January 25, 2012

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MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF LICENSE COMMISSIONERS
OF CECIL COUNTY

 

The Board of License Commissioners of Cecil County met in a regular session at the County Administrative Building, Conference Room, 200 Chesapeake Boulevard, Elk Room, Elkton, MD on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:00A.M.

PRESENT:
        Tim Snelling, Chairman

William Gerweck, Commissioner

Carrie L. Taylor, Commissioner

                        H. Norman Wilson, Jr., Esquire

                        Earl R. Bradford, Chief Alcohol Beverage Inspector

CHANGE OF OFFICERS - Konstantinos Tzitzifas; Kimberly Ramsey; PGG, LLC; T/A The Club at Patriots Glen, 300 Patriots Way, Elkton, MD

Failed to appear

NEW LICENSE - Application received from Danielle Lee Contreras, Partner; Santiago Contreras, Partner; T/A Un Poco De Mexico, 801 E. Pulaski Highway, Suite 131, Elkton, MD 21921 for issuance of new Class "A" Beer Alcoholic Beverage License.

Danielle Contreras and Santiago Contreras appeared before the Board with attorney Jay Emrey; the applicants were duly sworn by the Clerk.  Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of January 13 and 18, 2012.  The applicants and several members of the audience were duly sworn by the Clerk.  The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by J. Craig Trostle, Director, Building and Zoning for the Town of Elkton; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 3-2; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business will be open 9:30 AM – 8:30 PM Monday – Thursday/Friday & Saturday 9:30 AM- 9:00 PM; Sunday 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM, any alcohol sales need ID; Validation for Sunday Sales requesting on and off-premise sales; Worker's Compensation to be submitted at a later date. 

Mr. Wilson reviewed the questions on the application with the applicants; he asked if the answers on the application were the same today as they were when they signed the application; both stated yes.  Mr. Emrey asked Mrs. Contreras to explain what her plans are; Mrs. Contreras stated she owns a Hispanic grocery store and would like to offer Mexican beer, she has been asked by several customers to do so.  She stated she has spoken with Mr. Kataria from JR's Discount about her buying his business; she said he told her he was thinking of closing the business, however his license covers everything and she does not want to sell wine and liquor.  She went on to say his hours vary and those customers who work night shift would like to stop by earlier in the day, pick up what they need and go home and not have to go back out when he opens. 

Ramesh Kataria spoke and said he own JR's Discount and his business is slow and he usually only sells Mexican beer and she would put him out of business.  He stated he spoke with her about buying his business and she was not interested.  He also stated there are already four licenses in that strip mall and there is no need for another license; he then read Article 2B Section 10-202 which states what the board shall consider before approving an application and one is the public need and desire for the license.  Mrs. Jaya Kataria also spoke and basically stated the same as her husband, that this business would put them out of business.

Chairman Snelling asked to break into Executive Sessions; Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to go into Executive Session; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion.  After meeting with Mr. Wilson about several legal questions, Commissioner Taylor made a motion to end the Executive Session and Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion.

Chairman Snelling stated he is not pleased with 'mall-type' licenses; there are problems with controlling the parking lot.  Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to not approve the license because there not being a need for another license in that area according to Article 2B; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion and the Board then voted unanimously to not approve the application.

TRANSFER OF LICENSE - Application received from Anthony James Cirino; Stella Marie Lundin; MISA Pier 1, Inc., T/A Pier 1 Restaurant, One North Main Street, North East, MD 21901 for transfer of Class "B" Beer & Light Wine Alcoholic Beverage No. B-74 from Vincenzo Cirino, T/A Pier 1, One North Main Street, North East, MD  21901.

Anthony James Cirino and Stella Marie Lundin appeared before the Board.  .  The applicants and several members of the audience were duly sworn by the Clerk; Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of January 13 and 18, 2012.  The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by Betsy Vennell restricting to on premise sales of alcoholic beverages, Director of Planning, Town of North East; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 5-4; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business to be run as a restaurant with food service sales and also Pier 1 will serve beer and wine; Worker's Compensation.  Mr. Wilson reviewed the questions on the application with the applicants; he asked if the answers on the application were the same today as they were when they signed the application; both stated yes.  Chairman Snelling asked if they were planning to change how the business will be run; Mr. Cirino stated no; Ms. Coyle stated they have been running the restaurant for their father and are requesting to have it in their corporation.  Chairman Snelling asked if there was anyone to speak for or against this application; with no further questions Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to approve the transfer; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion and the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer.

