[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Washington 12-26-1978 by Ord. No. 1241 (Ch. 6, Part 6, of the 1986 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is found and declared that:
The making and creation of excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises within the limits of the City of Washington is a condition which has existed for some time and the extent and volume of such noise is increasing.
The making, creation or maintenance of such excessive, unnecessary, unnatural or unusually loud noises which are prolonged, unusual and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the City of Washington.
The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuance of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the City of Washington and its inhabitants.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the City.
[Amended 12-14-2000 by Ord. No. 1663]
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter, but the following enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Horns, signaling devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, streetcar or other vehicle on any street or public place of the City, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time. The use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.
Radios, phonographs, etc. The using, operating or permitting to be operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the person or persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
Loudspeakers, amplifiers for advertising. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound which is carried upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
Yelling, shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, repose of persons in any office or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Animals, birds, etc. The keeping of any animal or bird which by causing frequent or long-continued noise shall disturb the comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity.
Steam whistles. The blowing of any locomotive steam whistle or steam whistle attached to any stationary boiler except to give notice of the time to begin or to stop work or as a warning of fire or danger or upon request of proper City authorities.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motorboat, or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Defect in vehicle or load and/or modification of vehicle or load. The use of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle so out of repair, so loaded or modified in such manner as to create loud and unnecessary grating, grading, rattling or other noise. Also, the racing of any engine and/or modification of any muffler system or other system of any automobile, motorcycle or vehicle in any manner as to create loud and unnecessary noise.
Loading, unloading, opening boxes. The creation of a loud and excessive noise in connection with loading or unloading of any vehicle or the opening and destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers.
Construction or repairing of buildings. The erection (including excavation), demolition, alteration or repair of any building other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Building Inspector, which permit may be granted for a period not to exceed three days or less while the emergency continues and which permit may be renewed for periods of three days or less while the emergency continues.
Schools, courts, churches, hospitals. The creation of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, church or court, while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients in the hospital, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, hospital or court street.
Hawkers, peddlers. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Drums. The use of any drum or other instrument or device for the purpose of attracting attention by creation of noise to any performance, show or sale.
Metal rails, pillars and columns, transportation thereof. The transportation of rails, pillars, columns of iron or steel or other material over and along streets and other public places upon carts, trays, cars, trucks or in any other manner so loaded as to cause loud noises or as to disturb the peace and quiet of such streets and other public places.
Street railway cars, operation thereof. The causing, permitting or continuing any excessive, unnecessary and avoidable noise in the operation of a street railway car.
Pile drivers, hammers, etc. The operation between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of any pile driver, steam shovel, pneumatic hammer, derrick, steam or electric hoist or other appliance, the use of which is attended by loud or unusual noise.
Blowers. The operation of any noise-creating blower or power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, unless the noise from such blower or fan is muffled and such engine is equipped with a muffler device sufficient to deaden such noise.
[Amended 4-24-1986 by Ord. No. 1356; 12-7-2006 by Ord. No. 1766]
Any individual, person, firm, corporation or other entity who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon being held liable in any civil proceeding or upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a penalty, fine or charge of no less than $100 nor more than the maximum amount permitted by law, but not to exceed $1,000, and in default of payment or any failure to pay any fine or penalty, upon a summary or other criminal conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days, or both.
Each day that a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense, subject to the fines, costs, penalties and charges set forth above for each offense.
Nothing herein shall limit, prevent or preclude the City of Washington from taking any and all legal action or exercising any other remedy available to the City by law, including but not limited to the initiation of civil or criminal proceedings or injunctive relief, in order to enforce or ensure compliance with this chapter. As an additional remedy, the City of Washington may abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition by any means permitted by law, which shall include but not be limited to an action in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania, for injunctive relief; the use of any City of Washington personnel, equipment and materials or that of an authorized agent or contractor hired by the City to remove or abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition and with all costs thereof or related thereto to be charged against the property owner(s) and/or person or entity who has violated the chapter or portion thereof; said costs shall include all actual costs and expenses, including all costs of collection and reasonable administrative costs of the City, incurred in enforcing the provisions of the chapter.
As an additional remedy, the operation of or maintenance of any device, instrument, vehicle or machinery in violation of any provision hereof and which causes discomfort or annoyance to reasonable persons of normal sensitiveness or which endangers the comfort, repose, health or peace of residents in the area shall be deemed and is declared to be a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.