Editorial: Town, Liquor Authority make strange bedfollows

It isn’t clear how effective the strategy may turn out to be, but you’ve got to give the town credit for ingenuity in seeking to resolve some basic zoning and land use issues by calling in the State Liquor Authority.

As our cover story this week reports, the town filed formal objections to liquor license applications from an inn, a B&B and a winery. Leaving to another day a review of how much of the town’s economy is based, at least in part, on alcohol sales and consumption, it’s interesting to see that one way to get a business owner’s attention is to threaten the liquor license. In at least one case, it appears to be working. The town and the new owner of the former Blue Dolphin in East Marion, soon to reopen as the Blue Inn, have held discussions on addressing the noise complaints that the business regularly generated before it closed two years ago. Both say the talks, while not yet completed, have been fruitful.

When he bought the property, Sam Glass unfortunately also acquired the place’s less-than-sterling reputation. Fair or not, the sins of the previous owners are being visited upon him.

Looking at it from another perspective, both town and owner can make a fresh start and work cooperatively on ways the inn can prosper without causing the neighbors to suffer. It’s unrealistic to think that the inn will never again generate a noise complaint, but at the moment the prospects for a peaceful future far outweigh the problems of the past.

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