[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Jim Thorpe 1-8-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For purposes of this chapter, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
- 6:00 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. the same day.
- DESIGNATED OFFICIAL
- Shall be the person or official appointed by the Borough to enforce this chapter. If no person has otherwise been appointed, the Police Department of the Borough of Jim Thorpe shall have the authority to enforce this chapter.
- A part, zone, or geographic area of the Borough within which certain zoning or development regulations apply.
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which necessitates immediate action. Economic loss shall not be the sole determining factor in the determination of an emergency. It shall be the burden of an alleged violator to prove an "emergency."
- EMERGENCY WORK
- Any work made necessary to restore property to a safe condition following an emergency, or to protect property threatened by an imminent emergency, to the extent such work is necessary to protect persons or property from exposure to imminent danger or damage.
- LICENSED ESTABLISHMENT
- A business or organization in possession of a valid license to serve alcohol issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board within the Borough of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
- 11:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. the following day.
- Any sound which disturbs humans which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound which:
- Any person, person's firm, association, copartnership, joint venture, corporation, or any entity public or private in nature.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE
- Any sound or noise produced by any source, or reproduced by a radio, tape player, television, CD player, electronic audio equipment, musical instrument, sound amplifier or other mechanical or electronic sound-making device, or nonamplified human voice that can be clearly heard by a person using his/her normal hearing faculties.
- PROPERTY BOUNDARY
- Any imaginary line of any property, at the ground surface, and its vertical extension, which separates the real property owned by one person from that owned by another person.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, sidewalk, bike path or alley, or similar place normally accessible to the public which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- REASONABLE TIME
- A radio, music or sound player or other mechanical sound-making device or instrument within a motor vehicle is instantly. Otherwise, absent special circumstances, "reasonable time" is five minutes.
General prohibition. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to make, cause or allow the making of any sound that causes a noise disturbance, as defined in § 314-1 during nighttime hours.
Additional specific prohibition. Noise disturbance shall not be permitted to be heard from licensed establishments during daytime or nighttime hours beyond the property boundary.
Exemptions. The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the sound level and noise regulations:
Nonamplified human voice, except yelling, shouting, whistling, hooting, or generally creating a racket such that it creates a noise disturbance during the nighttime hours in a residential district in other than time of emergency.
Sounds resulting from any authorized emergency vehicle when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of emergency.
Any aircraft operated in conformity with, or pursuant to, federal law, Federal Aviation Regulations and air traffic control instruction used pursuant to and within the duly adopted Federal Aviation Regulations; and any aircraft operating under technical difficulties in any kind of distress, under emergency orders of air traffic control, or being operated pursuant to and subsequent to the declaration of an emergency under Federal Aviation Regulations.
All sounds coming from the normal operations of interstate motor and rail carriers, to the extent that local regulation of sound levels of such vehicles has been preempted by the Noise Control Act of 1972 (42 U.S.C. § 4901 et seq.) or other applicable federal laws or regulations.
School concerts and music activities, including marching band activities, sporting activities, art festivals, and student fundraisers.
Religious organizations conducting worship services of any types, including bells and chimes associated with services, holidays and celebrations.
The Borough of Jim Thorpe, including, but not limited to, parks and recreation unit sponsored activities with musical components.
Any sound or activity caused by an event for which a special event/vendor permit has been issued by the Borough.
Any nonamplified noise generated by noncommercial public speaking activities conducted on any public property or public right-of-way pursuant to legal authority.
Sounds produced at organized sporting events, by fireworks and by permitted parades on public property or public right-of-way.
Applications for a special permit for relief from the noise restrictions in this chapter must be made in writing to the Borough Secretary with approval by the Borough Manager. In the absence of a Borough Manager, the Zoning Officer shall become the approving agent. Special noise relief permits may not be issued at a rate of more than one per thirty-day period per property.
The permit application shall include the name, address and telephone number of the permit applicant; the date, hours and location for which the permit is requested; and the nature of the event or activity. If the proposed activity or event will involve entertainment, the Borough may also request the name and contact information for such individual(s). The application must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of the event, not including holidays and weekends.
Payment of a fee of $30, which fee may be amended by resolution of Borough Council.
Any permit granted must be in writing and shall contain all conditions upon which the permit shall be effective.
The Zoning Officer and/or Chief of Police and/or Jim Thorpe Borough Council may prescribe any reasonable conditions or requirements he/she deems necessary to minimize noise disturbances upon the community or the surrounding neighborhood, including use of mufflers, screens or other sound-attenuating devices.
The permit shall be posted at the activity.
Permits may be granted under the following conditions:
The permit shall be limited to a single day.
Permits shall be effective only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. (midnight).
No permit shall be issued to any applicant or any activity convicted of a violation or if pending conviction of this chapter within 365 days of the permit application.
Upon receipt of a properly executed and signed application, the Borough of Jim Thorpe shall review the application and, if appropriate, issue a special noise permit to the applicant, which permit shall exempt the premises specified in the permit from the provisions of this chapter for the date specified in the permit, except that sound emitted from the premises shall in no way be plainly audible 1,000 feet from the property boundary. The permit shall be issued or denied within 10 days of submission of the complete application.
Any police officer or other designated official who hears a noise or sound that is plainly audible, as defined in § 314-1, in violation of this chapter, shall assess the noise or sound according to the following standards.
The primary means of detection shall be by means of the official's normal hearing faculties, so long as the official's hearing is not enhanced by any device, such as a hearing aid.
The official must have a direct line of sight and hearing to the real property of the source of the sound or noise so that the official can readily identify the offending source of the sound or noise and the distance involved. If the official is unable to have a direct line of sight and hearing to the real property of the source of the sound or noise, then the official shall confirm the source of the sound or noise by approaching the suspected real property source of the sound or noise until the official is able to obtain a direct line of sight and hearing, and identify the identical or same sound or noise that was heard at the place of original assessment of the sound or noise.
The official need not determine the particular words or phrases being said or produced or the name of any song or artist producing the noise or sound. The detection of a rhythmic bass reverberating type of noise or sound is sufficient to constitute a plainly audible noise or sound.
Violation of sound level limits.
When a designated official of the Borough determines that there is a violation of § 314-2, the official may issue a written warning to the person or persons responsible for the sound. The warning shall advise the person of the violation.
The person or persons receiving the warning shall have a reasonable time, as defined in § 314-1, to cease the noise disturbance.
The person or persons responsible for prohibited sounds that have been warned or cited for one or more offending sounds of the same type within 365 days may be cited without another warning. In the situation of a business with ownership less than one year, current ownership would not be responsible for violations prior to ownership of the business.
Other limits; complaint procedure.
Any complaint regarding a sound or noise disturbance based solely on its disturbing a reasonable person of normal sensitivities must be filed by a person who is disturbed by the sound or noise. The complaint may be filed at the time of the disturbance or within five days of the noise disturbance.
When a complaint has been received, a designated official shall investigate the charges. If the official finds probable cause to believe the owner/operator is in violation of this chapter, the official shall issue a warning to cease and desist the violation.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $150 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, $375 for the third offense, $500, etc., not to exceed a maximum amount of $1,000 per incident plus each court cost. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it occurs shall constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense.