Friday, October 23, 2009
Selectmen renew Ferns liquor license
State approvals still needed
On October 13, Larry Bearfield received unanimous approval from the Board of Selectmen for issuance of a liquor license to the Ferns Country Store, but do not expect to be able to pick up a bottle of Cabernet there in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Bearfield reminded the board that there are still two hurdles with the Commonwealth that need to be crossed. First, the state needs to issue a liquor license, and second, the site needs to receive final building code approval – which cannot come until the site receives approval from the state Department of Public Safety’s Architectural Access Board. The board denied Bearfield’s request on September 16 for a waiver of handicapped accessibility for the older building at the site. Bearfield is appealing the state decision.
“The new construction is completely ADA-compliant, but the old building is not,” explained Bearfield. “We’re seeking relief for the old building.” Bearfield briefly explained the difficulties and impracticalities of retrofitting the old building which has a raised entrance. He vowed to serve all handicapped customers who would be able to enter the new building and shop there, or order items from the goods in the older structure. Carlisle Building Inspector John Luther verified that the old building will only include the deli, with all other goods being made available on the first floor of the new building which will be completely accessible.
“I support this appeal,” said Luther. “You try to make certain that a person that has an accessibility issue can be served in all places of the building.” The building inspector believes the plan for Ferns employees to wait on handicapped people at the lower level and take orders for the deli makes that possible. Luther also noted that the state denial, received on October 13, contained erroneous information, reporting the change in levels between the two structures at 42 inches where it is only 18. He communicated the error, and hopes to attend the pending hearing of Ferns appeal once the state schedules it.
Pursuant to prior agreement, Bearfield will pay only a prorated portion of the town’s $1,000 license fee, depending on when the store actually begins selling liquor. ∆
© 2009 The