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Gettysburg will consider loosening public alcohol consumption rules

Gettysburg Borough Council President Wesley Heyser said the borough council will take a “first look” at a proposal to allow the public consumption of alcohol in some areas of the borough.

The action followed a petition presented to the borough by business owners and local residents to amend the policy on alcohol consumption on public property.

Young smiling couple in warm clothes strolling on city street with paper cups with drink and talking in daylight

The borough temporarily loosened public alcohol consumption rules during the pandemic but the proposal would make a permanent ordinance.

Police Chief Robert Glenny said he found “significant public safety” issues with the proposal and expected there would be issues with the Pennsylvania Borough of Liquor Control Enforcement. “It’s a public safety nightmare in my opinion,” he said. “I’m worried about policing it.”

Proposal representative Keith George of the Purple Piggy Toy Store said other towns allow people to move from one venue to another with open alcohol.

George said he thought the proposal would provide outdoor spaces for people to gather and would be good for business and generate extra income for restaurants.

The proposal will be discussed at future council meetings.

The next regularly scheduled borough council meeting will be on Monday March 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the borough office.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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  • I think that alcohol consumption should be limited to establishments and the areas covered by their individual liquor license. Public spaces are for the enjoyment of everyone and unfortunately the introduction of alcohol into those spaces could create issues. Not everyone drinks responsibly. In addition, the police have more important things to take care of then dealing with bad behavior due to alcohol consumption on our streets – especially when budget constraints keep topping the Borough’s agenda. There are also impacts to the residents who live along the streets, trash, noise, public urination, jay walking etc. Additionally, any business that sets up an extended dining area on public streets should be required to carry insurance on that area and pay an annual fee for using that space.

  • If the proposal is similar to what has been in place during the pandemic, perhaps the police could provide statistics documenting any increase/decrease in arrests, calls, or any other issues related to alcohol during this time. It would be interesting to see if the statistics back up our concerns.

  • I lived on Chambersburg St, in the middle of town, for 18 years. I cannot tell you how many times I had to stick my head out of the living room window at 1AM and ask some drunk to stop shouting since I had to get up at 6AM and go to work. I drink and I have no problem with other people that drink – but keep it inside. Try to consider the people who actually live there.

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