehicle or other property.
Prima facie violation. The noise from any of the aforesaid prohibited acts that disturbs two or more residents who are in general agreement as to the times and durations of the noise and who reside in separate residences (including apartments and condominiums) located across a property line (boundary) from the property on which the source of the noise is generated shall be prima facie evidence of a noise disturbance.
The following sounds are exempted from the provisions of this chapter:
Amplified announcements. Electronically amplified announcements at athletic events.
Blasting. Blasting which is performed in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Such blasting may occur only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless specifically authorized by permit.
Concerts, etc. Band concerts, block parties, church carnivals, or other performances or similar activities publicly or privately sponsored and presented in any public space outdoors shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter, provided such activities do not occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless otherwise permitted by the Borough to operate later.
Emergency work. Sounds caused by the performance of emergency work, or by the ordinary and accepted use of emergency apparatus and equipment.
Municipal and utility services. Sounds resulting from the repair or replacement of any municipal, cable television or utility installation in or about the public right-of-way.
School and public activities. Sounds not electronically amplified, created by organized school-related programs, activities, athletic and entertainment events, or other public programs, activities or events, other than fireworks or fireworks displays and motor vehicle racing events.
Any person responsible for any activity or event involving fireworks or fireworks displays shall apply with the Police Department for an application for a special variance from noise control.
Any person involved in any motor vehicle racing event shall apply for a special variance from noise control with the Police Department.
Warning devices. Sounds made by warning devices operating continuously for three minutes or less, except in the event of an actual emergency.
Agricultural activities. Sounds resulting from agricultural operations, including livestock, protected from nuisance suits by Act No. 1982-133, as amended, 3 P.S. § 951 et seq., but not excluding a commercial kennel.
Fire/burglar alarms. Sounds made by fire and burglar alarms operating continuously for 10 minutes or less.
Bells, chimes, strike mechanisms and carillons. Routine ringing of bells and chimes used by a place of worship for religious or public purposes or in conjunction with national celebrations or public holidays.
Air conditioners, fans, heating units and similar devices. Given that they are in proper operating condition, these are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
Back-up signaling devices on motor vehicles except those used in conjunction with commercial construction activities which would be limited by Subsection B(3).
This chapter shall be enforced by the Quarryville Borough Police Department.
For each violation of the provisions of this chapter, any person who commits, takes part in, or assists in any such violation shall be liable upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300 for each offense, together with the costs of prosecution. Each day or portion thereof in which a violation exists shall be considered a separate violation of this chapter, and each section of this chapter which is violated shall be considered a separate violation. In default of payment of such fine, such person shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days.
The provisions of this chapter are severable, and if any section, sentence, clause, part or provision hereof shall be held to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or impair the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, parts or provisions of this chapter. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Borough Council that this chapter would have been enacted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, sentence, clause, part or provision had not been included herein.