Print Print
  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XX PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER
  • CHAPTER 138 ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS
  • Section 17 Number of licenses quotas; licenses for wines and malt beverages per population unit; additional licenses; estimates of increased population; decrease in quota due to loss in population; determination of population of city or town

Section 17. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the number of licenses issued in any city or town under sections twelve and fifteen and in force and effect at any one time during any license year shall be limited as hereinafter provided:

The local licensing authorities of any city or town, except the city of Boston, may grant one license under the provisions of section twelve for each population unit of one thousand or additional fraction thereof, and, in addition, one such license for each population unit of ten thousand or fraction thereof, over the first twenty-five thousand, but may, regardless of population, grant at least fourteen licenses under said section twelve; and the local licensing authorities may also grant one license under the provisions of section fifteen for each population unit of five thousand or additional fraction thereof, but may, regardless of population, grant at least two licenses under said section fifteen.

In addition to the number of licenses otherwise authorized to be granted by the provisions of this section, the local licensing authorities of any city or town, except the city of Boston, which has voted to grant licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages as provided in the first question appearing in section eleven, may grant not more than one license for the sale of wines or malt beverages only, or both under section twelve, for each population unit of five thousand or fraction thereof; provided, that in any such city or town, said authorities may grant at least five additional licenses for the sale of such beverages, irrespective of its population; and the local licensing authorities may also grant not more than one license for the sale of wines or malt beverages only or both under the provisions of section fifteen for each population unit of five thousand or fraction thereof; provided, that in any such city or town said authorities may grant at least five additional licenses for the sale of such beverages, irrespective of its population; and provided, further, that the establishment of this limitation shall not be construed to prevent the renewal of any license granted prior to June fifteenth, nineteen hundred and thirty-seven.

The local licensing authorities of any city or town, except the city of Boston, which has voted to grant licenses for the sale of wines and malt beverages, as provided in the second question appearing in section eleven, and which has also voted to grant licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages in packages, as provided in the third question appearing in the said section, may grant additional licenses under section fifteen for the sale of wines or malt beverages only, or both, equal to the number of licenses under the said section otherwise authorized to be granted in any such city or town by the provisions of this section.

The local licensing authorities of any city or town, except the city of Boston, may make an estimate prior to March the first in any year of any temporary increased resident population in such city or town as of July the tenth following, and one additional license under section fifteen, to be effective from April 1 to November 30 or from April 1 to the following January 15 at the discretion of the local licensing authority, may be granted by said authorities for each unit of five thousand or additional fraction thereof of such population as so estimated, and the local licensing authorities of any city or town in Berkshire county, in which the city council, in accordance with the provisions of its charter, or the town, at an annual or special town meeting, votes to authorize such authority to grant winter seasonal licenses, or of any town in Franklin county, may make an estimate not later than October the fifteenth in any year of any temporary increased resident population in such city or town as of February the tenth following, and one additional license under section fifteen, to be effective from December the first to April the first of the year following, may be granted by said authorities for each unit of five thousand or additional fraction thereof of such population as so estimated; provided, that not more than one additional license shall be granted under this paragraph to the same person or for the same premises in any one year; and provided, further, that the local licensing authorities of any city or town, except the city of Boston, may grant, in addition to and irrespective of any limitation of the number of licenses contained in this section, seasonal licenses under section twelve, to be effective from April first to January fifteenth of the following year, or any portion thereof, and in any city or town in Berkshire county in which the granting of winter seasonal licenses is authorized as above provided, and in any town in Franklin county seasonal licenses under section twelve, to be effective from December the first to April the first, to the amount or number that such authorities deem to be in the public interest. Every estimate hereunder of temporary resident population shall be made and voted upon by the local licensing authorities at a meeting of said authorities called for the purpose after due notice to each of the members thereof of the time, place and purpose of said meeting and after investigation and ascertainment by them of all the facts and after co-operative discussion and deliberation. A copy of such an estimate, signed by a majority of the members of said authorities, stating under the penalties of perjury that all the foregoing requirements have been complied with and that the estimate is true to the best of their knowledge and belief, shall be forwarded forthwith to the commission. Upon the petition of twenty-five persons who are taxpayers of the city or town in which a seasonal license has been so granted, or who are registered voters in the voting precinct or district wherein the licensed premises are situated, filed within five days after the granting of such license, the commission shall, and upon its own initiative at any time may, after a hearing, examine and review any estimate made or action taken by the local licensing authorities in granting the same, and after such examination or review, may rescind, revoke, cancel, modify or suspend any such estimate or action. Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to authorize or permit the commission to deny a renewal of, or to rescind, revoke or cancel, because of a decrease in population, any seasonal license outstanding and in full force on April thirtieth, nineteen hundred and fifty.

