SCITUATE – Opponents of a request for a liquor license at Frederickson Farm have hired a lawyer to represent their interests. Neighbors of the property are also threatening legal action if a license ends up being approved.
The Zoning Board moved to table a zoning application submitted by Frederickson Farm during a packed May 23 meeting. More than 50 residents attended the meeting to voice concerns about noise pollution, traffic, and crowd control.
Prior to that evening, many residents had their mailboxes stuffed with flyers imploring them to attend. The notice warned of noise, increased traffic, property devaluation, and poorer quality of life if the Frederickson Farm plan is approved.
“We are a rural community who enjoys peace and quiet, please help keep it that way!” stated the notice.
Objections to the plan were first voiced at a May 15 Town Council meeting where more than a dozen residents spoke about the potential for teenagers to access alcohol, the possibility of drunk driving, and disturbing of the peace.
Leesa DeMarco, who lives on Carue Drive, also presented a petition signed by 43 neighbors of Frederickson Farm who opposed a new liquor license for the business.
The Town Council ultimately moved to table the issue, giving abutters the opportunity to also voice concerns with the planning and zoning boards.
The Planning Board, which met on May 16, found Frederickson Farm’s application in compliance with town ordinances and approved it.
That raised the stakes for the Zoning Board meeting as one of the last forums for residents to sway officials’ opinions and stall the farm’s application.
Residents opposing Frederickson Farm’s requests for a liquor license and application for a special use permit retained attorney John Mancini to represent their interests.
Mancini attended the May 23 zoning board meeting and spoke on behalf of the abutters. He argued that the application submitted by Howard and Brenda Frederickson was incomplete and that enough abutters opposed it to have the matter thrown out.
Under Rhode Island law, if 51 percent of landowners within 200 feet of a liquor license applicant oppose it, the local licensing board loses the jurisdiction to approve the application.
In a phone call with The Valley Breeze & Observer Mancini described the Fredericksons’ zoning application as “vague” and “filled with abiguity.”
He said that he would continue to “appeal and object” any decisions contrary to the interests of the abutters.
Chairman Kenneth Borden seemed to at least agree that the application needed more detail. It did not include the dates, times, or length of special events, nor did it include guest capacity or crowd control plans.
“It seems to me that we don’t have enough information,” Borden said. The matter was tabled.
The permit would allow the Chopmist Hill Road business to move forward with plans to host special events that would include music, movie screenings, and beer and wine. The restaurant is currently in a general business zone.
Anne Corvo, who lives on Carue Drive and attended the May 23 zoning meeting, said abutters still weren’t pleased.
“We were very discouraged,” Corvo said.
She said that neighbors opposed to the farm obtaining a liquor license have held two meetings, with a third planned. The group has decided that if a liquor license is granted they will pursue the matter in court.
“We’ll follow this to the end (in) court,” Corvo said. “We’re playing hardball.”
By JACKIE ROMAN, Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer