How Many Liquor Licenses Can Westford Give?

Welcome to today's Superagenda

Hello Westford! Welcome to the Superagenda, your source for local political and government information you need today.

#1. Local Government Meetings Today: No meetings are scheduled for today, the next scheduled meeting is on July 26, when the Selectmen reconvene at town hall.

#2. Today on Beacon Hill:  The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture meets today at 10:00 a.m in the Gardner Auditorium and the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies meets at 1:00 p.m meetings in Room B-2 of the State House while the House meets for an informal session in their chambers.

#3. Westford State Legislation of the Day: H.3583 would allow two liquor licenses at Cornerstone Square that would not be counted toward Westford’s liquor license quota defined under Chapter 138, Section 17 of Massachusetts General Law.

The bill is currently awaiting a hearing on the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

#4. Massachusetts State Law of the Day: Since we mentioned it in the legislation of the day, today’s state law of the day is MGL Chapter 138 Section 17.

138-17 defines how many long-term, non-retail liquor licenses local liquor licensing authorities can give out to bars, restaurants, hotels and such in a municipality.

In every municipality except Boston, the following formula applies

  • A minimum of 14 liquor licenses regardless of municipality size
  • One additional license for every one thousand people
  • An additional license on top of that per every ten thousand people for municipalities over 25,000

The quota doesn’t apply to establishments that sell only wines and malt liquors, there’s a different quota for that, and it also doesn’t apply to establishments that sell wine/malt-liquors AND non-wine/malt liquors, which has yet another quota system.

The quota system doesn’t apply at all to vineyards that have wine tasting centers on premises.

In Boston, it’s a bit more complicated due to local laws, with the cap set at 695 for non-wine/malt liquor licenses until it goes under 650, 320 for wine/malt liquor only licenses, and 250 for establishments that serve both.

And on top of that quota in Boston, there is limited added licenses available for establishments that limit alcohol service to certain areas of their property as well as added limited added licenses available in certain zoned sections of the city and other types of establishments such as hotels.

However, if a license holder lives in a municipality that loses population and the municipality finds itself over the quota that it was once under, they can still keep the license but the town loses it once it’s revoked or not renewed.


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