[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Spring Garden 10-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose and scope of this chapter to provide regulations defining the maximum sound levels that vehicles, appliances and equipment shall be allowed to produce at specified distances from these devices and also to provide for the prohibition of other kinds of prohibited noises. These regulations and prohibitions are intended to protect the physical, mental and social well-being of the residents of the Township.
This chapter shall apply:
The following devices are exempt from the provisions of these regulations:
Aircraft (except model aircraft).
Police, fire, ambulance and other governmental emergency vehicles.
Back-up alarm devices on trucks and other equipment when installed and operated in accordance with Society of Automotive Engineers' recommended practice J994, Criteria for Back-Up Alarm Devices.
Governmental warning devices (i.e., civil defense or fire siren).
All acoustical terminology shall be that contained in ANSI S1.1, Acoustical Terminology.
- American National Standards Institute or its successors.
- Any device or combination of devices used or capable of being used as a means of accomplishing a desired end, such as a window air-conditioning unit.
- The twenty-four-hour period starting at local 12:00 midnight.
- 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- DECIBEL (dB)
- A unit of sound level which is a division of logarithmic scale used to express the ratio of sound intensity of the source to the intensity of an arbitrarily chosen reference intensity. The ratio is expressed on the decibel scale by multiplying its base 10 logarithm by 10.
- Any devices or combination of devices to accomplish a desired end, such as a chainsaw, bulldozer, etc.
- EXCESSIVE NOISE
- Excessive noise is that sound which is:
- FLUCTUATING NOISE
- A fluctuating noise is a noise whose sound level varies significantly with time.
- IMPULSIVE NOISE
- Impulsive noise is characterized by brief excursions of sound level. The duration of a single impulse is usually less than one second.
- INTERMITTENT NOISE
- An intermittent noise is a noise whose sound level exceeds the ambient noise levels at least twice during the period of observation, which is one minute or more. The period of time during which the level of the noise remains at an essentially constant value different from that of the ambient is on the order of one second or more.
- Noise is any sound emitted by a person, animal, vehicle, appliance, equipment or other device and its environmental interaction.
- ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any person appointed by the Township with responsibility to enforce municipal ordinances; or any sworn member of the Township Police Department.
- Either the owner or operator of vehicles, appliances, equipment or devices.
- PERIOD OF OBSERVATION
- The time interval during which acoustical data are obtained. The period of observation is determined by the characteristics of the noise being measured and the instrumentation being used. The period of observation must be at least as long as the response time of the instrumentation. The greater the variance in individual sound level, the longer must be the observation time for a given expected accuracy of measurement.
- Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.
- SOUND LEVEL (NOISE LEVEL)
- Airborne sound levels are expressed in dB and obtained by the use of specific frequency-dependent weighting networks, as specified in the referenced standards. The specific weighting network used must be indicated by the proper notation. If the A-weighting is employed, the sound level is identified as dB(A).
- SOUND LEVEL METER
- A sound level meter is an instrument or combination of instruments, which meets or exceeds the requirements for an ANSI Type S1A or Type S2A Sound Level Meter.
- STEADY NOISE
- A noise whose level remains essentially constant (i.e., fluctuations are less than five dB), during the period of observation is a steady noise.
- Any device or combination of devices used for or capable of being used for transporting persons or property. Vehicles include, but are not limited to, the following: automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, snowmobiles, scooters, all-terrain vehicles, go-carts, racers and like devices, farm machinery, industrial machinery, highway graders, trailers, graders and semitrailers.
Abatement. Any excessive noise or emission of noise from any source in excess of the limitation established in or pursuant to this chapter herein described shall be deemed and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated, in addition to the administrative proceedings, fines and penalties herein provided. Such abatement may be made by any police officer or the Ordinance Enforcement Officer or may be made by order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County on complaint or petition filed on behalf of the Township.
Nothing in this chapter shall be constructed to impair any cause of action or legal remedy thereof of any person or the public for injury or damage arising from the emission or release into the atmosphere or ground from any source whatever of noise in such place or manner or at such levels which may give rise to such cause of action.
The noise enforcement officers of the Township shall:
Be qualified by training and experience to perform the necessary measurements and procedures required to determine violations of the provisions of this chapter;
File complaints with the Magisterial District Judge to prosecute violations of this chapter;
Investigate complaints of violations of this chapter and make inspections and observations of noise conditions; and
Be authorized to issue a warning to persons considered in violation of these regulations, a warning which may allow an appropriate time not to exceed 30 calendar days for correction to bring the offending vehicle(s), appliance(s), equipment or other device(s) within the provisions of these regulations before enforcement by prosecution.
