This is an open letter to the Waitsfield Select Board with a clear request: please do not renew the liquor license, or other license of business owners who are in chronic, ongoing, and habitual violation of the basic requirements to provide accessible parking per a plan approved by the town.
I personally will give no more business to The Blue Stone Pizza as the behavior of that business owner is about the most outrageous example of this condition. Over the last two years it became obvious that the owner/manager of that establishment was parking in the accessible parking spot near the storage shed on that property every single day. When this issue was raised to the Vermont State Police, what happened? It continued, again and again.
The owner/manager's black pickup truck started parking inches to the right of the handicap sign and the same owner/manager removed the accessible parking sign that was near the front door. Shortly after that the second accessible parking sign near the wheelchair ramp was removed after there were no consequences for removing the first sign. The Blue Stone now has zero accessible spaces, and this has been documented as ongoing for months now.
There can be no claim of "Oh, I didn't notice my required accessible parking signs have fallen down and I didn't notice” -- unless you are George Santos anyway.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is not a joke, is not a leftist plot, and is actually an important law. Businesses that park 25 to 30 or more cars such as The Blue Stone are required to have two accessible parking spots, one of which needs to include the width for a van. If there is no law or enforcement then this what you get.
Each business has its parking plan approved by the town and every liquor license is periodically renewed with select board approval.
I urge you to let this business owner know -- as publicly as possible -- that their liquor license will not be renewed unless this situation is quickly and permanently resolved. Go drive by there right now and see for yourself- zero accessible parking is not acceptable and is an insult to every veteran with disabilities, to every single elderly person with mobility issues, and to every single person who has ever been temporarily disabled for any reason.
Although I have pointed out here what I see as the most outrageous example of this problem, it is by no means an isolated issue. Crosspoint, owners of Mad River Green Shops, has decided to convert the accessible van space in front of the Three Mountain Cafe into permanent table space in the warm months. I am curious whether anyone else has noticed this trend or can identify additional examples that will help the select board fulfill its important enforcement responsibilities.
DelBrocco lives in Fayston