What is the noise ordinance for the city of Philadelphia PA?

By: Guest
Date: Thu-Mar-25-2010-

http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title10regulationofin ation?f=templates$fn=altmain-nf.htm$3.0#JD_Chapter10-400

10-401. Legislative Findings. (1) The City Council of the City of Philadelphia finds: (a) that noise and excessive vibration degrade the environment of the City to a degree which: (.1) is harmful and detrimental to the health, welfare and safety of its inhabitants; (.2) interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life, property and recreation and with the conduct and operation of business and industry; and (.3) causes nuisances; (.4) during the course of various public events important within the cultural and civic framework of the City???s annual activities, such as the Mummers Parade, tends to cause discomfort, disruption and annoyance both to the event participants and its observers; 50 (b) that no one has any right to create noise or excessive vibration; (c) that effective control and elimination of noise and excessive vibration is essential to the furtherance of the health and welfare of the City???s inhabitants and to the conduct of the normal pursuits of life, recreation, commerce and industrial activity. (2) It is the intent and purpose of this Chapter: (a) to prevent noise and excessive vibration and to limit, control and eliminate noise and excessive vibration in general from whatever source; (b) to empower the Board of Health to promulgate regulations to effect the above. (3) It is the further intent of City Council that: (a) all City of Philadelphia agencies, including the Police Department, shall cooperate in the implementation of this Chapter; 51 (b) whenever permitted by law, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply to all governmental jurisdictions and their agencies in the operation of facilities located within the City of Philadelphia; (c) the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia shall cooperate with other governmental jurisdictions in the control and elimination of noise and excessive vibration; and (d) contractors and vendors providing services and products to the City shall comply with the requirements of this Title. ?? 10-402. Definitions. 52 The following definitions shall apply to this Chapter and the Regulations adopted hereunder: (1) Background sound level. The measured sound level in the area, exclusive of extraneous sounds and the sound contribution of the specific source in question. (2) Board. The Board of Health. (3) Construction. Site preparation, excavation, filling or grading or the assembly, erection, repair, alteration or demolition of any structure or part of the right-of-way. (3.1) Concert venue. A facility used for musical or similar performances with a seating capacity of more than 1,000. 53 (4) Decibel (dB). A unit for measuring the volume of sound equal to 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound measured to the reference pressure which is 20 micropascals (20 micronewtons per square meter). (5) Department. The Department of Public Health, Health Commissioner or any authorized representative thereof. (6) Emergency and Public Works Construction. Construction necessary to protect health and safety, construction by public utilities, and construction on streets, bridges and sidewalks for public works purposes or such other construction activity specifically designated by the City as emergency construction after consultation with the Health Department. (7) Extraneous sound. A sound the level of which does not remain generally constant during measurement. (8) Person. Any individual, natural person, syndicate, association, partnership, firm, corporation, institution, agency, authority, department, bureau or instrumentality of federal, state or local government or other entity recognized by law as a subject of rights and duties. (9) Property Boundary. In the case of a single-family dwelling, or a property used solely for non-residential purposes, the legal property line. In the case of a structure containing two-family, multi-family or other non-single-family residential dwellings, the legal property line and any partition between separately occupied units within the property. (10) Public Right-of-Way. Property to which the public has a legal right of access including, but not limited to, public sidewalks and streets and public parks, but not including buildings. (11) Regular Construction. Construction between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends and legal, national or state holidays. (12) Siren. A device manually or electrically operated for producing a penetrating warning sound. (13) Residential property. Any portion of any property at which people reside on a permanent basis, including exterior portions of the property and the common areas of a multi-unit residential property. 54 (14) Sound. 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. (15) Sound Level Meter. An instrument used to measure sound pressure levels. (16) Unamplified Human Voice. Human vocal sound that is not amplified by any mechanical or electronic means. (17) Vibration. An oscillatory motion of solid bodies of deterministic or random nature described by displacement, velocity or acceleration with respect to a given reference point. ?? 10-403. Prohibited Conduct. 55 (1) Sound Near Protected Facilities. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound that exceeds 3 decibels above background level measured at the property boundary of any hospital, nursing home, house of worship, courthouse, school, library or day care facility. This provision shall apply, notwithstanding the potential applicability of a less restrictive standard in this Chapter. (2) Sound From Residential Properties. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound originating from a residential property audible at a distance greater than one hundred feet from the property boundary or that exceeds 3 decibels above background level measured beyond the property boundary except for the following: (a) the operation of lawn maintenance equipment between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., provided the equipment is functioning within manufacturer???s specifications and with sound-reducing equipment in use and in proper operating condition; (b) sound originating from an air conditioning or refrigeration unit or system; sound from such a source shall not exceed: (i) 5 decibels above background level measured at the property boundary of the nearest occupied residential property; (ii) 10 decibels above background level measured at the property boundary of the nearest occupied non-residential property; (c) sound from animals, to which the restrictions of paragraph (6) apply; and (d) the unamplified human voice. (3) Sound From Non-Residential Properties. