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Charles County, Maryland

Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, August 9, 2018

 

            The following members of the Board were present at the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, for a regular hearing of the Board of License Commissioners:  Thomasina Coates, Chairman, Guy N. Black, Vice Chairman, and Kathleen Quade, and Linda Warren.  Also appearing in support of the Board were M/Cpl. Judith Thompson, Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator; Wayne Magoon, Alcohol Inspector; Associate County Attorney Jessica Andritz; and Lisa Bailey, Clerk/Recording Secretary.  The meeting convened at 10:05 A.M.

 

            1.         At 10:09 A.M., upon a motion by Guy Black, seconded by Linda Warren, and passed by all members voting in favor, the Board went into closed legal session under General Provisions Art. §3-305(b)(7) “to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice.” The Board reconvened at 10:20 A.M. and disclosed that the Board discussed laws governing issuance of temporary alcoholic beverage licenses.

            2.         Following a question and answer period as to the nature and specifics of each event, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the following temporary alcoholic beverage license applications, as presented:

Charles County Chamber of Commerce, by Betsy Burian.  Also appearing on behalf of the applicant was Leanne Keller, for a temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL outside at Weatherly Farm, 14145 Banks Odee Rd, Newburg, on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 4-8 p.m. for a fundraiser with approximately 350 people expected to attend.  This matter was recalled from the July 12 hearing.  The applicants presented a diagram and answered questions from the Board describing the service of alcoholic beverages.  The Board approved the application as presented, contingent upon advance notification if the licensee determines that the use of a tent area is necessary.

Charles County Rotary Club, by Chris Simpson.  Appearing on behalf of the applicant was Gordon Shrader, Past-President, and Christopher Zobrisky, Chairman/President elect, for a temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve Beer Only inside the defined barn area at Charles County Fairgrounds, on Sunday, September 30, 2018 from 1-6 p.m. for their 42nd Annual Lobster Fest fundraiser with approximately 1,000 people expected to attend throughout the day. 

College of Southern Maryland, by Shaunda Holt for three (3) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage licenses to sell/serve BWL.  At CSM from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for a Mosiacs and Wine Class on August 29; and at Custom Kitchens and Design 6-8:30 PM on 9/13 for Fabulous French Appetizers; and, on 9/27 from 6-9 p.m. for Spanish Paella class, with a 2-drink maximum for 15 students expected to attend each event.

La Plata Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., by Lynn D. Gilroy, for two (2) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage licenses to sell/serve BWL inside La Plata VFD Activity Hall from 7pm to 2 a.m. on Saturday, 8/25 and 9/29, for Texas Hold’em fundraisers with 50-60 people expected to attend each event.

Benedict Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad & Auxiliary, Inc., by Donna DeMarr, Board of Directors, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage licenses to sell/serve Beer only inside Benedict Fire Department from 1-7pm on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, for a Corn Hole Tournament fundraiser with approximately 40 people expected to attend.  License approved contingent upon Certificate of Good Standing.

St. Joseph’s Church, by John Mitchell, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL (BW only to be “single” served) inside and outside at the church property in Pomfret, on Sunday, October 21, from 2-5 p.m., for a fundraiser with approximately 500 people expected to attend.  Contingent upon PGM Zoning approval and filing of a diagram depicting the sale/service/consumption and parking areas.  Applicant was also directed to meet with M/Cpl. Judith Thompson do discuss layout and signage.

Charles County Literary Council, by Lisa M. Hackley, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL inside Old Waldorf School on Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 7-10 p.m. for a fundraiser with approximately 100 people expected to attend.

 

            At 11:30 A.M., upon a motion by Kathleen Quade, seconded by Guy Black, and passed by all members voting in favor, the Board went into closed legal session under General Provisions Art. §3-305(b)(7) “to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice.” The Board reconvened at 11:45 A.M. and disclosed that the Board discussed laws governing the (Comptroller’s) licensing and participation of breweries at local events.

The Humane Society of Charles County, Inc., by:  Sandy Pappaianni, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL inside and outside at the Bliss in the Barn, 11770 Charles Street, La Plata, MD, on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 5-9 p.m. for a fundraiser with approximately 200 people expected to attend.  The Board approved the request for an alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve wine at the event, contingent upon a diagram depicting the sale/service/consumption and parking areas and PGM zoning approval, however, the Board moved to continue the matter relating to the beer vendors and the breweries participation in the event to the next hearing, giving the Board time to obtain a legal opinion regarding the breweries permitting and participation. 

