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If Excessive Noise Regulations Fall in Newtown Township and Officials No Longer Enforce Them, Will Residents Make a Sound?

If Excessive Noise Regulations Fall in Newtown Township and Officials No Longer Enforce Them, Will Residents Make a Sound? | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Township supervisors could vote Wednesday evening to remove four sections of township code that on paper are meant to deter “excessive and unnecessary” noise but in practice often are subjective and difficult for officials to enforce.

 

Supervisors are poised to decide Wednesday evening whether to pass an ordinance axing four sections from the local code governing “excessive and unnecessary” noise and other nuisances.

 

With the board’s approval, gone would be a section deeming it unlawful for people or businesses to make sounds “physically annoying to the comfort of any reasonable person” or “so harsh, prolonged, unnatural or unusual in their use, time and place” as to discomfort residents, through means like vehicles, machinery, sound equipment and musical instruments.

 

[For more details of all changes in the ordinance to be considered, read "Newtown Township to Consider Amending Noise Ordinance".]

 

One township supervisor said he once was on the receiving end of a questionable nuisance report.

 

John Mack said a police officer knocked on his door and woke him up around midnight on a weekday, responding to a neighbor’s call that there was “loud music” originating from a party at his house. The source of the noise, earlier in the evening, had been Mack’s son, listening to music in his car while pulling into the driveway.

 

“I responded (to the officer), ‘Does it look like there was a party here?’” Mack said, adding, “You can easily see how the police can be misled by he-said, she-said.”

 

Mack said, on the one hand, the noise complaints are a small percentage of the total calls to police, and that the calls create opportunities for officers to meet and engage with residents face to face. On the other hand, he said, officers could be distracted from more serious matters if drawn into the smaller-scale disputes.

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, September 26, 2018 6:29 AM

Coincidently (?), at least one Newtown resident recently sent a letter to the Supervisors complaining about barking dogs in a nearby kennel: "On an almost daily basis I have been forced to go indoors and on many occasions have had to shut my windows and doors because the barking was unbearable. There are many days when the incessant barking lasts for hours at a time."

Newtown News of Interest
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