[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Lansdale 9-16-2020 by Ord. No. 2020-1943. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Lansdale Borough Noise Nuisance Ordinance."
The Borough Council, finding that excessive levels of sound are detrimental to the physical, mental and social well-being of Borough residents as well as to their comfort, living conditions, general welfare and safety, and being therefore a public health and welfare hazard, hereby declares it to be necessary to provide for the greater control and more effective regulation of excessive noise within the Borough.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this chapter, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Any occurrence or set of circumstances involving actual or imminent physical trauma or property damage.
- NOISE DISTURBANCE
- Any sound that endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals; or that annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or that endangers or injures personal or real property.
- Any individual, association, partnership, corporation or other legally recognized entity. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, "person" includes the individual members, partners, officers and managers, or any of them, of partnerships and associations and, as to corporations, the officers and managers thereof or any of them.
- PLAINLY AUDIBLE
- Any sound which clearly can be heard at a distance of 50 or more feet. Words or phrases need not be clearly discernible for a sound to be "plainly audible" from the source.
- PROPERTY LINE or BOUNDARY
- An imaginary line drawn through the points of contact of adjoining lands, apartments, condominiums, townhouses and duplexes owned, rented or leased by different persons; a demarcation or a line of separation of properties; and also, for any two or more buildings sharing common grounds, the line drawn midway between any two said buildings. All areas devoted to public right-of-way shall be deemed to be across the property line. For the purpose of this chapter, the property line includes all points on a plane formed by projecting the property line in a manner deemed appropriate by the enforcing Borough official or employee.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- PUBLIC SPACE
- Any real property or structures thereon which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
- REAL PROPERTY
- All land, whether publicly or privately owned, whether improved or not improved, with or without structures, exclusive of any areas devoted to the public right-of-way.
- An oscillation in pressure, particle displacement, particle velocity, or other physical parameter, in a medium with internal forces, that causes compression and rarefaction of that medium, or the superposition of such propagated oscillation which evokes an auditory sensation. The description of sound may include any characteristics of such sound, including duration, intensity and frequency.
- SOUND-AMPLIFICATION SYSTEM
- Any radio, tape player, compact disc player, loudspeaker, or other electronic device used for the amplification of sound.
Noise disturbance prohibited. No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any noise disturbance, nor shall any person suffer, allow or permit any noise disturbance to be made or continued from or at any property, whether real or personal, that is subject to such person's right to control.
Specific prohibitions. The following acts and the causing thereof are declared to be noise disturbances and therefore in violation of this chapter:
Radios, televisions, sound-amplification devices, musical instruments and similar devices.
Operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, television, drum, musical instrument, audio equipment, sound-amplification device or similar device which produces, reproduces, or amplifies sound as follows:
In such a manner as to cause a noise disturbance across a property line (or boundary); or
Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday so as to be plainly audible across a property line or boundary; or
Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on Friday or Saturday so as to be plainly audible across a property line (boundary); or
In such a manner as to be plainly audible when the device is operated in or on a motor vehicle or hand-carried on a public right-of-way or public space.
Exceptions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the operation of a musical instrument or a sound-amplification system within a vehicle operated by a police, fire or emergency medical service agency or within a vehicle responding to an emergency or by a person participating in a public activity, such as a parade or civic celebration authorized by the Borough or the operation of a musical instrument or a sound-amplification system due to a special event that has been approved by the Borough which produces plainly audible sounds shall not be in violation of this chapter.
Trash/garbage/recycling collection and pickup. Collecting or picking up dumpsters or roll-offs associated with the disposal of trash, garbage and/or recycling by licensed trash haulers between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Special pickups, if approved within contract(s) between haulers and the Borough, shall be exempt from these time limit requirements.
Animals and birds. Owning, possessing, harboring or controlling 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 1/2 hour 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, it shall not be a violation if at the time the animal or bird is making such noise a person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal or bird is situated or if the animal or bird was caused to make such noise for any other legitimate reason.
Construction and landscaping. Operating or permitting the operation of any tool, machinery, appliance or equipment used in landscaping or construction, drilling, earthmoving, excavation or demolition work which emits noise beyond the premises upon which the tool, machinery, appliance or equipment is being operated or used from Sunday evening until Saturday morning between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. and from Saturday evening until Sunday morning, and on all legal holidays between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., except for emergency work. Ambient outdoor temperatures exceeding 90° F. for three consecutive days during the months of June, July, August and September shall constitute "emergency work," permitting construction activities to begin at 7:00 a.m. and continue to 9:00 p.m.
Exemptions. The following sounds are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
Emergency work. Sounds caused by the performance of emergency work, or by the ordinary and accepted use of emergency apparatus and equipment, or the generation of sound for the purpose of alerting persons to the existence of an emergency.
Borough and other utility services. Sound resulting from the repair or replacement of any Borough or other utility installation in or about the public right-of-way.
Permitted sounds. Any activity which would otherwise cause or constitute a violation of this chapter for which an appropriate permit has been obtained from the Borough and which permit expressly permits the sound-creating activity to occur at times or locations not in accord with this chapter.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be liable, upon conviction therefor, to fines and penalties of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, which fines and penalties may be collected as provided by law.