Appeal of Mason’s outdoor entertainment law is on the way

August 2016

Live events sector


Residents opposed to music concerts at Marty’s Driving Range in Mason plan to appeal the Board of Selectmen’s denial of a new special town meeting to reconsider a recently approved zoning amendment that will allow the driving range to bring back outdoor entertainment. The move has split the town, which voted 240 to 165 in favour of the move at a special town meeting to amend the town’s zoning regulations to allow by special exception seasonal outdoor entertainment use up to three times a week from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, ending no later than 11 p.m. on holidays and weekends and 10 p.m. on weekdays. 39 percent of the town’s 1,028 registered voters cast a vote.


Initially there were no provisions in town ordinances regarding outdoor entertainment, so the Range’s owners consulted with police about appropriate times. When some residents expressed concerns about the noise and parking, town officials told the venue to stopm and apply for a variance.


At an initial re-hearing of the already approved zoning amendment, attorney Peter J. Nicosia who represents opponents of the re-zoning reportedly said the zoning amendment was too vague, with no limits on sound or light. that it did not define ‘entertainment’ telling reporters “It could mean adult entertainment.”  Nicosia also argued that voters had not been well informed about the implications and unintended consequences of their votes. On the later point Selectmen said it was a well-attended town meeting, and that both sides circulated flyers throughout the town outlining their positions on the amendment. Selectmen also said zoning regulations protect residents from the negative scenarios opponents had raised. A special exception has to move through a process and be granted by the Zoning Board, board members said. Limitations can and should be placed on any special exception granted by the Zoning Board, they said, and then unanimously denied the request for a new special town meeting.
Whilst Nicosia asked the board to refrain from granting a special exception for outdoor entertainment until an appeal of its decision is complete, Board members said they would take no action on that request but Nicole Ruggiero, the owner of Marty’s Driving Range said “I have a feeling this is far from over.”

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