            3.         The Board called Omicron Delta Sigma Service Foundation, Inc., by:  Yusuf House, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at Charles County Fairgrounds, from 5-9 PM, for a fundraiser with approximately 300 people expected to attend.  Mr. House testified that he was not an officer of Omicron Delta Sigma Service Foundation, Inc., therefore, upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board gave the applicant until 3:00 P.M. to allow time for the applicant to return to the hearing with an officer of the organization who meets the residency requirements. 

            The Board adjourned for lunch at 1:05 and reconvened at 2:07.  Due to a conflict, Board member Linda Warren did not reconvene.

            4.         Melissa Gibson, R. Dennis Benson, Potomac Family Dining Group Operating Co., t/a Applebee's - La Plata, 10 Shining Willow Way, La Plata, Maryland 20646, AND t/a Applebee's – Waldorf, 3610 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland 20602, for a Substitution of Officer on both licenses, with R. Dennis Benson, replacing Grady Beck, as an authorized person of Potomac Family Dining Group Operating Co., on their Class B/BLX (Luxury Restaurant) – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage licenses.  Counsel to the applicants was Leanne Schrecengost, Esquire.  Mr. Benson testified as to the contents of the applications and that he is the CEO, and authorized person of Potomac Family Dining Group Operating Company, as well as past president of their parent company.  Mr. Benson will not be on-site daily however, he will oversee the operation of the businesses.  No changes to the operation of the businesses are being proposed or contemplated.  M/Cpl. Judith Thompson gave an update as to past compliance checks and the licensee described their alcohol management certification procedures.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the substitution of officer. 

            5.         Mahmood A. Choudhry, Mohali Investments, LLC t/a Ollies Grill, Bar and Liquor, 6970 Hawthorne Road, La Plata, Maryland  20646, appeared for a transfer of a Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license, with previously approved  Open Air Exception and Entertainment, from Donald E. Byroads, III, Halfway Liquors & Bar, Inc., t/a Ollie's Bar and Grille, 6970 Hawthorne Road, La Plata, Maryland  20646.  Counsel to the applicant was Steve Scott, Esquire.  The clerk advised that the Comptroller placed a hold on the transfer of the license for Maryland Sales & Use and Withholding Tax, and requested that the buyer and seller contact their office.  The applicant testified as to the facts contained in the application, including that he holds 100% of the interest in Mohali Investments, LLC.  The applicant testified that he is maintaining the current employees and doesn’t plan any change to the current operation of the business.  Mr. Choudhry testified that he will operate the business in compliance with the September 10, 2015 Consent Order, and that the licensed premises is defined as the entire 1st floor of the premises.  The Board was concerned that Mr. Choudhry had little information with regard to the day-to-day operation of the business.  In response the applicant requested that the hearing be continued to the next available hearing date to allow Mr. Choudhry to bring the business manager to answer any questions the Board may have in that regard.  The Board concurred and ordered that this matter be continued to the September, 2018 hearing date. 

            6.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class B/T (Tavern) – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Rebecca Lynn Pender, Kara Anne Pender, t/a Phil's Place, 5826 Gallant Green Road, Hughesville, Maryland  20637. Ms. Kara Anne Pender appeared and acknowledged receipt of a Show Cause Order dated July 11, 2018, at least 10 days prior to the hearing, and admitted that on June 11, 2018, at approximately 5:30 P.M., the licensees violated Alcoholic Beverages Article §18-1902.1 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, regarding alcohol awareness certification.  This violation is considered a first offense, subject to the penalties provided for in Alcoholic Beverages Article §18-1902.1(b)(1) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board ordered that the licensee be fined One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), made payable to the Charles County Treasurer and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 2 weeks from the date of the hearing.

            7.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer & Wine (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Richard L. Shields, Aqualand Marina Operations LLC, t/a AMO Ships Store, 9610 Orland Park Rd, Newburg, MD 20664.  Richard L. Shields appeared along with counsel, Mr. John Mudd, who on behalf of his client acknowledged receipt of a Show Cause Order dated July 11, 2018, at least 10 days prior to the hearing, and admitted that on May 31, 2018, at approximately 2:35 P.M., the licensee violated Alcoholic Beverages Article §18-1902.1 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, regarding alcohol awareness certification.  This violation is considered a first offense, subject to the penalties provided for in Alcoholic Beverages Article §18-1902.1(b)(1) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board ordered that the licensee be fined One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), made payable to the Charles County Treasurer and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 2 weeks from the date of the hearing.

