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Wrightstown passes ordinance to address nuisance noise

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The Wrightstown Board of Supervisors has adopted an ordinance that aims to address a type of nuisance noise in the township.

At a public meeting on Aug. 1, supervisors passed a new local law that establishes penalties if amplified sound crosses a property line and creates a disturbance for neighbors.

The ordinance bars the “operation or playing of any radio, tape player, television set, musical instrument, electronic amplification equipment and similar devices which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound at any time of the day or night in a manner that creates annoyance or discomfort beyond the boundaries of such property which disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, taking into consideration the location of the use or condition and the nature and condition of the surrounding neighborhood.”

Anyone found guilty of violating the rules for the first time will face a fine of not less than $750. Subsequent violations can result in fines of not less than $1,000. If a guilty party doesn’t pay, they can face a maximum jail term of 30 days.

“In Wrightstown, 99.9% of our residents are considerate of their neighbors,” said Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski. “I don’t expect that the provisions of this ordinance will be used too often.”

Pogonowski continued: “Even when an outdoor activity gets a little loud, most residents tone it down when approached by a neighbor. In the rare occurrences where the police are called, the expectation is that the sound will be reduced at the request of the police. The ordinance provides for an enforcement mechanism for situations where police are ignored or repeat complaints.”

Anyone who files a complaint under the ordinance must cooperate with the township and police in prosecuting the case, the local law states. That includes potentially testifying in court.

The subject of addressing noise issues was the focus of conversation with the Wrightstown Planning Commission for a couple years. The ordinance takes effect in five days of its adoption by supervisors.

Wrightstown Township

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