[Ord. 108-2004, 8/11/2004, § 100.1]
The purpose of this Part is to provide for the peace, good order and dignity of the Township by prohibiting specified activities which create a nuisance or otherwise disturb the peace. The authority for this Part is contained within § 1529 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66529.
[Ord. 108-2004, 8/11/2004, § 100.2]
"Disturbing the peace," within the meaning of this Part, shall constitute the making, causing or permitting to be made, anywhere within the Township, any unnecessary noise, clamor, din or other sounds which tend to disturb the good order, quiet and dignity of the Township, including the operation of any business, trade, industry, transportation, recreation and amusement, at a time, in a place or in such a manner to cause unnecessary noise and disturbance within the Township. Except in cases of emergency, any and all such noises, activities and disturbances are hereby prohibited, even though such noises are: (A) no louder than is customary, (B) unavoidable, (C) those noises usually attendant upon the ordinary use and occupation of premises or equipment situate thereon or attendant upon the ordinary operation or performance of business, trade, industry, transportation, recreation or amusement, if made at such times other than those times usual and customary for the work and activity performed so that such noises and disturbances cause disturbance of the peace in the Township.
The following particular conduct shall be, within the meaning of this Part, considered disturbing the peace without in any manner intending to limit or restrict the activities above defined as disturbing the peace:
The unnecessary sounding of motor vehicle horns, sirens, bells, whistles or other similar devices.
The operation of radios or other similar mechanical instruments or singing, shouting or the playing of musical instruments at a time or in a manner which unduly and unnecessarily disturbs the peace of the immediate neighborhood.
The discharging on, over or across any street, highway or road of air guns, spring guns, rifles or firearms of any kind or nature.
The occurrence of loafing or loitering along public ways or on footpaths or at public places within the Township or acting or congregating thereon:
In a noisy, loud, boisterous and unseemly manner or in such other manner as to disturb the peace.
While being visibly under the influence of intoxicating liquor or otherwise conducting oneself so as to present an unruly, immoral, unseemly or improper appearance.
When uttering vulgar, profane or immoral, abusive language in such a fashion as to attract the attention or cause annoyance to the public.
[Ord. 108-2004, 8/11/2004, § 100.3]
Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings indicated herein:
- AMBIENT NOISE LEVEL
- The all encompassing background noise associated with a given environment without the sound contribution of the specific source in question.
- CONSECUTIVE TIME BLOCK
- A measurement of time, beginning with the first minute a noise source is detectable, including each successive minute and concluding with the 120 successive minute, irrespective of the actual number of minutes the noise source is detectable.
- A standard unit for measuring the sound pressure level according to standard scientific principles. Standard notation is dB.
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage which demands immediate action.
- EMERGENCY APPARATUS/EQUIPMENT
- A motor vehicle use in response to public calamity or to protect persons or property from imminent danger.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- As defined in the Commonwealth's Motor Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
- MOTORIZED OFF-ROAD VEHICLE
- A motorized conveyance not designed, intended or licensed for use on or within a public street or right-of-way including, but not limited to, motorcycles, motorized scooters and four wheeled go-carts.
- Any sound emitted by a person, an appliance, equipment, an instrument, other device or animal.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any noise which:
- (1) Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals.
- (2) Willfully, recklessly or negligently annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities.
- (3) Jeopardizes the value of property and/or erodes the integrity, peace or good order of the environment.
- (4) Is in excess of the allowable noise levels established in Subsection 4 of this section.
- NOISE PLAINLY AUDIBLE
- Noise for which the information content of that noise is unambiguously communicated to the listener, such as but not limited to, spoken speech or musical rhythms.
- POWERED MODEL VEHICLE
- Any powered vehicle, either airborne, waterborne or landborne, which is not designed to carry persons or property, such as, but not limited to, model airplanes, boats, cars, or rockets propelled by mechanical means.
- PROPERTY BOUNDARY (aka LOT LINE)
- An imaginary line which separates the real property owned, leased or possessed by one person or entity from that owned, leased or possessed by another person or entity.
