After months of closed windows and doors, it’s finally time to soak up some summer. Birds are chirping. Your neighbor’s dog, equally excited about grabbing some sunshine, greets the day with a show of exuberance and it’s all good, we’re all just out here, reveling in the radiance, as a lawn mower fires up and the pooch greets it exuberantly. Two doors down, a handful of neighborhood kids begin screaming joyfully, louder and louder, just pointless (joyful) wailing and man, that dog is still greeting everything with a great big pie hole that’s brimming with exuberance.
Mt. Lebanon doesn’t have a specific noise ordinance, because noises are hard to measure and compare. The municipality does limit construction noise: Exterior work is permitted only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Commercial leaf blowers may be used only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Also, if a dog barks for 15 consecutive minutes, the property owner can be cited and fined.
Since there are few clear-cut rules, when a 911 complaint comes in, the responding officer uses their judgment to determine whether the reported noise is too loud for the place and time of day. With luck, a simple “There’s been a complaint. Would you turn down the music,” solves the problem. But if the problem is serious and persistent, a citation could result.
Before involving the law, though, it might be a good idea to approach your neighbors and let them know your concerns. They may not be aware that they’re causing you annoyance.