Select Board Discusses Boutique Liquor Store | News
TEWKSBURY – The Tewksbury Select Board met on February 15, 2022 at Town Hall. All members were present.
The board voted to approve a pole petition for National Grid on Pleasant Street in a 3-2 vote, with members Anne Marie Stronach and James Mackey voting against the application. The hub will be located on Whipple Island and Pleasant.
The board considered a liquor license application for 2030 Ocean St., LCC at 345 Main St.
Dan Newcomb, Team Leader for Wine and Market, explained that his company is looking to open a liquor store for fine wines, craft beer and craft spirits as a high-end sustainable business that supports the community. with responsibility for safe service.
Newcomb noted that the store, located in Wamesit Place stores near Walmart, is far from schools and churches. Company representatives met with city officials, residents and neighboring businesses to discuss potential issues and opportunities. Newcomb mentioned that the company is working on opening three more locations in Lexington, Quincy and Cambridge.
Member Todd Johnson inquired about the control of alcohol sales and the safety of alcoholic beverages. Newcomb said that in his decades-long career in the liquor and restaurant industries, he had never been the victim of a liquor service violation. He explained that anyone entering the store will need to present a valid ID before entering and that no one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter.
“It’s an adult beverage store, there’s nothing in there that kids would want,” he said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the license.
The board voted to approve a class license transfer from Ira Toyota to Auto Fair Toyota at 468 Main St.
The council voted to approve the signature pages for the town’s annual and special meeting terms of reference and the annual municipal elections.
The board reviewed a presentation on the city’s corporate funds and capital improvements for FY23 with City Manager Richard Montuori.
Council discussed general updates on the Zoning Bylaws Committee; members Johnson and James Mackey serve as board representatives on the committee.
Johnson said the committee felt they had a “very solid bylaw review” and planned to present it to the community at the annual town hall meeting in May. On the issue of retail marijuana, Johnson shared that the committee unanimously felt that it should move forward with adding language on retail marijuana to the regulations, but after public comments, residents had questions about regulatory oversight and licensing approvals.
Johnson said the committee felt there was a “tremendous risk of confusion” and said members would let it be known that the committee supported the inclusion of marijuana language, but believed the City Manager and the Select Board should address the licensing issue.
“We’re not early adopters anymore,” Mackey added. “The data is out there.”
He added that marijuana is a “billion dollar industry” in the state and the city should be looking to get in on the action. Johnson asked that the board and city manager have a plan ready to address the permit issue by August before the fall town meeting.
In committee reports, Mackey shared that the new city’s website is up at the same web address and noted that documents are still being transferred from the old website; he said if residents cannot find specific documents, they should call City Hall for assistance.
Member Jayne Wellman said the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments will provide technical assistance to ensure the town’s compliance with the state’s new MBTA community multifamily housing requirement, which the council discussed in January.
She also marked the 50th anniversary of the 1972 propane gas explosion, which was recently commemorated with members of the Tewksbury Fire Department and members of fire departments from nearby communities.
Council closed the regular meeting and convened an executive session for City Manager contract negotiations.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2022. Citizens can find the meeting agenda on the city’s website. The reunion can be viewed on Comcast Channel 99 and Verizon Channel 33.