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September 7, 2004
Regular Session 7:35 PM
Ms. Tully, Mr. MacIver, Mr. Edmundson
Ms. Tully reviewed the agenda for the meeting.
Voted - to approve the request of Naked Fish Restaurants, Inc. d/b/a Red Sauce, 48 Whiting Street to change their manager from Gerard Fruggeiro to Aldo Zegarelli, subject to the approval of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
Voted - to appoint Martha Bewick to the Committee to Study Commuter Boat Fares.
Ms. Tully explained that the Board had only two members present during the first portion of the public hearing on the transfer of a liquor license, because of that, only two board members will participate in the continuation of the hearing.
Continuation of Public Hearing on Transfer of All Alcoholic Beverages License
Mr. Cassis explained that Mr. Ieradi had met with Fr, Rafferty and the members of the Parish Council. In response to the concerns expressed by the members of the church it was proposed different carpets be used to differentiate between the two businesses. Additionally gates that would separate off the liquor business prior to 9 AM in the morning. The floor plan would be designed in such a way that the liquor is not readily accessible at the front door. Mr. MacIver noted that the Board had received a great deal of correspondence and comments regarding the issue of minors and alcohol. While the sale of “nip” small bottles represents as significant portion of the business, the location is important because nips are small enough to be put in someone’s pocket. Mr. Ireardi suggested that these be located behind the counter at the end near the stairs, thus keeping them away from the cash register area. The curtain solution is consistent with the solution hammered out with the Square Café. Mr. Graham, owner of the Hingham Wine Merchant, said that there are unsound financial conditions and the Board has failed to exercise due diligence. Ms. Tully disagreed. Fr. Rafferty and other representatives of St. Paul’s expressed concerns about the mixed-use that includes candy, newspapers, etc. and liquor. Fr. Rafferty urged that the businesses be kept distinct with two separate registers and separate space. This evening’s discussion of nips and pints enforces the argument for separate registers. Since there will be knee walls which appear to be permanent it would be possible to add glass partitions above those knee walls. The message could be sent that the use of Judy Murphy, said that the liquor section would be locked until 9 AM. The busiest time is 4-8 PM. That is the time children come to religious education. Ms. Tully noted that there have been two liquor stores in downtown since 1933 in addition to the Snug/Colonial which has had a restaurant license since 1944. MGL C.16 states the local licensing authority is to assess the public need. If this transfer is not allowed people will be unable to purchase any liquor other than wine in downtown. Both Stop & Shop and Riddles have mixed use. Ms. Tully noted that the Board is holding the applicant to a higher standard asking for partitions to separate the uses and said it is to the town’s benefit to keep this type of business in the Square.
Voted - to approve the application to transfer the Retail All Alcoholic Beverages Package Store License of E&S Group, Inc., d/b/a Hingham Liquors, 9 Central Street, Stephen Doherty, Manager, to E&S Group, Inc. d/b/a Hingham Liquors/Hennessey/News, Joseph V. Ierardi, Manager, 118 North Street, subject to the approval of all Town Boards. This request represents the transfer of Stock/New Officers/Directors/New Stockholders and Change of Location.
(Ms. Tully and Mr. MacIver in favor)
Local Initiative Program and 269-271 North Street
Mr. Tocchio explained that the Rileys have owned the North Street property since 2000. This is a project that is part of a local initiative program. This “friendly 40B” will be subject to a review process that will go to the Board of Appeals and the Housing Partnership. In his overview of the project Mr. Tocchio referred to it as a nice, discrete, in-scale project within walking distance to downtown and the train station. The property presently consists of three units. The plan is to upgrade it to 4 units of approximately 1600 square feet each. There are foundations further back on the parcel that would be the location for four new units, 2-1400 square foot units and 2-1100 square foot (one bedroom units). The parcel consists of approximately 38,000 sq. ft. with existing forest cover that is between forty and fifty years old and an existing drainage channel that goes through the property. The existing wetland habitat will be improved and made a design feature. There will be two parking spaces for each unit. Mr. Culler explained that the units would be built into the grade so there will be some interest to the layout. The affordable units would be one of the front units and one of the back units with no distinctions in finish, etc. Mr. Tocchio said that the Housing Authority and the lottery process would be the usual approach to administering the affordable units. Mass Housing is issuing site eligibility letters. The neighbors would be brought into the process through hearings in front of the Historic Districts Commission, the Conservation Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals and finally the Housing Partnership. The foundation on the back of the lot is a former dwelling. The new unit would be consistent with the previous use of the property. The Housing Partnership has walked the site but the plans were not presented at the most recent meeting. Mr.Edmundson noted that although this is attractive in many ways there should be consideration given to precedents involved, the Historic District, and the sentiments of neighbors on the Gay House, etc. Mr. Tocchio replied that the difference with the Gay House was the threat of a 40B. This process gives the town a seat at the table. The Board noted that because the Board of Selectmen is a party to any LIP that comes through, it is necessary to think through the steps of what will happen if this were to be approved.
Discussion of Future of Steamboat Wharf
Mr. MacIver recused himself from the discussion.
The Lincoln Sailing Club programs have expanded from 150 people to 700 people over the past three years. Lincoln feels they have been good stewards of Barnes Wharf, would like to improve access to Steamboat Wharf and do it in conjunction with Harbor Development. The plan is to landscape Barnes Wharf and facilitate access to Steamboat Wharf. Lincoln Sailing Club would then like to use a part of the wharf leaving room for other activities as well. The Harbor Development Committee would not want them to have exclusive use of Steamboat Wharf since it is one of the few remaining resources readily available to the citizens of the town. In terms of clearing Steamboat Wharf, there is sumac which would be cleared but there are pines, red cedar and oak trees that Mr. Gaskell feels date back to when the wharf was left to grow about 75 – 80 years ago. The Wharf is the endpoint of the public access to the waterfront. Mr. Gaskell suggested that it might be possible to construct some sort of pole-supported gazebo that would not be terribly noticeable from the street. Access to Steamboat Wharf would be via stairs from Barnes wharf, across high beach and up another set of stairs onto Steamboat. Mr. Edmundson suggested the possibility of environmental problems on the wharf nad any historical elements be investigated. At the front portion of the wall there has been some damage that would have to be addressed. The slumping near the edge of the wall would also have to be addressed. Mr. Edmundson said he would be supportive of seeing the wharf used but was not sure that he would be interested in putting any structure of the wharf since it is the last piece of open space along the harbor. Ms. Tully noted that on the surface Steamboat Wharf is an asset that is underutilized and the access by stairs is exciting possibility because the sidewalk is too difficult. She urged everyone to come to the state of the town meeting and discuss.
Mr. Edmundson noted that the DPW project at the Transfer Station is progressing. The concrete pads are being poured and the bins are in place. The DPW and sites like this are the under appreciated parts of the town. Mr. MacIver commented that there was a letter commending the DPW for the very timely efforts to fill in a pothole on Elm Street.
Selectmen/Town Administrator’s Reports
Ms. Tully greeted new Hingham teachers at a meeting at Plymouth River School this past week. There is a teacher from Romania teaching in the English Department. Mr. Cristello reported that the Plymouth County Commissioners are meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the RFP for health consulting services. The current consultant has a limited repertoire and there should be no prohibition in the RFP prohibiting people working with other municipalities from participating.
Voted, by roll call vote, to adjourn to executive session for discussion of legal matters, not to return to open session.
Mr. MacIver – yes
Mr. Edmundson – yes
Ms. Tully - yes
Open session adjourned 10:00 PM.
Betty Foley, Clerk