Township of Lower Merion, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 4108[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. II, Noise.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make or produce excessive noise, thereby causing annoyance, inconvenience or detriment to the public or to any other person or persons. Noise shall be considered excessive if the sound is subject to this chapter and the sound exceeds the limits hereinafter set forth.
A. 
During daytime or nighttime hours, the maximum permissible sound pressure levels and average levels shall not exceed those set forth in the following chart:
Maximum A-Weighted Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Daytime/8:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. Nighttime
Zoning District of Receiving Property
Time of Day
Maximum SPL
(dBA)
LEQ Average SPL
(dBA)
Residential (R)
Daytime
57
52
Nighttime
52
45
Nonresidential (C)
Daytime
67
62
Nighttime
62
55
B. 
If the background sound level measured at the receiving property line at the time of a noise complaint are within five dBA of the limits in this chart, or above such limits, then the levels in this chart shall not apply, and the following standards shall apply:
(1) 
The maximum SPL and the LEQ average SPL levels shall be increased by five dBA over the background sound level up to a maximum of 75 dBA.
(2) 
The background sound level shall be measured at the same location as the measurement for the sound contribution of the specific source in question and at a time immediately preceding that measurement.
Sound measurements shall be made on the receiving property within 10 feet from the property line nearest the noise source, at least five feet from any structure that reflects sound, and at least three feet above the ground. Where the source of the noise occurs within a multi-unit building, or where buildings have a common party wall, the measurement shall be taken in a habitable space in the complainant's dwelling unit closest to the noise source.
All sound measurements shall be taken with a measurement instrument as defined in § 105-1. The manufacturer's published indication of compliance with such specifications shall be prima facie evidence of such compliance.
A. 
The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter, subject to compliance with any restrictions listed below:
(1) 
Traffic noises, noises from the lawful operation of motor or utility vehicles, noises created by governmental units, and noises created or necessitated by emergency and civil defense activities.
(2) 
Noise created by refuse collection services, street sweepers, deliveries, and other similar activities associated with a permitted land use shall be exempt during the times as provided below:
(a) 
Residential districts: only during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday;
(b) 
Nonresidential districts: only during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
(c) 
Upon application, the Director of Building and Planning may grant an exception to the aforesaid activity exemptions set forth in this § 105-6A(2) if reasonably necessary to conduct the activity in question for a specifically limited duration, and as appropriate, subject to reasonable conditions to protect the public welfare. The decision of the Director of Building and Planning on such application shall be appealable in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 5 of the Township Code.
(3) 
Noise associated with permitted outdoor dining activities located in nonresidential districts, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday to Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
(4) 
Noises created by construction work and the repair and maintenance of any building, structure, or property, including landscaping, shall be exempt during the times as provided below:
(a) 
During the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday:
[1] 
Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., a maximum of one piece of landscaping equipment exceeding the decibel limits in § 105-3 may operate. If there is more than one piece of landscaping equipment operating during these hours and the decibel limit exceeds the decibel limits established in § 105-3, the use of this equipment is in violation of this exception.
(b) 
Upon application, the Director of Building and Planning may extend the aforesaid activity exemptions set forth in this § 105-6A(4) if reasonably necessary to conduct the construction work in question for specifically limited durations, and as appropriate, subject to reasonable conditions to protect the public welfare. The decision of the Director of Building and Planning on such application shall be appealable in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 5 of the Township Code.
(5) 
Concerts, block parties, graduations, wedding receptions, ceremonies, sporting or recreational activities, carnivals, festivals, or other performances or similar activities (public or private) shall be exempt, provided that:
(a) 
Such activities, except for sport shooting on ranges existing on July 1, 2017, do not produce sound at the property line of 10 dBA or more in excess of the sound levels set forth in § 105-3; and
(b) 
Such exemption shall not apply from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the following day, Sunday through Thursday, or from 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the following day on Friday and Saturday and federal holidays.
(6) 
Warning devices: sounds 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.
(7) 
Noise created by emergency generators during a power outage. Noise created by emergency generator testing shall be exempt, but only during the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; provided however, that if generator testing from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is prohibited by another governmental entity, then testing occurring after 4:00 p.m., but no later than 8:00 p.m., shall be exempt.
(8) 
Noise created by the unamplified human voice; provided however, that such noise shall be subject to the applicable provisions of Chapter 111 (Peace and Good Order).
(9) 
Noise associated with snow removal activity.
B. 
If there are any provisions of the Lower Merion Code that set forth noise standards or authorize activities that conflict with the noise level regulations set forth in this chapter, the more restrictive language shall apply.
Any person who shall fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine or penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000 for each offense. Whenever such person shall have been notified by the Director or by the service of a summons in a prosecution or in any other way that he is committing a violation of this chapter, each day in which he shall continue such violation after notification shall constitute a separate offense, punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected before any District Justice as like fines or penalties are now by law collected.
This chapter shall be cumulative and shall be in addition to other Township regulations and, in particular, to any regulations pertaining to disorderly conduct. This chapter and the foregoing penalties shall not be construed to limit or deny the right of the Township or any person to such equitable or legal remedies as may otherwise be available.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 111, Peace and Good Order, Art. VI, Disorderly Conduct Generally.