City Council Passes Home Rule Petition on Liquor License Law

Boston City Council President Bill Linehan (center) reads a resolution honoring David Jacobs (far right) and Genevieve Tracy (center right) for the Boston Courant's 20 year anniversary. Photo by Michael Sol Warren
Written by Michael Sol Warren

By Michael Sol Warren
BU News Service

Late-filed matters dominated the action at Wednesday’s Boston City Council meeting.

Councilor Ayanna Pressley, with the support of the mayor’s office, introduced a home-rule petition to clarify the language of a 2014 liquor license law. The law is intended to make 75 new liquor licenses available in Boston over the span of three years. However, because of a drafting error in the law the city has not been able to access 15 of these licenses. The petition was approved by the city council.

The petition is now sent to Mayor Martin J. Walsh, where he will presumably sign it, after which it will go on to the state legislature for approval.

During the discussion of the petition, Councilor Stephen Murphy said that he sees this as an example of yet another short-coming of the Massachusetts Home Rule Amendment.

“Its ridiculous that we have to go to the legislature to increase the number of licenses in Boston,” Murphy said.

The council also passed an order authorizing the city to accept $350,000 in the form of a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Energy for the city’s Environment Department. According to Councilor Matt O’Malley, the money will primarily be used to hire a consultant that would conduct a climate vulnerability assessment and assess city’s plan to deal with natural disasters.

An order for a hearing to review the results of the 2015 Fenway Parking Ordinance, brought forward by Councilor Josh Zakim, was also passed by the council. Zakim requested the hearing to review the results of a pilot program that was meant to protect the residents of Fenway and Kenmore from parking violations related to events at Fenway Park.

“Anecdotaly, this has been a very successful program,” Zakim said.

Councilor Salvatore LaMattina said that he was particularly interested in reviewing these results and exploring how an expansion of the program may benefit his district.

“We might be interested in expanding this program to the North Station area because [parking is] a problem during games,” LaMattina said.

The hearing was assigned to the council’s Committee on City, Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs.

The meeting started with a resolution from Council President Bill Linehan and Zakim congratulating David Jacobs and Genevieve Tracy, the owners of The Boston Courant, for the paper’s 20 year anniversary.

Read the full agenda here.

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