NEW LICENSE - Application received from Raymond L. Sami, CEO/President; Jean Jordan, Vice President; John Wyatt Haines, Resident Agent; The Hideaway LLC, T/A The Hideout, 17 South Main Street Rear, Port Deposit, MD 21904 for issuance of new Class "B" Beer, Wine & Liquor Alcoholic Beverage License

Raymond Sami, Jean Jordan and John Haines appeared before the Board; all applicants were duly sworn by the Clerk.  Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of January 13 and 18, 2012.  The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by Laura Luongo, Chair, Planning and Zoning, Town of Port Deposit; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 7-1; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business Bar, Restaurant, Retail; Worker's Compensation form.  Mr. Wilson reviewed the questions on the application with the applicants; he asked if the answers on the application were the same today as they were when they signed the application; all applicants stated yes.  The Board asked each applicant if they will be working in the restaurant; Mr. Sami and Ms. Jordan stated they will be; Mr. Haines will not.  Mr. Sami passed out packets for the Board members; he stated it is a multi-story building and they will be leasing the 40 X 60 basement; he stated they will have a retail store and a restaurant/bar area.  He stated many of the establishments in Port Deposit are seasonal and close earlier; he would like to attract boaters and motorcyclists who drive through town.  Commissioner Gerweck asked if there is a deck above; Mr. Sami stated yes; Mr. Gerweck asked if that would be going away; Mr. Sami replied no, he plans to put up fencing to keep his customers from being able to leave his deck area.  He went on to describe the premises, stating it will have a separate entrance way, with double doors and will be separate from D'Lorenzo's.  Chairman Snelling asked "how do you feel about the need for another license?  There are numerous problems in the Town of Port Deposit."  The owner of the property Tom Knight was present; he said "Port Deposit is limited, tourism is all we have."  Mr. Wilson asked, "Is there only one door?"  Tom Knight replied there are two doors, together at the front of the building.  Mr. Gerweck asked if he was doing food; Mr. Sami stated "yes, we are."  Chairman Snelling asked if there was anyone present for or against this application.  Gayle Wysock, manager of CM Tugs came forward.  She stated Mr. Knight is now involved in four of the licenses that have been issued recently in Port Deposit; she stated at one time this area was deemed inhabitable. She stated there is no need for another license in Port Deposit; there are nine licenses within a quarter mile and three more within a few miles.  She stated Mr. Knight is President of the Chamber of Commerce; he's on the Town Council.  She said she is held to a different standard, she has to have a door in both the front and back of the building and his are both in the front; that will not meet fire code.  William Herold owner of the Susky Grille; he agreed with Mrs. Wysock's statement about the fire access; he reminded the Board of what Mr. Kataria had read from Article 2B earlier about the public need for another license, he stated there is currently 13 licenses in a one mile radius; he stated he is a member of the Chamber also and very much encourages new business to Port Deposit, however another liquor license is not needed.  He also reminded the Board of the application a few years ago for the Pickled Herring building that was the same situation, one single address and the Board denied that application.  Jo Ann Capello, owner of Capello's Bakery stated she does not see a need for another liquor license in town; she stated there are plenty of places in town to get a beer, she named the Hidden Bean, D'Lorenzo's, Crabbe Depot, Bees Nest, CM Tugs, Joe's Grog House, Backfin, Union Hotel, Jimmy's and the VFW.  She stated she thought the need for a retail store is awesome.  Mr. Wilson stated he would mark the handout from Mr. Sami as Applicant's Exhibit #1 and would submit into the record several emails that were received that were against the application.  Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to go into Executive Session to ask Mr. Wilson some legal questions; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion.  The Board returned from Executive Session when Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to go back into session; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion.  Chairman Snelling stated they reviewed the need for another license as well as, allowing a second license in the same premises.  Mr. Wilson stated the definition of premises is the building and property owned by the same ownership.  Mr. Snelling stated he has a problem with two licenses being in the same building and they have denied several applications for the same premises.  With no further questions or comments, Commissioner Taylor made a motion to deny the application, though she has a great appreciation for what you're trying to do and the need for retail in Port Deposit, there is no need for another license; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board unanimously voted to deny the application for a new license.

REQUEST FOR SUNDAY SALES - Albert J. Bruno, Jr. Licensee; George R. Skillman, Resident Agent; 5 O'clock LLC;  Joseph A. Brown, Lease Manager; T/A Bees Nest Express, 29 North Main Street, Port Deposit, MD 21904

Joseph Brown appeared before the Board to request Sunday Sales; he submitted a menu for the Board's review.  Mr. Wilson asked if he was serving food now; Mr. Brown stated his food is about 50% of his sales; he purchased an old Burger King convection oven. He stated after the flood September 8th, he had to be re-inspected by CCHD and they approved his business.  William Herold from the Susky River Grille stated he was here four months ago regarding Bees Nest being a Class "B" Restaurant license.  He stated he has spoken with Joe at CCHD; he stated he is approved to sell hot dogs and if he's selling anything else that is against what he approved.  Gayle Wysock, manager at CM Tugs said he is putting the cart before the horse; he needs to get other things in order before he gets Sunday Sales.  Commissioner Taylor made a motion to go into Executive Session to ask some legal questions; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion.  The Board returned from Executive Session when Commissioner Taylor made a motion to go back into session; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion.  Commissioner Taylor made a motion to conditionally approve Sunday Sales; however, she wants detailed financial reports to prove you are running as a restaurant, not a convenience store; in the event you do not qualify we will change the license from a B to a D license; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board unanimously approved Sunday Sales as stated by Commissioner Taylor.

