Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding section 17 of chapter 138 of the General Laws, the licensing authority of the town of Rockport may grant to a food store a license for the sale of wines and malt beverages not to be drunk on the premises under section 15 of said chapter 138. Except as otherwise provided herein, the license shall be subject to all of said chapter 138 except said section 17.
(b) For the purposes of this act, “food store” shall mean a grocery store or supermarket which sells at retail, food for consumption off the seller’s premises either alone or in combination with grocery items or other nondurable items typically found in a grocery store and sold to individuals for personal, family or household use; provided, however, that the food store shall carry fresh and processed meats, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fresh fruits and produce, baked goods and baking ingredients, canned goods and dessert items. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a “food store” shall not be a convenience store or specialty store; provided, however, that the board of selectmen shall determine whether an applicant is a food store under this act. In making such determination, the board of selectmen shall consider such factors as the volume of sales, actual or proposed, and the extent and range of merchandise offered for sale. The holder of a license under this act may sell wines and malt beverages alone or in combination with any other items offered for sale. The amount of any initial or renewal fee for the license authorized in this act shall be determined by the licensing authority.
(c) The licensing authority may not approve the transfer of the license to any other location but it may approve the transfer of the license to an applicant at the same location, if the applicant files with the authority a letter from the department of revenue indicating that the license is in good standing with the department and that all applicable taxes have been paid.
(d) If the license granted under this section is cancelled, revoked or no longer in use, it shall be returned physically, with all of the legal rights, privileges and restrictions pertaining thereto, to the licensing authority which may then grant the license to a new applicant at the same location under the same conditions as specified in this act.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding sections 11 and 11A of chapter 138 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the board of selectmen of the town of Rockport shall cause to be placed on the ballot at a regular or special election the following question:
“Shall an act passed by the general court in the year 2012, entitled ‘An Act Authorizing the Town of Rockport to Grant a License for the Sale of Wines and Malt Beverages at a Food Store’, be accepted?”
Below the ballot question shall appear a fair and concise summary of the ballot question which shall be prepared by the town counsel. If a majority of votes cast in answer to the question is in the affirmative, the town shall be taken to have authorized the granting of a license for the sale of wines and malt beverages at a food store as set forth in section 1.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved, October 25, 2012.