Noise Ordinance Needed in Franklin to Allow Restaurants/Bars to Continue Making Noise

| March 5, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The City of Franklin could be getting a noise ordinance in order to allow bars and restaurants in the Central Business District to continue to hold outdoor festivities that include music and/or bands.

In a twist of fate, because the City currently doesn’t have a noise ordinance, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board says those businesses can be fined for any noise that leaves their premises under the rules of their liquor license.

But, if the City enacts an ordinance that says it is okay with the business conducting activities that have noises leave the premise, then it will be alright, according to both Franklin City Manager Tracy Jamieson and City Solicitor Brian Spaid.

Nevertheless, in order for that to happen, the City must enact a noise ordinance that covers the rest of the City.

Therefore, at Monday’s City Council meeting, an ordinance was passed on a first-reading basis to enact a City-wide noise ordinance. It must pass two more readings before becoming law.

The ordinance was not on the agenda for the meeting but was brought up by Spaid during the solicitor’s comment period and was voted on unanimously by the Council.

The ordinance states, in part, “It shall constitute the offense of disorderly conduct for any person to make or continue to make or cause to be made or continued with the City any loud or unnecessary noise or any noise which may reasonably be anticipated to annoy, disturb, injure or endangers the comfort, repose, peace, health, or safety of others whether due to volume or duration or both.”

The ordinance goes on to say that “without limitations as to the types of noise producing acts which are in violation of this Article, noise produced by the following acts is declared to be loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noise in violation of this Article:

1. Use or operation of or permitting the use or operation of abt radio, CD player, digital audio player, portable media player, television, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeakers, amplifiers or any other machine or device designed to or intended to produce or reproduce sound in such a way manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of residential inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing by the person or persons whom are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operating and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operating of any such machine or device between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. prevailing time in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the property line or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this article.

2. Yelling shouting whistling or signing on public streets between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. prevailing time or at any time or place so as to annoy disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of any person in any commercial or residential location whether inside or outside of any building or dwelling or of any person in the vicinity.”

The ordinance does have some exceptions that include the Central Business District.

“This article shall not apply to any activity described in Section 707.02(b)(1) of this article that occurs in the Central Business District.”

“Any activity described in Section 707.02(b)(1) of this article that occurs on property owned or operated by the City of Franklin, the General Authority of the City of Franklin, or the Franklin Industrial and Commercial Development Authority that is authorized by the City or said authorities or performed by any person employed or contracted by the City or said authorities.”

When questioned by Councilman Mike Dulaney how the ordinance would affect local manufacturers located within the City, a provision was also added to the ordinance that would exclude any business located in the Industrial Zoned area.

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