As reported on Burlington Patch, there will be an article in front of Town Meeting during its September meeting that would direct the town to seek 14 additional liquor licenses. Two of the licenses would be for wine and malt drinks and the other 12 would be all-alcohol licenses. The September Town Meeting starts on September 23.
The article was put forward by Precinct 6 Town Meeting Member Sonia Rollins. It is also supported by the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, of which Rollins is the chairperson, and members came out to show support during a Board of Selectmen meeting last month.
The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 to recommend the passage of the article. Selectman Daniel Grattan was not at the meeting. Check out the original article and the full text of the warrant article.
There are also location conditions on some of the licenses. Three of the licenses would be for locations at the Burlington Mall, three would be for New England Executive Park and two would be for 20 South Avenue, the location of the AMC Theater.
Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce Jim Murphy recently wrote a letter to Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Robert Hogan. Murphy also shared the letter with Burlington Patch.
Here is the letter:
"Dear Chairman Hogan:
The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce respectfully transmits this “Home Rule Petition – Special Legislation Concerning Liquor Licenses” – an Article to expand the number of liquor licenses available. The Article is signed and submitted by our the President of our Board of Directors, Sonia Rollins, in her capacity as a Town Meeting Member. We respectfully request that this Article be placed on the Warrant for the September 2013 Town Meeting. The purpose of this Article is to allow the Board of Selectmen, as the local licensing authority, to petition the State for fourteen (14) additional licenses and to then allocate, at the Board of Selectmen’s discretion, up to three (3) licenses to the Burlington Mall, three (3) licenses to New England Executive Park, two (2) licenses to 20 South Avenue and six (6) licenses consisting of four (4) full licenses and two (2) beer and wine licenses for use in areas zoned as General Business (GB), Planned Development District (PDD), or General Industrial (IG) and restricted to sites located within 2,000 feet of Routes 128/95 and Route 3.
Clearly, restaurants have had a tremendous positive economic impact on Burlington’s tax base via the meals tax and job creation. The creation of additional liquor licenses for the aforementioned locations will attract restaurant tenants to Burlington and sustain Burlington’s non-residential tax base. From an economic development perspective, restaurants offer a significant amenity which current and potential tenants of office parks demand.
As a result of commercial tax base contributions, Burlington’s citizens continue to enjoy one of the lowest residential property tax rates in Massachusetts. Restaurants in particular play an important role in offsetting residential taxes through the Town’s collection of regular business taxes and significantly, the revenues from the recently adopted Local Option Meals Tax of 0.75 percent. The meals tax generated $1,218,000 in fiscal year 2012 and $ $1,350,000 in fiscal year 2013.
The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce believes passage of this article at the September Town Meeting will have a positive impact on the overall health and growth of Burlington’s economy and community.
President & CEO
Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce"
What do you think? Should Town Meeting approve the article? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.