PLCB approves Franklin noise ordinance

A noise ordinance that will give downtown Franklin businesses a little leeway when hosting music events was approved this week by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Franklin city manager Tracy Jamieson said.

The ordinance is designed to protect the city’s downtown businesses from a state law that doesn’t allow noise to be heard beyond the venue’s property line. The law is enforced by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.

Violating the law runs the risk of incurring a fine of up to $300.

After Franklin City Council unanimously ratified the ordinance in May, city solicitor Brian Spaid said the PLCB would require the city to submit a petition and participate in a formal hearing before the ordinance could take effect as the city would be replacing a state law with its own.

The formal hearing was held July 12 in council chambers, and several business owners and city employees testified about the importance of evening music in the downtown business district.

“This is what we do in Franklin,” Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jodi Lewis said at the hearing.

City officials and residents have said the ordinance, which will allow noise to be heard no more than 50 feet from a venue between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., will not only protect businesses with liquor licenses but all venues in the area where music is played in the evenings, like Bandstand Park.

“I see it as more of a community oriented ordinance,” police chief Kevin Anundson testified during the hearing.

Police will now be responsible for enforcing the ordinance, which Anundson said will be done at officers’ discretion.

Anundson said enforcing the ordinance will not add burden to officers as they already patrol the area.