Outside weddings in Cohasset, Ma – a discussion

Cohasset Selectmen may have no authority over outside weddings anywhere in town and that is just as well. Imagine how they could drive a bride insane with a thousand rules.

weddingListen up.

Whenever Atty. Charles Humphreys intervenes for a client at a Cohasset Selectmen’s meeting or any meeting everybody learns a thing or two. As a former Cohasset town counsel he knows the municipal business well.

At the Cohasset Selectmen’s Tuesday meeting Humphreys discussed with selectmen, quite politely, their errors in dealing with Cohasset’s Red Lion Inn, under an acting town manager.

1. The town has no bylaw that talks about outside weddings in any manner at all.

2. The Red Lion Inn is in a business district and while it does abut a residence, it should be afforded all the same rights as a business in the downtown business district.

3. The Red Lion Inn is a substantial taxpayer, and it is a destination business.

4. The Red Lion needs some improvement, but the Town needs to preserve it an allow it to function, not shut it down.

5. Outside weddings are permitted everywhere…Cohasset Common, Lawrence Wharf, Government Island, Rocky Beach, private homes. Humphreys asked the board to consider that a ceremonial wedding was not a reception, and a wedding should not be prohibited anywhere.

Humphreys  noted that the town bylaws did not address outside weddings in any manner. He said14 years ago the Red Lion Inn super insulated the Barn and installed a sound measurement stem that would cut off all sound at the property line if it exceeded 55 decibels. Street sound outside the Red Lion Inn is 70 decibels.

Selectman Steve Gaumer said the behavior of license holder had become the question, and that there was a fair amount of documentation from the license holder and that he (the license holder) was aware that he was not to book outdoor weddings. Gaumer asked if the selectmen should change the license holder’s conditions.

Humphreys said that holding this license holder to standards not being applied to any other holder was not legal. “Are you saying this is a lesser property because it abuts residencies?”

Humphreys noted that everything is pre-existing and that the Red Lion Inn pre-existed everything saying the Inn had been holding weddings, inside and out, since 1704.

Gaumer said by convenant, outdoor weddings were not allowed at the Red Lion Inn.

Humphreys said Gaumer was wrong, that the outside wedding aspect needed to be defined. “What is this company allowed to do? I can lay out why the previous acting town manager had no right to exert that on the Red Lion Inn. Where in the town bylaw does is say there can’t be an outdoor wedding?”

Selectman Karen Quigley agreed that town-wide restrictions had to be defined. She noted that the Red lion was making efforts to come forward. Quigley said she wanted to establish noise standards for all neighborhoods.

© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed