Meadville Tribune

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July 14, 2013

SUNDAY ISSUE: Downtown music

(Continued)

MEADVILLE — Amplified music outside

Municipalities are allowed to request an exemption from the PLCB noise regulations that would allow local licensees greater latitude regarding amplified music coming from their establishments, Alizzeo told council. Here goes:

1) The city files a petition with the PLCB in Harrisburg requesting exemption from the noise regulations regarding amplified music being heard off licensed premises for all licensees within an identifiable area in the city. This means, he explained, that the city must decide to take this action in the first place and also determine a specific area within the city to be exempted.

2) Prior to filing the petition, the city must pass a noise ordinance including descriptions of the area to be exempted; standards and definitions of acceptable noise types and levels within the city; and a mechanism for enforcement. Many cities, Alizzeo explained, use a distance regulation as a standard for permissible noise while others use decibel standards.

3) Upon receipt of the city’s ordinance and accompanying materials such as a map of the proposed area to be exempted, the PLCB will schedule a public hearing in Meadville presided over by a PLCB hearing examiner to gather public input on the proposed city noise ordinance. Then the PLCB will make its decision. Options include approving both the petition and the proposed exempted area; disapproving some or all of the plan or limiting the proposed area of the exemption if it’s found that granting the petition “would have an adverse effect on the welfare, health, peace and morals” of those living in the vicinity.

While several council members expressed reservations about pursuing what appears to be a lengthy and involved process in response to a request from a single business owner, especially since they cannot under Pennsylvania law restrict the area involved to that single bar, Councilmember Nancy Mangilo-Bittner said that she wants to find out what people think about the idea before council instructs city staff to expend the time and effort required to formulate some sort of concrete plan.

Council’s next public meeting is Wednesday at 6 p.m. in council chambers in the new city building on Diamond Park.

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