Model Community Ordinances

Model ordinances demonstrate samples of language available to address community issues at the municipal level in Pennsylvania. All model ordinances should be carefully reviewed and tailored by your own legal counsel before implementation or adoption.

Noise—Model Noise Ordinance for Pennsylvania

Model Noise Ordinance v.202 for Pennsylvania addresses noise and vibration problems in communities. A noise ordinance maintains community peace; encourages neighbor cooperation; protects health; and limits municipal liability for failing to address noise problems in the community. This model noise ordinance addresses noise problems using a holistic, hybrid approach that applies decibel-level sound measurements or plainly-audible standards. The focus in this noise ordinance is constitutional integrity, ease in application, and overall effectiveness.

The Model Noise Ordinance v.202 recognizes the fundamental constitutional rights of property owners to the quiet enjoyment of real property and recognizes the corresponding fundamental constitutional duty imposed on all persons to use their property in a way so as not to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of others. E.g.,  Robinson Tp., Washington County v. Com., 83 A.3d 901, 1001, 623 Pa. 564, 729 (Pa., 2013); Chase v. Eldred Borough, 902 A.2d 992, 1001 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2006); In re Realen Valley Forge Greenes Associates, 838 A.2d 718, 728, 576 Pa. 115, 132 (Pa., 2003). Also, e.g., Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003, 1031–32 (1992); Keystone Bituminous Coal Ass’n v. DeBenedictis, 480 U.S. 470, 490 n. 20 (1987); Vill. of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365, 387 (1926); Baltimore & P. R. Co. v. Fifth Baptist Church, 108 U.S. 317, 331–32 (1883); Munn v. People of State of Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 145 (1876).

Supporting Information–Pennsylvania Noise Ordinances Explained, Constitutional Factors, Plainly Audible Standards, Decibel Problems, and Distinguishing Noise Ordinances from Nuisance Ordinances

For additional supporting information and analysis about true noise ordinances distinguished from so-called “nuisance” ordinances, see  the 2018 PowerPoint slides  2018-09-19-Noise-Ordinances-Presentation-Shannon-Brown-228.pdf (

Noise—Downloadable Model Noise Ordinance Templates for Pennsylvania

PDF Version of Pennsylvania Noise Ordinance—Model Noise Ordinance v.202

MS Word Version of Pennsylvania Noise Ordinance—Model Noise Ordinance v.202 [WORD]

Private Recreational Facilities—Model Ordinance, Pennsylvania

A Model Private Recreational Facilities Ordinance for Pennsylvania addresses storm water, impervious surfaces, set-backs, safety, abandonment, and noise problems arising from the construction and use of private recreational facilities such as basketball hoops, BMX facilities, skateboards, racquet sports, playground equipment, trampolines, and ATVs.


If you municipality uses a model ordinance (or part of a model ordinance), I would be interested in knowing about how the ordinance was adapted and applied to improve the models and for research.