[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Larksville 8-21-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose and scope of this chapter to secure and promote the public health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare, and the peace and quiet of the Borough and its inhabitants by limiting and prohibiting certain loud, offensive and/or annoying noises.
This chapter shall apply to:
All types of vehicles, appliances, equipment, containers, machinery, or other devices or objects creating noises, whether privately or publicly owned or leased, which disturb the public peace and quiet in the area.
Sounds or noises of any time duration, as hereinafter specified.
Both the owner or owners, operator or operators, lessee or lessees of vehicles, appliances, equipment, containers, machinery, or other devices or objects creating noises and/or the real estate from which such noises are being created.
This chapter shall not apply to:
Aircraft (except model aircraft);
Police, fire, ambulance and other governmental emergency vehicles;
Backup alarm devices on trucks or other equipment when installed and operated in accordance with Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice;
Governmental warning devices (i.e., civil defense or fire sirens, etc.);
Any person or persons, and such equipment and/or vehicles operated by such person or persons, engaged in the performance of services contracted by the Borough of Larksville, specifically including the collection of trash, while such person(s) and/or vehicle(s) are actually conducting the services for which the Borough has contracted.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings hereinafter set forth unless the context of this chapter shall clearly indicate otherwise:
- Any device or combination of devices used or capable or being used as a means of accomplishing a desired end, such as, but not limited to, a window air conditioning unit, and a radio or stereo.
- Any device or combination of devices used or capable of being used to accomplish a desired end, such as, but not limited to, a chain saw, bulldozer, backhoe, hammer, power saw, lawn mower, radio, stereo equipment, CD player, mp3 player or like or similar object, and handheld musical instruments.
- Any sound emitted by a person, animal, vehicle, appliance, equipment, container, machinery or other devices or objects creating sound, and its environmental interaction.
- ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any person appointed by the Borough of Larksville with the responsibility of enforcing the Borough ordinances, including, but not limited to, the Larksville Borough Police Department and appointed Code Enforcement Officer(s).
- Individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, businesses, churches, schools, nonprofit organizations, including their lessees, assignees, employees, servants, trustees, receivers, executors, administrators, or other successors in interest, and including any owner or operator of a vehicle, appliances, machinery, equipment, containers or devices, and the owners and lessees of real estate where such vehicle, appliance, machinery, equipment, container or device is located.
- Any device or combination of devices used 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 graders and semitrailers and tractor-trailers.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, cause to be made, or continue to cause to be made or continued, any loud, unnecessary, excessive or unusual noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures, interferes with or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of Larksville Borough, or is annoying to a person of ordinary sensibilities as hereinafter set forth.
The following acts, among others, are declared to be loud, excessive, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this chapter and are prohibited (but such enumeration shall not be deemed to be an exclusive listing); namely:
Horns and signaling/warning devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any vehicle, within the limits of the Borough, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any horn or signaling device of any unreasonably loud, excessive, disturbing, unnecessary or harsh sound; and the sounding of any such device for any unnecessary and/or unreasonable period of time; the use of any horn or signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the unreasonable use of any horn or signaling device when traffic is, for any reason, held up.
Racing of motors. The unnecessary or excessive or unnatural acceleration, deceleration or racing of motors in vehicles, whether in motion or at rest, within the limits of the Borough.
Exhausts. The discharge into the open air of the exhaust of any gasoline, steam or diesel locomotive or stationary internal combustion engine or vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will prevent loud or explosive noises therefrom.
Defect in vehicle or load. The use of any vehicle or other piece of machinery, equipment, appliance, container or device so out of repair, or so loaded, or in such manner as to create loud or unnecessary or excessive grating, grinding, rattling or other noise.
Sound equipment. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated, of any radio receiving set, musical instrument, sound amplifier, phonograph, radio, stereo, tape player, compact disc player, mp3 or other players, car or other vehicle radio or stereo, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet comfort and repose 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 thereof. The operation of any such set, instrument, machine or device between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 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 prohibited and shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.
Loudspeakers and 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 cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building or structure.
(Note: As used in this subsection, the words "commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public" are intended to apply to the use, operation or permitting of the prohibited activities in an essentially stationary manner or location or in a manner such as to create a detriment to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Such words are not intended to apply to and prohibit the playing of music by ice cream truck and like or similar vendors traveling the Borough's streets on an intermittent basis and involving only brief emissions of sound in any one general area.)
Yelling and shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on the public streets or property, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., or at any time or place, including private property, so as to annoy or disturb the peace, quiet, comfort, or repose of persons in any school, church or office, or in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence or of any persons in the vicinity.
Loading, unloading and/or the opening of boxes, dumpsters and/or other containers. The creating of noise in connection with loading or unloading any vehicle, dumpster or other container, or the opening and/or destruction of bales, boxes, crates and containers from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. is prohibited.
Animals and birds, etc. The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the peace, comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity.
Construction, maintenance or repairing of buildings or lands. The erection (including excavation), demolition, alteration, maintenance or repair of any streets, highways, sidewalks, lands, trees, lawns, landscaping and/or buildings between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except in case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with a permit from the Borough's Code Enforcement Officer or a Borough Council member, 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.
Hawkers and peddlers. The shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers, and vendors which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
Railway, operation thereof. The causing, permitting or continuing of any excessive, unnecessary or avoidable noise in the operation of any railway locomotive or railway car or train of cars.
Noise from premises or property. No person owning, leasing, occupying, or otherwise in possession or control of any building, land or premises shall, between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., use the same or permit the use of the same or permit any equipment, machinery, appliance, container, or other device to be used at said building, land or premises if such use shall disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, or otherwise be dangerous or detrimental to health and quiet enjoyment.
Equipment noise. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any construction equipment, tractor-trailer, power saw, backhoe, lawn or landscaping maintenance equipment, or other mechanical equipment operated by fuel, battery, or electric power between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., except for emergency work on public improvements, municipal services and/or except by special permit as issued by the Borough for a duration of three days as provided for in Subsection J of this section, if such equipment produces noise prohibited by this chapter.
Screeching of tires. The operation of any motor vehicle in such a way as to cause the tires thereof to screech except where the same is necessarily caused in an emergency in an attempt by the operator to avoid an accident or the causing of damage or injury.
Blowers. The operation, between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., 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.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to pay a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $300, plus costs of prosecution, or to undergo imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Any emission of noise from any source in violation of this chapter shall be deemed and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated, in addition to the administrative proceeding, fines and penalties herein provided. Such abatement may be made by any police officer or at his direction, or by his designee, or by the Code Enforcement Officer, or by the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in complaint, petition or action filed by or on behalf of the Borough of Larksville.
The Larksville Borough Police Department and/or the Code Enforcement Officer shall have authority to enforce this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed 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 and in such place or manner or at such levels which may give rise to such cause of action.
The police and/or Code Enforcement Officer, should circumstances require, are authorized, but not required, to issue a warning to persons considered to be in violation of this chapter, which may allow an appropriate time not to exceed two days for correction to terminate said prohibited noise or other violation of this chapter before enforcement by prosecution.
In case any one or more of the provisions of this chapter shall, for any reason, be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision hereof, and this chapter shall be construed as if such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.