Lower Burrell restaurant's noise subject of Liquor Control Board hearing
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will decide next month whether Mogie's Restaurant and Irish Pub in Lower Burrell can continue with outdoor entertainment and under what conditions.
The board held a public hearing on the issue Wednesday at the bar, at the intersection of Leechburg and Wildlife Lodge roads.
The bar's owner, Dave Magill, has recently come under fire there by the board and residents upset about the noise produced by bands on the outdoor patio.
Mogie's has outdoor entertainment until 1 a.m. on about a dozen weekend nights every summer, according to Magill.
Lower Burrell Solicitor Steve Yakopec represented the city Wednesday in support of Magill's business. City Council has supported Magill since February when it petitioned the LCB to exempt him from potential license violations and allow the city to enforce its own noise ordinance at the bar instead.
The liquor board sent a letter to Magill months earlier, warning that he'd be in violation of his liquor license if the outdoor entertainment continues.
According to state law, the board withholds the right to “examine complaints by neighbors involving loud music or entertainment by amplification or noise emanating from the establishment.”
Since Magill began hosting outdoor bands in 2007, the bar has received 10 noise complaints within a half-mile radius, police Chief Tim Weitzel said. None of the complaints, which most frequently came from nearby Dorothy and Wachter streets, prompted police to issue a citation, he said.
Per Lower Burrell's petition to the LCB, the department has agreed to adopt a protocol to police the situation. If the LCB rules in favor of the city, the officers would report directly to the residence from which the complaint was issued, Weitzel said.
Should the officers determine at their discretion that the complaint is valid, they'll issue a warning to Magill.
Should either the bar owner or the person responsible for the band fail to comply with the request to lower the volume, they would be cited with disorderly conduct.
“We use our own judgment in each situation based on the hour and the noise level,” Weitzel said. “Most of the complaints have come after midnight. But when we ask (Magill) to turn it down, he does.”
There were no residents at Wednesday's hearing to express concern about noise.
However, John Fraker, the LCB's attorney, cited comments made at a Lower Burrell Council meeting in February by a Dorothy Street resident. According to the council's meeting minutes, the resident told council that he must shut all his windows and turn up the volume to hear the television in his house when the music is playing.
“Would you consider that a reasonable noise volume, coming from a house no less than 1,500 feet away,” Fraker rhetorically asked John Mulroy, the state's hearing adviser who oversaw the proceeding.
Yakopec told Mulroy that Lower Burrell would consider buying a decibel reader to properly quantify and enforce noise that exceeds normal levels.
The city, he said, would settle for an earlier cutoff time for performances.
Magill objected to the idea during his testimony, stating that earlier performance times yield less profit.
Maximizing profits for the city's businesses, Yakopec said, is the main reason Lower Burrell Council initially got involved.
“We just want what's best for our businesses here in Lower Burrell,” Yakopec said. “Ten people out of 12,000 over seven years isn't that great of a number.”
Magill submitted to the board a petition purported to have 113 signatures, including residents from Dorothy and Wachter streets, in support of the outdoor music. He said he needs the performances to keep up with surrounding businesses.
The LCB must render its ruling by May 23.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Child pornography videos tied to Winfield man
- Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana
- Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
- ATI reveals details of contract offer to steelworkers union
- South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
- USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
- Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
- Surveillance video shows Fawn tire shop burglar
- HBO to end ‘Banshee’ series, disappointing Vandergrift
- Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
- Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley offers free services at clinic