- PURE TONE
- A sound which can be distinctly heard as a single pitch or set of single pitches. For the purpose of this Part, a pure tone shall exist if the 1/3 octave band sound pressure level and the band with the tone exceeds the arithmetic average of the two continuous 1/3 octave bands by 15 dB for bands with center frequencies less than 160 Hz, by 8 dB for bands with center frequencies of 160 Hz to 400 Hz and by five dB for bands with center frequencies greater than 400 Hz.
- A temporal and spatial oscillation in pressure or other physical quantity, in a medium with internal forces that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium and which propagates at finite speed to distant points.
General Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person to make or cause to be made a noise disturbance within the limits of the Township, except as otherwise permitted in this section. A noise disturbance can be prosecuted without the use of a noise meter so long as the noise disturbance:
Specific Prohibitions. The following are specifically prohibited, except as otherwise permitted in this section:
No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any noise which creates a noise disturbance.
No person shall create such other noise as might pose a danger to the public health, safety or welfare of the Township or otherwise constitute a nuisance in fact.
No person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, drum, musical instrument, music player, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound in such manner as to cause a noise disturbance:
Which is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from such source when the source is operated in, from or on a motor vehicle or hand-carried on a public right-of-way or public space.
Such that the operator of the vehicle cannot hear or comprehend emergency signals or devices.
Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 8:00 a.m. of the following day such that the noise disturbance is plainly audible through partitions common to two parties within a building.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any tool or equipment used on construction operations, drilling or demolition, or in the sweeping of parking lots, in areas adjacent to residential uses between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day such that the sound therefrom causes a noise disturbance.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of any powered saw, drill, sander, grinder, lawn or garden tool or similar device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day in areas adjacent to a residential use.
No person shall load, open, close or otherwise handle boxes, crates, containers, building materials, garbage cans or other objects between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance in areas adjacent to a residential use. This subparagraph shall not apply to municipal or utility services in or about the public right-of-way.
No person shall own, possess, harbor or control 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 30 minutes 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 cause which teased or provoked the animal or bird.
No person shall offer for sale or sell by shouting or outcry or by any other amplified or unamplified sound, except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. of one day and 7:00 p.m. of the same day. No person shall remove or render inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair, replacement or other work, any muffler or sound-dispersing device or element of design or noise label of any product; intentionally move or render inaccurate or inoperative any sound-monitoring instrument or other device positioned by or for the Township or other governmental entity, provided that such device or the immediate area is clearly labeled or posted to warn of the potential illegality; or use a product which has had a muffler or sound dispersing device or element of design or noise label removed or rendered inoperative with knowledge or reason to know that such action has occurred.
No person shall repair, rebuild, test or otherwise work on any motorcycle or other motor vehicle, motorized off-road vehicle, motorboat or aircraft in such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a property boundary of the receiving land use in districts which allow residential uses.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of a powered model vehicle between the hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day, and such operation from a single location shall not be for more than one consecutive time block without a corresponding one consecutive time block interval when the noise source is not detectable. Maximum sound pressure levels during the permitted period of operation shall not create a noise disturbance under the standards of Subsection 4 of this section and shall be measured at the property boundary of the source or at a distance of 100 feet from the source if it is operated in a public place.
No person shall operate or permit the operation of motorized off road vehicles between the hours of hours of 10:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day so as to cause a noise disturbance in areas adjacent to a residential use. Such operation from a single location shall not be for more than one consecutive time block without a corresponding one consecutive time block interval when the noise source is not detectable.
Exemptions. The following noises are exempted from the provisions above:
Blasting, only if performed in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate governmental agency. Such blasting may occur only between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless specifically authorized otherwise by the permit.
Band concerts, carnivals or other performances or similar activities publicly or privately sponsored and presented in any public or private space outdoors, provided that such activities do not occur between 10:00 p.m. of one day and 9:00 a.m. of the following day, and provided the activity does not create a noise disturbance.
Noises caused by the performance of emergency work or by the ordinary and accepted use of emergency apparatus and equipment.
Noises resulting from the provision, repair and maintenance of municipal/governmental facilities, services or public utilities.
Noises created by organized school-related programs, activities, athletic and entertainment events or other public programs, activities or events, other than motor vehicle racing events.
Noises made by warning devices operating continuously for three minutes or less, except that, in the event of an actual emergency, the time limitation shall not apply.
