The Mansfield Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 on Wednesday to approve a proposed change in the Comcast Center's liquor license that would allow liquor to be sold in lots 10 and now 11 of the Comcast Center outside (pictured to the right) in the parking lots.
The license stipulates that liquor could only be sold in one lot at a time or a split between the two totalling 144,000 square feet at one time. Comcast Center general manager Bruce Montgomery said that the spaces would be used for additional stages during festival concerts, like last year's Identity Festival, to have supplementary acts during a day-long event.
"They really want to come back and they unstand the conflicts from last year," he said. "At no time will more than 144,000 square feet be in use."
This year each abbutting property will be gven notice if the festival returns. Town Manager William Ross confirmed that the list of abutting properties given to the board was correct.
Selectman George Dentino, who voted against the license, said that it was improper to discuss the stages when the setup of these stages had not been discussed.
He agreed with Montgomery, and selectmen chair Jess Aptowitz, that the board and Comcast Center representatives had agreed to only have the stages facing towards the woods. Dentino said these measures were not specific enough to minimize the sound leakage and impact into the community.
"I realize that in this area it is difficult," he said. "When you have multiple stages, you don't want them facing in the same direction. I'm trying to think of the people in this community."
Montegomery said that, since Comcast took over operations of the center in 2005, they have worked to reduce the incidence of sound bleedover into the community.
"We've put a lot of money into reducing sound," he said.
The plan for the space at the moment is to use temporary fencing in the lots to determine what space is used during shows. Lot ten is already about 144,000 square feet and already has the licensing necessary to operate what the Comcast Center representatives want for lot 11, but they said they want the choice between the two.
Montgomery said that, during a festival or show that either or half of both of the spaces would be used, the Mansfield building inspector would be present to make sure the temporary fencing is marking the correct boundry of square footage.