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound originating from a property used for a non-residential purpose that exceeds: (a) 5 decibels above background level measured at the property boundary of the nearest occupied residential property; or (b) 10 decibels above background level measured at the property boundary of the nearest occupied non-residential property. (4) Special Assembly Occupancies. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound originating from a special assembly occupancy, as defined under Subcode B (The Building Code) of Title 4 of this Code, audible at a distance greater than one hundred feet from the property boundary of such special assembly occupancy. This subparagraph shall apply regardless whether it is more restrictive than the limitations imposed by paragraph (3) of this Section. (5) Sound From Concert Venues and Stadia. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound originating from a concert venue or stadium that contributes to a total sound level, exclusive of extraneous sounds, that exceeds 70 decibels measured at the property boundary of the nearest occupied residential property. (6) Animal Sounds. No person shall cause or permit more than 5 expressions of sound from one or more animals (such as individual barks from one or more dogs) during a five minute period from any property audible at a distance greater than 50 feet from the property boundary. This shall not apply to zoos, veterinary hospitals or clinics, animal shelters, a circus or other licensed entertainment venue, or a facility used for educational or scientific purposes, such as schools and laboratories. (7) Sound Created In The Right-Of-Way. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, sound in the public right-of-way: (a) abutting a residential property by amplification from a radio, tape player or similar device between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., unless used in connection with an earplug or earphones which will prevent significant emanation of sound from such device; or (b) that exceeds the levels permissible for sound emanating from property directly abutting such portion of the right-of-way. (c) The limitations of this paragraph shall not apply to a Demonstration for which a permit has been obtained pursuant to the City???s "Regulation Governing Permits For Demonstrations On City Property". The Department of Health may adopt, by regulation, additional limitations applicable to public demonstrations and sound-making activity in the right-of-way. (8) Exception for Construction Activity. The restrictions of paragraphs (1) through (5) and 7(b) do not apply to regular construction and emergency and public works construction, provided that all equipment used in connection with such construction is maintained and operated in compliance with all applicable law. (9) Amplified Devices on Public Transportation. No radio, tape player or other similar amplified device may be used on a public transportation vehicle unless the user of the device utilizes an earplug or earphones that prevent anything other than minimal sound to emanate beyond the user. (10) Sirens. (a) Sirens shall be operated only during emergency situations. No siren shall exceed 128 decibels more than 10 feet from the source. (b) No anti-theft or anti-intruder alarm system siren, whether for a home or a vehicle, shall sound, either continuously or intermittently, for a course of more than 15 minutes or for more than 15 minutes in a one hour period. All such sirens shall be equipped with a reset device that causes automatic shutoff 15 minutes after the start of the alarm. (11) Excessive Vibration. No person shall create or cause, or permit the creation of, vibration levels that exceed 0.15 inches per second beyond any property boundary or 30 yards from any moving source. (12) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to aircraft, airport and railroad operations and licensed fireworks displays. ?? 10-404. Enforcement. 56 (1) The Department of Public Health, the Police Department, and the Department of Licenses and Inspections shall have the power to effect compliance with this Chapter and any Regulations adopted hereunder, by: (a) issuance of a Code Violation Notice under the provisions of Section 1-112 of this Code; and (b) initiation, through the Law Department, of appropriate legal proceedings: (.1) for the imposition of a penalty under this Chapter; or (.2) in order to prevent, restrain or abate noise or excessive vibration prohibited by this Chapter or Regulations adopted hereunder, or the violation of the provisions of any order made under Section 10-409. (2) In addition, the Department shall have the authority to issue an order pursuant to Section 10-409 commanding all necessary actions or forebearances, and specifying a maximum period of time for the installation of any equipment or any other measures necessary to achieve compliance. (3) Continuing violations of this Chapter, any Regulation adopted hereunder, or any order of the Department made hereunder are hereby declared to be a public nuisance per se. Where the Department determines that a nuisance exists, the Department, in addition to or in lieu of invoking any other sanction or remedial procedure provided, may certify the existence of a nuisance per se, to the Department of Licenses and Inspections, which shall provide notice of the certification to the violator and itself or by contract abate and remove the violation; charge the cost of the abatement or removal to the person responsible therefore; and with the approval of the Law Department, collect the cost by lien or otherwise as may be authorized by law. (4) The imposition of any penalty under this Chapter shall not prevent the City from instituting any appropriate administrative action or proceeding or any action at law or equity to require compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, regulations adopted hereunder, or administrative orders and determinations made hereunder.

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