            8.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class B/T (Tavern) – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Alison Darbie, Ape Hangers L.L.C., t/a Ape Hanger's Bar & Grill, 9100 Crain Highway, Bel Alton, Maryland   20611.  Hammad Matin, Esq., entered his appearance in writing and indicated that his client wishes to contest the charges set forth in the Show Cause Order.  The Board approved Mr. Matin’s request to reschedule the hearing to October 11, 2018.

            9.         Leanne Schrecengost, Esquire, appeared on behalf of her client EatWell La Plata, LLC, who has filed a pending application for a transfer of the alcoholic beverage license issued to Pamela C. Livingston, Umesh P. Raval, TPSO Restaurant, LLC, t/a Casey Jones Restaurant, 417 E. Charles St., LaPlata, Maryland  20646, with a request to close the licensed establishment for a period of approximately six weeks to clean and redecorate prior to reopening under the pending new licensee.  Counsel further advised that there are no permits required and that the targeted opening date is September 13, 2018.  Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the request as presented. 

            10.       Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved a request from the licensee trading as Tinder Box, to add “rain dates” to previously approved outside events on: August 15th rain date August 22); September 19th (rain date September 26th); and October 17th (rain date October 24th). 

            11.       Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the Minutes from the July 12, 2018 hearing as presented.

            12.       M/Cpl. Judith Thompson presented that she recently met with licensee(s) Joshua Linton Spooner, Hannah Jeannette McCuen, Little Spoon Enterprises, LLC, t/a Spoon's BBQ, 234 Rosewick Road, La Plata, Maryland 20646, and has concerns with a new apparatus and method of “self” service of alcoholic beverages being introduced at the licensed premises.  As the Board is not familiar with this type of alcohol management and service, they requested that the Clerk invite the licensee to appear at their next hearing to share the details of this unique apparatus as well as their procedures for responsible alcohol management and service.

            13.       The Board requested that the Board’s agenda be re-configured to allow for Show Cause cases to be called first, then new and transfer applications, finally temporary applications, and other business last. 

            14.       Ms. Andritz proposed to create a pamphlet to distribute to applicants for temporary alcoholic beverage licenses, explaining what the Board expects as to layout and service policies at temporary events.    

            15.       At 4:30 P.M., the Board recalled the matter of Omicron Delta Sigma Service Foundation, Inc., by:  Yusuf House, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at Charles County Fairgrounds, from 5-9 PM, for a fundraiser with approximately 300 people expected to attend.  The applicant nor his representative (re)appeared.  The clerk shared with the Board that she had received a telephone call from Mr. Kendrick Faison over the lunch hour and that he was withdrawing the application as they didn’t have an officer that met the residency requirements.  Ms. Bailey further relayed to the Board that Mr. Faison had some other concerns and that he wanted to speak with the Board, and that she had referred the matter to Ms. Andritz.  Ms. Andritz told the Board that the nature of his call was to provide feedback as to [Ms. Andritz’] demeanor and questions she raised during the review of this application.  

            16.       The clerk advised that the County Commissioners had recently adopted Resolution No. 2018-09 which adopted recommendations of the Charles County Compensation Commission to increase the salaries of the members of the Board of License Commissioners.  (In pertinent part “… The annual stipend for the Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board) is currently $1,500 for the Chairperson and $1,250 for each Member.  These amounts will increase to bring this board in line with other similar boards and provide for an increase of $50.00 per year for 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

                  1.  The specific stipend amount for the Chairperson of the Liquor Board will be:

  1. $2,200 for calendar year 2019

  2. $2,250 for calendar year 2020

  3. $2,300 for calendar year 2021

  4. $2,350 for calendar year 2022

                2.  The specific stipend amount for the Members of the Liquor board will be:

  5. $1,775 for calendar year 2019

  6. $1,825 for calendar year 2020

  7. $1,875 for calendar year 2021

  8. $1,925 for calendar year 2022.)

     

                17.       With no further business the meeting adjourned at 4:36 P.M.

     

                                                                                    ____________/s/___________________

                                                                                    Lisa Bailey, Clerk