Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-01-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 1-7, 2021 CUMBERLAND 9 Committee recommends liquor at Chucky's CUMBERLAND – The Town Council's ordinance subcommittee had a busy night on March 23, address- ing a series of matters including a recommendation on whether Chucky's Creamery should be allowed to sell alcohol. The committee ended up recom- mending approval of a zone ordinance change allowing Chuck Moreau to serve beer, wine and other non-spirit drinks at Chucky's, 48 West Wrentham Road. Committee members Lisa Beaulieu and Jim Metivier voted yes, while Chairman Scott Schmitt voted no. Schmitt said he couldn't get over the fact that the building's owner, Moreau's business partner Michael Bouthillette, had so clearly promised when the town approved a zone change here in 2017 that they wouldn't be back seek- ing permissions for liquor sales in the future. "That's a hump I can't get over," Schmitt said. Chucky's had a state inspection last week and made some corrections, but is still only authorized to sell food outside, so any approval by the full council of the liquor allowance would be subject to him winning additional approvals. Moreau told Schmitt that times change and the pandemic hit hard. He said he thought he could make a go of it with ice cream only, but busi- ness dries up when the temperature is under 50 and the season lasts only from May through September. Schmitt said he's sympathetic, but he doesn't think a lack of profitability should be the basis for a zone change. After the assurance given liquor wouldn't be on the table, this would essentially be the full-service restaurant and bar service that residents previ- ously had issues with for decades, he said. Moreau said he's just trying to add "flair to the food we're going to be serving." Some neighbors have had issues "with the sins of the past," he said, but he's been nothing but good to the neighborhood and community. When Moreau noted that the busi- ness is in a commercial zone, Schmitt responded that this is only so because they previously secured a zone change from a legal nonconforming use in a residential zone. Councilor Bob Shaw said this is the first step in the process for Chucky's, and officials will still get to hear what neighbors have to say. He said he's been talking with Moreau for months about his situation and what he needs. If Moreau had come back six months after that original 2017 approval with the liquor request, that would have been a different story, Shaw said. Noting that the Planning Board had a great discussion on the topic and asked all the right questions, Shaw said it's not the council's job to tell people how to run their business, but it is their job to make sure promises to neighbors are kept. Shaw said neighbors would only be concerned if extended hours to those seen at a typical bar were on the docket, as they could lead to Chucky's going down the road of becoming like the bars of old here, including the Dancing Pig. Shaw said Chucky's has been a great asset to the community, and officials have an obligation to find common ground to help Moreau out. Beaulieu said she supports what Moreau has done with the property and how he gives back to the com- munity, but she noted some reluctance recommending the zone change based on the "potential when someone asks for that one more thing." She said she definitely wants to hear what neigh- bors have to say at the next stage. Accessory dwelling units Also at the March 23 meeting, the subcommittee unanimously recom- mended revisions to the town's ordi- nance on accessory dwelling units, including language to address a num- ber of concerns. Units would no lon- ger be required to be part of the main house, but there are a number of other restrictions, including on their size in relation to the house, parking spaces, and that only family members can live in them. There was concern that exist- ing detached buildings wouldn't be allowed to be used for such units, but that was addressed by allowing them in existing structures, said Schmitt. If someone no longer lives in a unit or a home is sold, previous permissions are null and void, and the new owner of the home would have to reapply for what is essentially an in-law apartment. Town Solicitor Kelley Morris Salvatore said a home wouldn't be able to be sold with an apartment on site, as that would make it a two-family home. Beaulieu thanked her for her work helping to create better language and more flexibility in helping families, with some restrictions still in place, and Morris Salvatore said the com- mittee did a great job of finalizing a "really good product." Mobile food establishments The committee decided to hold off for a year on a resolution establish- ing where mobile food establish- ments (food and ice cream trucks) are allowed to do business on town property through a municipal bidding process. Schmitt said his mind had been swayed by Shaw that the council last year didn't fully understand the impacts of what they were passing by establishing a new bidding system to give exclusive rights to certain compa- nies. Shaw said the approval last year was perhaps the only item he ever voted on without fully understanding how it would play out. He said he eventually realized that while the town would get a few hundred dollars from permits By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com • Accessory dwelling unit ordinance gets a nod • Food truck rules will wait • Revisions on severance agreements go to council See COUNCIL, Page 19 RESIDENTIAL ROOF EXPERTS! 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