Noises made by bells, chimes, or carillons used for religious purposes or in conjunction with national celebrations or public holidays.
Farm related activities, but not to include rural or home occupations.
Shooting activity between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. at outdoor or partially enclosed shooting ranges of organizations which are affiliated with or recognized by the Commonwealth or a national sport shooting organization.
Measurable Noise Standards. Any one or combination of the following shall constitute a noise disturbance:
A noise which exceeds the ambient noise level by 10 dB, at the point of the complaint origination within the receiving lot, except as otherwise regulated by this Part.
Any stationary source of sound which emits a pure tone, cyclically varying sound or repetitive impulsive sound if the sound exceeds the ambient noise level by 5 dB.
[Ord. 108-2004, 8/11/2004, § 100.4; as amended by Ord. 122-2006, 12/15/2006]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of the ordinance, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of a fine as provided herein shall not serve to prevent the abatement of any nuisance or to prevent the revocation of the license held by any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation or entity who or which shall violate the provisions of this Part or any other law or ordinance while engaged in activities licensed under the provisions of this Part.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 194-2018, 6/13/2018]
For the purpose of this Part, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings indicated herein:
- A communication indicating or warning that a crime, fire or other emergency situation warranting immediate action by an emergency services provider has occurred or is occurring.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any electrically operated instrument composed of sensors and related hardware that automatically signals by wire, telephone, radio signal, or other means to a person who, in turn, notifies the Chester County 9-1-1 Center or other emergency services coordination agency of the alarm. Alarm systems also include equipment to activate a bell or sounding device to be heard outside a building which is intended to alert the police or others to the existence of a crime, fire, or other emergency situation warranting action by emergency services, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensor that has detected a physical force or condition characteristic of a fire, intrusion, or other emergency.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES
- The services provided by the Honey Brook Fire Company and/or any emergency agency or provider operating within the Township of Honey Brook or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any activation of an alarm system by inadvertence, negligence or intentional or unintentional acts or means, to which emergency services of the Honey Brook Fire Company and/or other emergency services agency or provider respond and where it is determined that the alarm was not the result of a crime in progress, fire, medical or other emergency necessitating a response by emergency services, excepting those alarms which are caused solely by weather extremes or inadvertent utility interruptions.
It shall be unlawful for the property owner, lessee, or any person occupying, in control of, or otherwise on or in any premises within Honey Brook Township, to make or cause to be made, a false alarm, directly or indirectly to any emergency services agency or provider responding to alarms within the Township.
Whether an alarm is a false alarm as defined herein is to be determined by the Honey Brook Fire Department or other affected emergency services agency or provider. The decision shall be final.
Upon notification to Honey Brook Township of a first false alarm within a calendar year, the Township shall send a written warning to the owner, lessee, and/or occupant of the premises notifying said person or persons of this Part, and directing that a written report be made within 14 days by said owner, lessee, or occupant of the property to the Honey Brook Fire Department, and/or other emergency service agency or provider, setting forth what steps have been taken to eliminate future false alarms.
Service fees for false alarms, other than the first false alarm within a calendar year, shall be assessed by and paid to Honey Brook Township, in amounts as may be set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors from time to time.
The service fees imposed by this Part in conjunction with the fee schedule shall not apply in the following circumstances:
The false alarm is due to weather conditions.
For new installations, documentation has been provided that the alarm system was initially installed within six months prior to the false alarm, no more than three false alarms have occurred since the installation, and the false alarm is due to a system malfunction.
For installations more than six months old, the false alarm is the first reported at the subject address during the calendar year.
An event occurred on the alarmed premises that could not have been anticipated, and the alarm system detected the occurrence. Examples might be a ceiling tile falling, a water pipe bursting, or a repairman causing an inadvertent false alarm. Leaving a pet loose or a fan on in a room protected by motion detection would not be events that would be excused.
Multiple alarms emanating from an alarmed facility in a twelve-hour period shall be treated as a single alarm.
In the event a violation of this Part occurs, in addition to such other remedies as may be available under existing law, Honey Brook Township may institute an action in equity to prevent, restrain, correct, abate or enjoin such violation.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.