Wrightsville Borough zonepic

A view of Wrightsville from the Susquehanna River. 

Wrightsville Borough Council in York County approved a noise ordinance at its Aug. 1 meeting, responding to complaints from residents about loud outdoor music from the Burning Bridge Tavern.

Earlier this summer, council members said Wrightsville’s previous noise ordinance was unenforceable after receiving complaints about multiple events at the tavern last year. Basically, if police responded to a complaint there or anywhere in town, they could only ask people to be good neighbors.

The new ordinance prohibits loud noises that can be heard 50 feet from the origin of the noise, and violators face fines between $300 and $1,000. A police officer must be present to verify the violation.

Dave Falk, one of the residents who complained, thanked council for approving the new ordinance, but “it doesn’t solve the problem.”

“Our request was that we do not want to hear loud music from the Burning Bridge,” Falk said.

He suggested that the borough return noise enforcement at bars to the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Enforcement. In 2020, the state Liquor Control Board granted an exemption so Wrightsville could enforce noise complaints at bars. During the COVID-19 pandemic, borough officials were doing what they could to shore up the business climate for local establishments.

“Let them take care of the enforcement,” Falk said, “because their regulations do take care of the problem.”

But council member Eric J. White said that local enforcement means police officers have latitude to use their judgment when responding. By statute, state liquor enforcement officers are required to issue a citation if they hear “one note” outside a bar, he said.

After a short, heated discussion between White and Falk about the issue, council President Joseph Giandalia banged his gavel and solicitor Peter T. Ruth interrupted.

“What the borough is trying to do is trying to implement an ordinance and see how that plays out,” Ruth said. “Now again, if that does not solve the problems as you feel they need to be addressed you are free to come back and say, ‘Look, the enforcement is not working.’ ”

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