The sale of liquor in Needham has been approved, and regulations are now in place. Stores will still have to apply before they can start selling.
Needham's Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday night to approve an amended version of the town's liquor sales regulations.
"This is town’s first run of this type of license." Selectman David Matthews explained, "This is the kind of thing that we may be able to review in a year."
After a brief discussion, the Selectmen voted unanimously on the drafted regulations, which were posted on the Town Website last Friday (see PDF).
Explaining that the meeting was not an open hearing, Matthews added, "This is one step in a long process. We will have more public steps before we issue licenses and businesses start to operate."
The next step, is for interested businesses to apply. . Interested business owners were instructed to contact Kate Fitzpatrick, Town Manager.
The window will allow interested businesses to apply, gives the public time to hear who applied, and give the Town time to notice the application hearings. As the licensing board in town the Board of Selectmen will review the applications at future meetings.
On Nov. 6, voters passed a measure to allow liquor sales in Needham. With approval of the ballot question, Needham has the ability to issue up to six licenses for the retail sale of beer, wine and liquor in town, with two additional wine and beer licenses available after 2018, for a total of eight.
In September, the Board of Selectmen voted to put the Alcohol Sales Question on a Special Nov. 6 Ballot, when voters passed the measure at the vote.
Needham had been essentially dry since before Prohibition. Following the federal repeal of Prohibition, residents voted at the March 1934 Annual Town Meeting not to allow the sale of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages, reaffirming that decision at other votes throughout the 1930s and ‘40s.