The licensing board for the city of Boston may grant six hundred and ninety-two licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages under section twelve; provided, that no further original licenses under said section shall be granted until the number of licenses outstanding thereunder shall have been reduced to less than six hundred and fifty by cancellation or revocation or the failure of holders of such licenses to apply for renewals and thereafter licenses thereunder may be granted only up to a total not exceeding six hundred and fifty. Said board may grant two hundred and fifty licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages under section fifteen. The number of licenses for the sale of wines and malt beverages only, or both, in the said city shall not exceed three hundred and twenty. The transfer of existing licenses shall be subject to a public hearing in the neighborhood in which the license is to be relocated, properly advertised and at an appropriate time to afford that neighborhood an opportunity to be present.

The licensing board for the city of Boston may grant up to 25 additional licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises and up to 30 additional licenses for the sale of wines and malt beverages to drunk on the premises. Notwithstanding the first sentence, 5 of the additional all alcoholic beverages licenses shall be granted only to innholders duly licensed under chapter 140 to conduct a hotel and 10 of the additional all alcoholic beverages licenses shall be granted, to existing holders of licenses for the sale of wines and malt beverages under section 12 provided that those licensees return to the licensing board, the licenses that they currently hold. The remaining licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises and the 30 additional licenses for the sale of wines and malt beverages to be drunk on the premises shall be granted in the areas designated by the Boston Redevelopment Authority as main street districts, urban renewal areas, empowerment zones or municipal harbor plan areas. Once issued to a licensee in a Boston Redevelopment Authority designated area, the licensing board shall not approve the transfer of that license to a location outside of the designated area. A license granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be nontransferable to any other person, corporation or organization and shall be clearly marked nontransferable on the face of the license. A license issued under this paragraph, if revoked or no longer in use, shall be returned physically, with all of the legal rights and privileges thereto, to the licensing board which may grant any such returned license to a new applicant consistent with the criteria set forth in this paragraph. No license shall be re-issued to the same location within 6 months from the date the prior license terminated unless the applicant files a letter in writing from the department of revenue with the local licensing authority indicating the prior licensee’s good standing with the department.

As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:—

“Airline club”, an establishment that is not open to the general public and which is operated by or for an airline at the airport to provide exclusive or special accommodations to members and their guests in accordance with airline policy.

“Airport”, the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport.

“Boston license”, a license for the sale of alcoholic beverages issued pursuant to the preceding paragraph and subject to the city of Boston municipal quota.

“Passenger terminals”, the passenger terminals and designated airline clubs within the airport.

“Restricted airport licenses”, licenses for: (i) the sale of all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises within the passenger terminals; and (ii) the sale of wines and malt beverages to be drunk on the premises within the passenger terminals.

The licensing board for the city of Boston may grant restricted airport licenses to common victuallers duly licensed under chapter 140 and operating within the passenger terminals, subject to the approval of the alcoholic beverages control commission. Once issued to a licensee within the passenger terminals, the licensing board shall not approve the transfer of a restricted airport license to a location outside of the passenger terminals. A restricted airport license shall be nontransferable to any other person, corporation or organization operating outside the passenger terminals and shall be clearly marked “nontransferable outside the passenger terminals at the airport” on its face. Notwithstanding this section or any other special or general law to the contrary, restricted airport licenses shall not be subject to or counted against the municipal quota set forth in this section including, but not limited to, the city of Boston quota set forth in the sixth paragraph. A restricted airport license, if revoked or no longer in use, shall be returned physically, with all of the legal rights and privileges pertaining thereto, to the licensing board which may then grant that license to a new applicant operating within the passenger terminals, consistent with this paragraph.

Notwithstanding the provisions hereof, no quota established hereunder for any city or town shall be decreased because of any loss in population.

Unless expressly authorized by this chapter, local licensing authorities shall not grant licenses to any person, firm or corporation under more than one section of this chapter.

The population of any city or town for the purposes of this section shall be that enumerated in the most recent federal census.

In determining the population of any city or town for the purposes of this section the state secretary shall, if the last preceding census is the national census, by a writing filed by him in his office, make such adjustments in such census as will reflect the criteria used in making the last preceding state census.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the number of licenses which a city or town was authorized to grant in nineteen hundred and thirty-three under this section shall not be decreased because of any loss in population, but only because of cancellation, revocation or failure to renew existing licenses, and no further original licenses shall be granted in a city or town where the population has decreased since nineteen hundred and thirty-three until the number of licenses outstanding shall have been reduced for the aforementioned reasons to a number which is less than that which may be granted based on such reduced population and thereafter the number of licenses in force and effect at any one time during the license year shall be based on such reduced population as provided in this section.

In addition to the number of licenses otherwise authorized to be granted pursuant to this section, a city or town may grant additional licenses under sections 12, 15 or 15F to the holder of a farmer-winery license under section 19B or in any other state for the sale of wine produced by or for the applicant. A license granted by a city or town under said section 12, 15 or 15F shall not be include as a license for purposes of determining the number of licenses allowed to be granted by a city or town under this section. A license granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be nontransferable to any other person, corporation or organization and shall be clearly marked nontransferable on its face.