Do you plan to have a gathering at your home soon, or maybe some remodeling work to your interior or exterior?
You’ve probably thought about all the details in the planning process except one. Noise. Local municipalities can structure ordinances restricting the level of noise and time of day that noise can occur.
Let’s take Towamencin Township for example. The township of Towamencin has been in existence since 1728. Until June of this year, there was no noise ordinance on the books. According to one township official I spoke with, there was one noise problem with one resident during the spring time, which prompted the discussion of the township’s lack of guidelines or laws on noise and decibel levels.
In a matter of two months from the time this noisy incident occurred, Towamencin passed a new ordinance with all five board of supervisor members voting in favor of it. Many residents I spoke with did not know about the new ordinance.
When I inquired about how the topic of a noise ordinance was presented to the public and the taxpayers of the township, the answer was that the meeting was announced in the newspaper. That’s it. It was not placed on the website. I was told, “It doesn’t have to be on the website.” It was not listed in their spring newsletter. It was not mentioned even on the township Facebook page.
By the way, the newspaper announcement was a general board of supervisors meeting date and time. No specifics on the agenda are listed in this posting of the meeting. Additionally, a public hearing was not required for this noise ordinance because it is within the administrative code and not the zoning code. Go figure.
If you want the specifics of Towamencin’s new ordinance, I will gladly share it with you. The purpose of this article is to bring this to the attention of homeowners and future homeowners.
When shopping for a place to call home, take a look at that township or borough website to get an idea of how they do business. In this case, take it a step further. Make phone calls to ask about what it is that matters to you most. From the example mentioned above, things are not always on the website.
If you operate a business like landscaping and plan to work in the area communities, you will need to know when you are allowed to run those lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Or, if you hire landscapers, home owners should advise workers on the times allowed for the noise.
If you plan to do a major renovation to your current home and are getting the permits required for construction, be aware of the noise laws too, as some apply to time of day when machinery and equipment can be operated.
Maybe you are a social butterfly and like to have parties and gatherings at your home. Some municipalities put a cap on noise level at 11 p.m. There are fines attached to the violation of these ordinances.
My point is this: Stay involved and aware of what elected officials are doing in the community you live in. If you are moving to a new town, visit the municipal building and find out who is in charge of things.
Make your township or borough’s website part of your “favorites” on your computer and mobile device so you can check it periodically. Leaf collection season is coming, and this is a perfect example of how each municipality can differ on what is allowed.
And know that these ordinances can change or be added. Just because one does not exist when you first buy your home doesn’t mean one will not present itself in the years that you live there.
What's All the Noise? By our team member and guest blogger Gina Wherry originally appeared in the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch.
Contact Scott Loper, Associate Broker, Realtor®, RE/MAX Realty Group at 215-513-1333 for help buying or selling a home in Lansdale, Harleysville, Hatfield, Souderton, Skippack, Collegeville, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County of Pennsylvania. To Search for Homes For Sale in Montgomery County Click Here.
What's All the Noise? New Noise Ordinance in Towamencin Township PA - Copyright © 2011, The Scott Loper Team, All rights reserved.