TRANSFER OF LICENSE - Application received from Maeve Orna Hession, Member; Erika Medina, Managing Member; Quiroz, LLC, T/A Rivera Maya, 223 East Main Street, Rising Sun, MD 21911 for transfer of Class "B" Beer, Wine & Liquor Alcoholic Beverage License No. B-54 from Humberto Quiroz, President; Donna Grant, Member; Quiroz, LLC, T/A Rivera Maya, 223 East Main Street, Rising Sun, MD 21911

Maeve Hession and Erika Medina appeared before the Board with attorney, Will Riddle; all applicants were duly sworn by the Clerk.  Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of January 13 and 18, 2012.  The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by Calvin Bonenberger, Administrator, Town of Rising Sun; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 8-1; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business Mexican Cuisine Restaurant; Worker's Compensation form.  Mr. Wilson reviewed the questions on the application with the applicants; he asked if the answers on the application were the same today as they were when they signed the application; all applicants stated yes. 

VIOLATION - Constance M. Pawley, Member; 1190 Augustine Herman LC, Licensee; Francis P. Connors, Robert J. Ewing, CEO, Liberty Management, Lease Managers; T/A Bittersweet Golf Club @ Brantwood, 1190 Augustine Herman Highway, Elkton, MD 21921

Mr. Wilson stated that we received a letter from the Law Offices of Michael Smiegel stating he is representing Bittersweet Golf Club and requested a postponement due to the fact he is in legislative session.

UPDATE - Change of Mode of Operation - Xochilt Perry, Summer Grille, LLC, T/A The Anchorage, 2495 Turkey Point Road, North East, MD 21901

Xochilt Perry appeared before the Board; she stated they have decreased the package goods and have put in a bar; she said she assumed when she came in during the summer to transfer her license that she was covered under that umbrella for the changes they have made.  Commissioner Gerweck asked how much food she sells; she replied 50%.  Commissioner Taylor made a motion to approve the bar; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board unanimously voted to approve the bar.  Chairman Snelling advised Mrs. Perry that if they make any major changes they need approval from the Board.

10:45 AM – VIOLATION – UNDERAGE SALES Jashanjot Kaur, President; Kerry S. Grubb, Resident Agent; Satjot, Inc., T/A 7-Eleven, 299 East Pulaski Highway, Elkton, MD 21921

 

Jashanjot Kaur appeared before the Board; the licensee, Chief Bradford and Inspector Reynolds were duly sworn by the Clerk.  It was agreed to proceed on an agreed statement of fact; Chief Bradford read his report into the record.  Mrs. Kaur stated she knows she is responsible; they have been operating the business for 17 months and they are trying their best not to sell to underage persons.  They are looking into a scanning system, either with 7-Eleven or on their own.  Chairman Snelling warned they still need to match the ID with the face; this Board takes underage sales very seriously.  Chairman Snelling stated the Board would deliberate and notify them of their decision.

 

BOARD DECISION – Guilt - $250 fine plus $250 cost of the proceedings.

Public Comments

General Business

·                     Approve Minutes

The minutes from the October meeting were amended to include the public comments made by Lois Ashworth – Commissioner Taylor made a motion to approve the minutes; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board unanimously approved the October minutes with the changes.

 

The minutes from the November meeting were discussed – Chief Bradford listened to the hearing in question and agreed the minutes reflected what was actually discussed and the motion made.

 

Commissioner Taylor made a motion to approve the minutes; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board unanimously approved the December minutes.

 

·                     Catering Events

·                     Specials

 

Old Business

·                     Legislation – Chief Bradford stated he just heard from Cheryl Mattix from the Cecil Whig that the legislation for the increase in fines and changing the wording from fine or suspend/revoke to fine and suspend/revoke failed to be brought to vote.

·                     Renewals – Ready to be mailed – 16 on tax list

·                     Agenda – Ms. Coyle requested to schedule the agenda items at the same time instead of at specific times with the decrease in office hours, this would make it easier when setting the agenda

 

New Business

·                     Schedule for 2012 – Elk Room is not available March, October, December

 

With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned.

 

BY:

                                                                                               

Tim Snelling, Chairperson

 

ATTEST:

                                                                                               

Robin S. Coyle, Administrative Assistant