General. No person shall make, permit or cause to be made any excessive noise of any kind by crying, calling or shouting or by means of any whistle, rattle, bell, gong, clapper, hammer, drum, horn, hand organ, mechanically-operated piano, other musical instrument, wind instrument, mechanical device, radio, phonograph, sound-amplifying or other similar electronic device.
Musical instruments. No person shall use or perform on any hand organ or other musical instrument or device, for pay or in expectation of payment, in any public way or public open space of the Township before 6:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m. of the day.
Noise from premises. No person owning or in possession or control of any building or premises shall use the same, permit the use of the same, or rent the same to be used for any business of employment or residential use, or for any purpose of pleasure or recreation, if such use shall, by its boisterous nature, disturb or destroy the peace of the neighborhood or be dangerous or detrimental to health.
Equipment noise. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any pile driver, shovel, hammer, derrick, hoist, roller or other mechanical equipment operated by fuel or electric power in building or construction operations from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. of the following day, except for emergency work on public improvements, work of public service utilities and municipal services, unless such equipment has been manufactured or modified for sound control and meets the provisions of this chapter.
Noise in handling refuse cans. No person shall make any unnecessary noise in the handling of ash, trash and garbage cans, either in loading or unloading, whether full or empty.
Noise in vicinity of hospitals, schools and churches. No person shall make any unnecessary noise in the vicinity of any hospital, or church during hours of public worship, or school during school hours.
Unlawful to keep noisy animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept, harbor or otherwise maintain any animal which shall disturb the quiet of any public street or other public place or of any neighborhood; provided, however, that a noisy animal shall be defined as one or more animals which make noises habitually so as to constitute annoyance to a person of ordinary sensibilities.
Noise by peddlers. No peddler or other person who plies a trade or calling of any nature on the streets of the Township shall use any horn, bell or other sound instrument to make any noise tending to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood for the purpose of directing attention to his wares, trade or calling.
Use of horns and other devices on vehicles. No person operating any vehicle, other than police, fire, public service or ambulance operators, shall sound any horn, bell, gong, siren or whistle, except for the ordinary horn installed on such vehicle by the manufacturer, or sound any type of horn, except when reasonably necessary to prevent accidents or to otherwise comply with the law of motor vehicles.
Vehicles. No person shall operate a motor vehicle of a type subject to registration, except police, fire equipment, ambulances or other government emergency vehicles, at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or declaration in such a manner as to exceed the following noise limits for the category of minor vehicles, based on a distance of 50 feet from the center of the lane traveled on, within the speed limit specified in this section under test procedures established by § 202-8 of this chapter.
This section applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provisions of this code relating to motor vehicle mufflers for noise control.
No person shall modify or change the exhaust muffler, intake muffler or any other noise abatement device of a motor vehicle so that the noise level is increased above that emitted by the vehicle as originally manufactured. Procedures used to establish compliance with this paragraph shall be those used to establish compliance of a new motor vehicle with the requirements of this chapter.
No person shall sell or lease or offer for sale or lease a new or secondhand vehicle that produces a maximum noise exceeding the noise limit at a distance of 50 feet from the center line of travel, as stated in § 202-8 of this chapter. The manufacturer, distributor, importer or designated agent shall, if requested, certify in writing to the Township that his vehicles sold or leased within the Township comply with the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall operate any powered equipment or powered hand tool that produces a maximum noise level exceeding the following noise limits at a distance of 50 feet, under test procedures established by § 202-8 of this chapter.
No person shall sell or lease or offer for sale or lease new or secondhand equipment that produces a maximum noise exceeding the noise limit at a distance of 50 feet as stated in this chapter [Subsection K(1) above]. The manufacturer, distributor, importer or designated agent shall, if requested, certify in writing to the Township that his equipment sold or leased within the Township complies with the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to the requirements set forth above:
Except for agricultural, horticultural and forestry-related uses, no use shall regularly generate exterior noise levels in excess of those listed in the following table:
Should the ambient noise level at any location exceed the above standards, that ambient noise level shall become the maximum permitted noise level at that location. The maximum permitted noise level shall be applied to regularly occurring uses and activities; short-term temporary noises and infrequent instantaneous noises may be permitted at noise levels 20 dBA higher than the above-described standards, but only between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Test procedures to determine whether maximum noises emitted by new motor vehicles sold or offered for sale or lease meet the noise limits stated in § 202-6K of this chapter shall be in substantial conformity with standards and recommended practices established by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and such other and further standards as may be propounded by the Township.
Test procedures to determine whether maximum noises emitted by powered equipment or powered hand tools, sold or leased or offered for sale or lease, meet the noise limits stated in § 202-6K of this chapter shall be in substantial conformity with standards and recommended practices established by the SAE Inc. and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and such other and further standards as may be propounded by the Township.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.